The month of December can be a tricky one for high school boys and girls basketball teams.
The first half of the month coaches usually take a good hard look at what they have and how they’re going to use it. By the end of the month teams are starting to put things together and working through any problems they’ve encountered.
Many of the Madison County basketball teams find themselves in that transition period of figuring out who they are, and are starting to develop what they have. Many of those squads were on the floor on Tuesday, Dec. 17 in a busy night of hoops.
There have been very few teams in Central Ohio more impressive than the Rams of Whitehall have been this early part of the season.
The Red Raiders (3-3, 1-2) got an up-close look at just how good the undefeated Rams (5-0, 2-0) are in a 88-66 defeat on Tuesday, Dec. 17.
But while the 22-point loss was hard to swallow, London coach Darren Long knows that his team had its chances and just couldn’t capitalize.
“We got into a hole early and couldn’t get into our uptempo press going,” Long said. “We wanted to zone more, but instead had to matchup with them and just didn’t do a good job stopping their penetration.”
Whitehall scored a blistering 53 points in the first half and pretty much eliminated the thought of London handing it the first loss of the season.
“If we could have controlled their break we could have controlled them a little better,” Long said. “They’re a good team, but we missed I’d say at least 10 layups. We took good shots, we just couldn’t make them, especially in the first half.”
Of the 25 shots the Red Raiders took in the first half, 22 of them came from inside the paint, the team however only made seven.
The Red Raiders talented one-two punch of seniors Zac Carey (22) and Brok Bennett (21) combined to score 43 of the Raiders 66 points, but no other player on the roster scored more than the seven scored by Dylan Miller.
“To be honest with you we need more than two or three guys scoring,” Long said. “We need every body on this team contributing one way or another. (Zach) Anderson had been that third guy for us, but he got into foul trouble in the first half.”
Whitehall got a lot of easy baskets, as it only made five three-point buckets.
R.J Mims finished with 21, Antoine Vaughn scored 18 and Terronte Hutchins added 15 of his own. D.A. Saunders just missed out on a fourth player in double figures as he finished with nine.
The Rams have topped all five of their opponents this season by double digits.
The Flames (3-2) wasted no time in jumping on the visitors from Emmanuel Christian, outscoring the opposition 19-1 in the first quarter and cruising to an easy 67-38 victory.
Peter John Showalter scored a game-high 24 points, while Mitchell Yoder added 10 and Aaron Lynn chipped in nine. John Scheffel and Zach Yoder finished with seven points apiece.
West Jefferson 45
The Roughriders (0-2, 0-1) just couldn’t muster up enough offense against a potent offensive bunch of Bobcats in a Mid-State League Ohio Division road defeat on Tuesday, Dec. 17.
Senior guard Matt Jones was the only West Jefferson player to score in double figures, doing so with a 14-point effort. Nick Mendenhall added eight, while Logan Stepp (seven), Tyler Jones (six) and D.J. McAninch (four) all scored multiple baskets.
Grandview scored 20-points in each of the first and third quarters.
The Flames (5-3) exploded offensively in its trip to Ridgemeont on Tuesday, Dec. 17.
The 64 points they dropped on the Golden Gophers was a season high.
Ashley Gingerich scored a season-best 29 points in leading the charge. Kiara Rohrer (12), Kendra Scheffel (11) and Janelle Roby (eight) all had good scoring nights.