|2/26/2013 11:18:00 AM|
Maroons roll past Newton for title, 68-46
| To win in the postseason, sometimes teams need complete team efforts, while sometimes they need a strong individual performance to carry them to victory.|
Robinson High School's boys' basketball team got both Friday night.
The Maroons played a strong all-around game and also got an outstanding effort from senior guard Aaron Siler to propel them to a 68-46 win over Newton in the championship game of the IHSA Class 2A Newton Regional.
"I am proud of their effort," RHS head coach Mack Thompson said. "We weathered their storm early, the defense played well and we got a lot of help from No. 12."
The game between two longtime rivals that split two previous meetings had the looks tight battle early, but Siler had different ideas. The senior sharpshooter scored 18 of his game-high 30 points in the first period to give the Maroons a 10-point lead and they were never seriously threatened the rest of the game.
Newton struck first on Dylan Johnson's three-pointer 27 seconds into the game, but Siler answered 13 seconds later to even the score. Newton would then sandwich baskets around a Siler free throw to take their largest lead of the game, 8-4, with 5:55 to play.
Robinson responded with an 11-0 run to jump in front and they would not trail again. A layup by Derrick Nicholas started the run, then a jumper by Siler from the left wing tied the game at 8-8 with 4:40 left. Nicholas scored again to put the Maroons ahead at the 4:12 mark, Siler followed with a three-pointer with 3:48 to go and Nicholas scored inside to finish the run, making the score 15-8 with 2:55 remaining.
Newton would get to within five a couple of times and trailed by six, 20-14, with 1:03 left, but Siler buried consecutive three-pointers to extend the RHS advantage to 26-14, before Blake Ebeling scored in the final seconds to make the score 26-16 at the end of the first period.
Ebeling scored again for Newton a minute in to the second period to close the gap to eight, but Siler answered with five straight points to push the lead to 31-18 with 4:50 to play. After Newton went more than three minutes without scoring, the Eagles responded with a 5-1 burst to get within 32-23 with 2:29 left, but Robinson scored the final eight points of the period to make the score 40-23 at halftime.
Robinson started the third quarter a bit slow, as the missed their first four shots and turned the ball over a couple of times, but Newton was unable to take advantage. Newton got to within 42-28 with 6:00 to go, but Brayden Scott knocked down a three-pointer for the Maroons to start a 6-0 run that extended the lead to 48-28 with 4:48 left. Dylan Davidson scored consecutive hoops for Newton, but Robinson scored the final six points of the period, the last two on a breakaway dunk by Michael Akande, to take a 54-32 lead into the final period.
Newton started the fourth quarter with a 7-2 spurt to close the gap to 17, but Robinson countered with an 8-0 run to give the Maroons their biggest lead of the game, 64-39, with 2:13 to play. Shortly after, both teams started inserting reserves in the game and the Maroons settled for a 22-point victory and their second straight regional championship.
"We knew they would hit shots early, we just had take their energy and absorb it, then settle in defensively," Thompson said. "The second and third quarters were good for us defensively."
Defense has been the catalyst for the Maroons in recent weeks, as they have stepped it up on that end of the floor down the stretch.
Robinson held Newton to 17-59 shooting overall (29 percent), including 14-37 from two-point range (38 percent) and 3-22 from three-point range (14 percent). The Maroons also outrebounded Newton 47-36 and forced the Eagles into 17 turnovers.
"Their preparation is the key," Thompson said. "I have been happy with the way we played the last two weeks, especially defensively, but I didn't know if we could dial it in like that. I can't say enough about their effort."
Meanwhile, Robinson was less than stellar shooting the ball, but it was plenty good enough. The Maroons made 25-56 shots from the floor (45 percent), which included an 18-40 effort from inside the arc (45 percent) and 7-16 from long distance (44 percent).
Neither team shot well from the free throw line, but Robinson still held an advantage there as well. The Maroons made just 11-22 foul shots (50 percent), while Newton made 9-16 at the charity stripe (56 percent).
"I don't know why we aren't making them," Thompson said. "We've tried everything. I think I am going to have to bring in a psychologist or something. It's one of those things you have to talk about too much, but we are going need them down the road. We are not going to be a championship club without them."
Siler not only had 18 first-quarter points, but he finished the first half with 27, including six three-pointers. He did not make a field goal after halftime, but made three free throws in the second half to get to 30 for the game. He also had six rebounds, six assists and one steal for the Maroons.
"When Aaron is in that mode like he was in the first half, as a coach, you just step back and say let's go," Thompson said. "You just put the ball in his hands and let him make plays. He hit a lot of shots."
