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Knights ground Rockets

December 21, 2013
Weirton Daily Times

TORONTO - The Toronto boys' basketball more than doubled their offensive output from the first half in the second half Friday night.

In the end, Toronto was able to withstand a final charge by visiting Conotton Valley as the Red Knights grounded the Rockets, 47-40.

The game was tied at 16 at halftime. The Red Knights (3-3) outscored the Rockets (2-4), 31-24, in the decisive second half.

"They mixed their defenses up in the first half, and we did a poor job of getting into our offenses," Toronto head coach John Leary said. "In the third quarter, we ran a series of offensive sets. We said that if they played this defense we were going to do that, and if they played this defense we were go to do this.

"At times, we looked indecisive, so we had to simplify things. That is one of the things I have been preaching to them. We have a young team, and we want to make things simple. The more they have to think, bad things happen.

"We are a young team, and we haven't been through the wars.

Fact Box

Toronto 47, Conotton Valley 40

Conotton Valley 10 6 12 12 - 40

Toronto 9 7 18 13 - 47

CONOTTON VALLEY (2-4): Bower 6 2-4 19, Mauge 0 0-0 0, McCreery 1 4-4 6, Cottis 3 1-2 7, Masters 0 0-0 0, Robinson 2 0-1 6, Stojanovich 0 0-0 0, Hidey 1 0-0 2, Chilton 0 0-0 0. Totals: 13 7-11 40. 3-Pointers: Robinson 2, Bower 5.

TORONTO (3-3): Stewart 4 1-2 10, Glenn 7 0-0 15, Roche 1 0-0 2, Clegg 1 0-0 2, Rawson 2 0-0 5, Roush 4 0-0 8, Keirsey 1 0-0 2, Lawrence 1 0-0 3. Totals: 21 1-2 47. 3-Pointers: Stewart, Glenn, Rawson, Lawrence.

"In the second half, we had more flow to our offense.

"I was upset in the first half because we made a lot of mistakes. We did not do a good job defensively at times. We had some breakdowns."

Conotton Valley led by as many as six points early, while Toronto led by as many as nine points in the fourth quarter.

"We played as good defensively as we can play in the first half," Conotton Valley head coach Ryan Powell said. "We have a young team, and we are learning how to play defense.

"What killed us was we shot 18 percent from the field in the first half while we held them to 16 points. We only scored 16 points as well.

"The second half was not bad. We held them to 31 points. We didn't have any fouls until late in the game, and we had to come out and pressure them a little bit."

Two players scored in double digits to lead the way for the Red Knights. Blaze Glenn netted a team-high 15 points, while Nate Stewart tallied 10 points.

The Rockets did the majority of their damage on the offensive end from long range. Conotton Valley made seven 3-pointers, while making only six 2-pointers.

Brett Bower recorded a game-high 19 points to lead the way. Bower, who made five threes, was the only Rocket player to reach double figures.

The Rockets connected on three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, and Robinson's second one of the game pulled Conotton Valley to within 42-40 with 1:01 left to play, but that was as close as the Rockets got.

"We had to be strong with the ball in the fourth quarter," Leary said. "With two minutes to go in the game, they did not have a foul on them. We knew they were going to tug, hold, fight, pull and do whatever they had to to get the ball. It was nothing dirty. They had nothing to lose. They could take chances. We had to be strong with the ball, we had to execute at the end. We were able to do that.

"We were able to get back even at 3-3. This is a process. It is a process throughout the season. This is a step forward. We did what we had to do to win the game. This is a good win for us."

After Toronto scored the first two points of the game, Conotton Valley tallied the next eight. The Rockets led 10-9 after the first quarter. Glenn tallied all nine of the Red Knights' points in the frame.

"We knew No. 3 (Glenn) was their best player," Powell said. "We focused on him. We tried to contain him. We just did not do a good enough job."

In the second stanza, a basket by Tyler Roush capped a 9-0 run by the Red Knights giving the hosts 14-10 lead. A 3-pointer by Bower tied the score at 16.

Both teams are scheduled to return to the court Monday. Toronto will play at St. John Central in Bellaire, while Conotton Valley will play at home against Strasburg.

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