It will be a classic contrast of styles when defensive-minded Jonathan Alder plays host to a potent offensive squad in neighboring London on Thursday, Jan. 2. The tip-off is slated for 7:30 p.m.
The Pioneers (3-3) have yet to allow a team to score more than 50 points this season, while the Red Raiders (4-3) on the other hand have scored less than 50 points just once and have topped the 70-point level once and even the 80-point plateau this season.
“We’ve played pretty good defense this year, but now we have to get ready for good a London team,” Alder coach Brent Cahill said.
The Pioneers topped Mount Vernon on Monday, Dec. 30, and took all of one day off before preparing for the Red Raiders. Cahill said the quick turnaround and not being able to get too high or too low about a game is a good thing for his team.
“I think the practice, prep and play schedule is best for us,” he said. “We’ve got just a couple days between games which means we can’t dwell about a loss and we can’t get too excited about a win. We just practice, prepare for the next opponent and go out and play.”
London coach Darren Long has an older team with seniors playing key roles, he’d actually prefer his team had a few more days off during the holiday time.
The Red Raiders won a hard-fought game contest over Cedarville during the McDonald’s Holiday Classic played down at Miami Trace on Saturday, Dec. 28.
“Ideally I’d like us to have a bigger break between games,” Long said. “But we don’t so we need to be ready for a good Jonathan Alder team.”
Alder’s defense will have its hands full with trying to contain the Red Raiders dynamic duo of senior guards Brok Bennett and Zac Carey. The two have blistered the net this season, both having scored over 30 points in separate games this season.
The high-water mark for the Pioneers’ opponents this season is 50 points, which has been achieved twice, once by Buckeye Valley and once by River Valley.
The younger Alder team likes to be deliberate when it has its hands on the ball, working to get it to standout freshman forward Trey Pugh. London on the other hand will look to run at every chance it gets.