September 2, 2014

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Paulding defense suffocates Antwerp

By STEVE MAJOR

Sportswriter

ANTWERP – Playing an aggressive, tough 2-3 zone defense, Paulding forced the Antwerp Archers back on their heels and kept them off balance the whole game leading to a 46-27 Panther victory last Saturday.

With the win, Paulding improved to 1-1, after a loss to Continental 47-38 the night before. The game was Antwerp’s season opener and thus the Archers stand at 0-1.

“We didn’t want to start the season 0-2,” said Paulding varsity coach Shawn Brewer. “The guys were focused and played hard defense. We set the tone for the game from the get go. We played a great defensive game.”

Both teams started slow on offense, but Paulding had build a 5-0 lead before Antwerp scored its first point of the season with 2:40 to play in the first quarter. Antwerp fought back to tie it at 12-12 late in the second quarter. However, Paulding rallied with two three point baskets to take a 20-14 lead into halftime.

The third quarter, however, is where Paulding took control by outscoring Antwerp 11-3 to take a 31-17 lead into the final quarter. From there, Antwerp could not get any closer.

“We tried hard, but we didn’t do several things that we wanted to,” said Scott McMichael, Antwerp’s head coach. “We are not going to play mistake free, but we didn’t think we would have so many turnovers. But, give credit for Shawn Brewer as Paulding did a lot of things well.”

Brewer had praise for both his guards and big men.

“Guard Duane Pease got us going on offense. He attacked the basket and got us going. Also, Logan Stoller did a great job off the bench on both offense and defense,” said the Paulding coach.

Stoller led the Panthers with 14 points while Pease added 13.

“Once our guards got going it opened it up for our big men. Grant Harder, Jesse Glass and Anthony Arellano all did a good job of fighting inside for position and attacking the basket,” added Brewer.

Antwerp was led by Logan Lucas with seven points and Drew Taylor added five. But, Antwerp will need a lot more offense from all its players to be successful this year.

“This game showed us as a team and as individuals where we need to get better,” said McMichael. “It’s a long season and we will come back. We will get right to work on it next week.”

Antwerp’s shooting stats show just how effective Paulding’s defense was. The Archers hit just nine of 37 shots from the field for a very poor 24 percent. On top of that, Antwerp committed 17 turnovers to just 11 for the Panthers.

Paulding was 14 of 40 for 35 percent on field goals, but that included connecting on five of eight from 3-point land. The teams were even with 26 rebounds apiece.

Antwerp’s shooting woes were evident from the free throw line as well with the Archers hitting just six on 14 charity tosses for 43 percent. Paulding connected on 11 of 19 from the line for 58 percent.

This game marked the 81st time that Paulding and Antwerp have done battle on the hardwoods. And the series could not be any tighter with Antwerp leading all-time 41 victories to 40 wins for Paulding.

Paulding also put a mark in the win column in the JV contest by besting the Archers 46-33.

“It was an excellent game for us. I wish we hard started that well last night,” said Paulding JV coach Randy Crawford, whose team went down to defeat to Continental the previous night.

“We are best when it is up tempo. We executed well and it was a good win against a good team,” continued Crawford. “It was also good for these sophomores who have never played before a large crowd like this.”

“We gave up 20 points in the first quarter, and after that we played them straight up,” said Antwerp JV coach Jason Hormann. “The kids made a good effort, but we have a lot of work to improve our defensive rebounding and stop penetration.”

Zach Gawronski led the way for the JV Panthers with 13 points; Neil Roehrig added 11 makers and Lance Foor tossed in 10 points for Paulding, as well.

Brendon Hormann scored 10 for the JV Archers and Andy Coleman contributed eight points.

Next up for Antwerp is a home game against Fort Jennings on Friday night followed by a trip to Fayette on Saturday.

“Fort Jennings has a couple of big men at 6’5 or 6’6, who are nice post players. But the rest of the team is young. They beat us last year. Fayette is very athletic so that will be a tough task for us on the road,” said McMichael.