Nicholas also had a big game with 18 points, five rebounds, one assist, one steal and one blocked shot, while Scott posted a double-double with 11 points, 17 rebounds, two assists and one steal.
"Brayden was phenomenal," Thompson said. "Newton tried to make him mad in the first half, but he was very focused and just played. Every time they shot he grabbed the rebound. He was a monster on the boards. I am very happy for him."
Austin Weck netted three points, one rebound and one assist off the bench, Akande totaled two points, 10 rebounds, four steals, two blocked shots and one assist, Cole Chipman added two points and one rebound and Wes Harrison had two points and one assist.
"The bench came in, gave us some good minutes and did what they had to do," Thompson said. "Weck was very active and did some good things and Chipman gave us some nice minutes. They (the bench) are unselfish, take their roles and do them well. That is what makes us successful."
Dylan Davidson led Newton with 18 points, despite 6-26 shooting from the field, along with three assists, two rebounds and one steal, while Luke Stone posted 11 points, 12 rebounds and one steal.
The regional championship is the second straight for the Maroons and the second in two years for Thompson as head coach at RHS. Thompson said this one is a little sweeter because they beat a rival on their home court for the title.
"Beating Newton at Newton is tough to do," Thompson said. "We wanted to make sure we got them again and prove that our last 20-point win (61-41 at RHS Feb. 1) wasn't a fluke."
Robinson (25-4) advances to the Greenville Sectional, where they will play Breese Central - who beat Carlyle 54-39 to win the Breese Central Regional - Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.
"We beat them at Thanksgiving (59-50 at the Effingham St. Anthony Tournament), but neither team was 100 percent," Thompson said. "They are the defending state champs and Coach Eagleson does a great job with his team. We are pretty excited about our opportunity and if we come out and play our game, I like our chances."
2013 IHSA Class 2A Boys
Newton 16 7 9 14 - 46
Robinson 26 14 14 14 - 68
Dylan Johnson 1-3 1-5 0-1 5, Dylan Davidson 4-14 2-12 4-5 18, Derek Schackman 0-2 0-0 0-0 0, Weston Shipman 0-0 0-0 2-2 2, Caleb Chestnut 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, Gunner Pickens 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, Luke Stone 5-12 0-4 1-4 11, Brandon Bigard 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, Corey Davidson 0-0 0-1 0-0 0, Blake Ebeling 2-2 0-0 0-0 4, Elijah Knepper 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, Nathaniel Colwell 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, Lucas Huston 0-0 0-0 1-2 1, Keith Butler 1-1 0-0 1-2 3, Travis Lidy 1-3 0-0 0-0 2, TOTALS 14-37 2FG, 3-22 3FG, 9-16 FT, 46 TP.
Noah Tennison 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, Connor Griffin 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, Cody Blount 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, Aaron Siler 4-11 6-12 4-7 30, Wes Harrison 0-0 0-0 2-2 2, Cory Blount 0-0 0-1 0-0 0, Parker Bopp 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, Cole Chipman 1-2 0-0 0-0 2, Austin Weck 1-1 0-0 1-2 3, Landen Hoagland 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, Jason Richart 0-1 0-1 0-1 0, Brayden Scott 3-6 1-2 2-3 11, Derrick Nicholas 8-11 0-0 2-7 18, Michael Akande 1-8 0-0 0-0 2, TOTALS 18-40 2FG, 7-16 3FG, 11-22 FT, 68 TP.
Turnovers - NCHS 17, RHS 18. Team fouls - NCHS 20, RHS 19. Fouled out - C. Davidson. Technical foul - none. Rebounds - (NCHS 36) Stone 12, Butler 9, C. Davidson 4, Ebeling 4. (RHS 47) Scott 17, Akande 10, Siler 6, Nicholas 5, Richart 4, Cory Blount 3, Chipman, Weck. Steals - (NCHS 4) Johnson, D. Davidson, Shipman, Stone. (RHS 8) Akande 4, Nicholas, Scott, Cory Blount, Siler. Assists - (NCHS 5) D. Davidson 3, Butler 2. (RHS 13) Siler 6, Scott 2, Harrison, Weck, Richart, Nicholas, Akande. Blocked shots - (NCHS 7) Butler 5, Lidy, Ebeling. (RHS 4) Akande 2, Nicholas, Cory Blount.
Next game - Robinson (25-4) will play Breese Central in the Greenville Sectional Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.
Country Insurance Three-Point Showdown Advancers - Trevor Brumleve (Cumberland), Jason Richart (Robinson), Cory Blount (Robinson), Corey Davidson (Newton)
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