Boys Basketball Falls In CIC Opener To Mississinewa

Posted on December 9, 2018 in Boy's Basketball, Winter Sports

By CHUCK LANDIS – clandis@chronicle-tribune.com
GAS CITY ā€” Applying full-court pressure against an Oak Hill boys’ basketball team usually has some unfortunate repercussions, but this is a new season and new team.

Mississinewa with its quickness and athleticism was able to speed up and turn over the Golden Eagles and led from start-to-finish in posting a 69-60 Central Indiana Conference victory at Fredenberger Court.

First-year Indians coach James Reed earned his first victory after an 0-3 start, while the reigning Class 2A state champion Eagles remain winless after four contests.

Colin Yoder earned his first starting assignment and the sophomore opened the game draining two 3-pointers from the deep right corner to put the Indians in front 6-0 less than one minute into the game. Landen Swanner followed moments later with another ‘3’ that made it 10-3 and Ole Miss’ lead never was less than three points the remainder of the first half.

Oak Hill with four new starters made 25 turnovers against a combination of full- and half-court defensive pressure and it led to 24 Mississinewa points, many on layups. With the Indians leading 30-21 at halftime, they stepped up the pressure even more in the third quarter, helping force 10 turnovers in the period.

“Our press is forming and it’s forming an identity as it goes,” Reed said. “We don’t have a lot of rules to it, so I knew it would cause them problems. What I was proud of most was our guys followed the gameplan and they didn’t over push and got back.

“I can’t say I expected 25 turnovers, especially from a Kevin Renbarger team, but I’m really proud of our guys that they were able to create that.”

Yoder went on to score 15 points including eight in the opening quarter when the Indians went ahead 16-11 at the break and connected on 3-of-6 from beyond the arc. He displaced Cade Campbell in the starting lineup, and Campbell also relished his assignment with eight points including a pair of ‘3s’ and some hustle plays on the boards and on defense.

“Colin Yoder has been working so hard for us and Cade didn’t lose a starting spot,” Reed said. “Cade accepted it and likes that (reserve) role where he can be a workhorse. That’s the kind of team we have ā€” we’re so unselfish and it’s fun to watch.”

Oak Hill was behind double digits almost the entire half until a late flurry in the closing minute and its biggest deficit was 60-46 with 3:03 to play after a Campbell 3-pointer. Besides ballhandling, the Eagles also were an uncharacteristic 6-of-19 at the free throw line and missed their first eight attempts.

Renbarger’s most experienced players from last year’s state champion team are Konnor Cabe and Tahj Johnson, and the two led the Eagles with 20 and 11 points, respectively. Johnson also grabbed 10 rebounds for a double-double before fouling out late in the game, and Cabe scored 16 of his points after halftime.

“You can say we competed hard, but that’s not where this program is at or where it’s going,” Renbarger said. “We’re going to take it now because that’s kind of the step we’re at in the process.

“I felt we competed against Wabash (in the season opener) once we got our sea legs under us,” he added. “But then we took some ginormous steps backwards against Manchester and Taylor and this game was a step in the right direction.”

Tai McClung, a sophomore, performed well around the basket and led the Indians with 16 points on 4-of-6 shooting from the floor and 8-of-13 at the foul line. McClung, who also passed out five assists, left the game midway through the fourth quarter after getting kneed in the thigh.

“We think he’ll be fine,” Reed said. “He didn’t go back in because his thigh was hurting him so bad and we had worked so hard throughout the game. His body starts to take a toll and he was starting to cramp up … but when Tai went out the next man stepped up and filled his role great.”

Anthony Horton also scored in double digits for the Indians with 11 points, led in rebounds with seven and helped spearhead the full-court press.

Landry Ozmun contributed 11 points for Oak Hill.

Oak Hill hosts Maconaquah at 7:45 p.m. today and Mississinewa hosts Madison-Grant on Friday.

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