Gallery by Ashley Honaker (More Photo to be added)
Lindside – Having just a day off after back to back overtime games earlier in the week, James Monroe’s 30 percent clip from the field Friday reflected a fatigued team.
But the Mavericks’ desire and hustle was instead the reason for their success as they dropped sectional foe Greater Beckley 45-31 in Lindside.
The Mavericks never really found an a groove on offense, shooting just 30 percent from the field, but generated extra possessions to mitigate their shooting woes, forcing 20 turnovers (13 on steals) and grabbing 19 offensive rebounds.
In total the hosts out-rebounded Greater Beckley 44-22 on the evening.
“That was one of our goals that we wrote on the board,” James Monroe head coach Matt Sauvage said. “I thought we could be more physical than them. And I thought we could out-rebound them and so that was one of our goals. I didn’t know we were gonna miss that many two and three-foot jumpers. But it’s part of the game, like you’re gonna have nights like that, and hats off to Justin (Arvon) he’s got them playing nice. it was a fun game. I thought our defense was really nice. I thought we played really good on the defensive end. Just offensively we were getting a lot of shots we wanted but we were forcing a lot and getting a few turnovers on our forces. But overall, you know, I can’t close too bad about it.”
The rebound discrepancy wasn’t a factor early but the turnovers were. Of the 20 giveaways the Crusaders yielded, eight came in the opening quarter where the hosts built a 17-6 lead after the first buzzer.
Brady Baker got things rolling with a pair of layups that sandwiched two Cooper Ridgeway free throws to make it a 6-0 game.
Keegan Davidson and Aaron Hall went back to back for the guests to make it 6-4 but the barrage from downtown started with Ryan Cole nailing the first of three first-quarter 3-pointers, the only three of the game for the Mavs.
Cole followed with his second trey to make it 12-4 before Isaiah Kincaid snapped the skid. But another layup from Baker and Cole’s third 3 established the 11-point cushion after a quarter.
The turnovers weren’t as much as a problem in this second quarter. But the rebounds were.
The Mavs won the boards 12-5 in the quarter, doubling Greater Beckley on shot attempts (18-9) but failed to capitalize, connecting on just 17 percent of their field goal attempts (3 of 18). The Crusaders meanwhile did more with less, connecting on 5 of 9 attempts to draw within five at halftime.
Out of the break it appeared they had steadied the ship, getting a 3 from Davidson and a layup from Kincaid to tie the game at 23.
That quickly proved untrue with Greater Beckley hitting just three field goals over the remaining 15 minutes.
“Well, it snowballs when we’re not executing,” Greater Beckley head coach Justin Arvon said. “So what I mean by that is we’re not cutting off the ball. We’re standing off the ball if we’re supposed to be running a set, we’re not running it accurately correctly. We’re not face cutting across the lane. And if we need a high ball screen from one of our players, and we want a certain guy handling the ball and a certain guys setting the screen we’re not getting that right now. Once we get good action and we get into the lane we’re seemingly not willing to pass the ball out to an open man right now. We had shooters standing wide open all day, or all night and rarely hit them and when we did, we just didn’t knock down shots. And we’ve got to be willing to pass the ball but we do have to knock down open shots and we just can’t do that right now. But we’ll get better.”
The Mavericks led 36-27 after the third quarter which was more than enough to win the game with Greater Beckley scoring just four points in the final frame courtesy of Kincaid and Landon Rose.
It was a stellar defensive for the hosts who played their third game in four days.
“It was nice to see,” Savage said. “You know, sometimes you get to see how much dog they have in them so to speak. That’s what the coaches and I were talking about there at the beginning of the third, we wondered if the overtimes caught up? And they kind of turned it around there. They fought hard and it wasn’t always pretty at times, but then again it doesn’t have to be pretty as long as you come out on top.”
Cole led the Mavericks with 14 points while Baker finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds.
Kincaid and Davidson scored eight points each for the Crusaders in the loss.
GB: 6 12 8 4 – 31
JM: 17 6 13 9 – 45
Keegan Davidson 8, Aaron Hall 3, Kellan Heffernan 3, Averyk Woodson 5, Isaiah Kincaid 8, Hunter Laxton 2, Landon Rose 2
Wil Boggess 5, Layton Dowdy 4, Cooper Ridgeway 7, Ryan Mann 2, Ryan Cole 14, Brady Baker 13