By: Seth Kinker, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Manchester Flying Dutchmen Boys Basketball team couldn’t overcome a common theme of their season last night, falling to the Addison Panthers by a final score of 73-70.
That common theme would be slow starts.
During their five-game skid, some of the losses looked worse than they really were. The Dutchmen played two strong games against Conference leaders Napoleon and Michigan Center, but couldn’t put together four consistent quarters.
The Dutchmen fell to Napoleon by 8 points and against Michigan Center, the contest was much closer than the final score advertised.
On Thursday night, the Panthers were shooting red hot from the field throughout the game and Manchester head coach attributed that to poor perimeter defense.
“It started with the guards being beaten off the dribble,” said Cousino. “It started with the guards not rotating to help each other and that kind of hung our bigs out to dry most of the night on defense.”
“Gotta give them credit they shot great from the field,” added Cousino. “Especially first half they hit everything, but they were wide open too. So, I told them at halftime, you’ve gotta get a hand up, but you’ve got to be there too.”
Against the Panthers the Dutchmen, once again, couldn’t put together four full quarters on consistent play.
Entering the fourth quarter the Dutchmen trailed 55-38, and then the Dutchmen showed energy and signs of life that have been there in spurts this season.
During the fourth quarter, the full-court pressure defense was causing problems, players were rotating on defense, and the ball was moved inside where they had a height advantage. All aspects that had been missing the first three quarters of the game.
The Dutchmen mounted a furious comeback effort that came up just short, outscoring the Panthers 32-18 in the final frame. With both teams in the double bonus, the Dutchmen began fouling with a little under three minutes left in the game to extend the contest.
Senior guard John Zigilia and sophomore guard Ty Horky combined for five three-pointers and junior center Devin Kelly was scoring at will before fouling out with 29.2 seconds left.
Panther junior Gavin McAndrews was fouled with 2.9 seconds left, hitting one of two free throws making the score 73-70. The Dutchmen had a chance to tie at the buzzer but the shot from near mid-court fell short.
Leaders for the Dutchmen included Kelly with 23 points and 12 rebounds, Horky with 14 points, three assists, and three rebounds, and Zigila who had 13 points and four assists.
Although the record may not indicate so, the Dutchmen have shown they can play with the top teams in the league.
“That’s what I told the guys,” said Cousino after the loss. “Napoleon and Michigan Center are up at the front of the league and even Michigan Center, the score looked like crap afterward but we played them tough and were four and six points down before we let it slip away. Napoleon, we feel like we let one slip away. If we’re going 100 percent we can play with anybody. But when we’re only going 85 percent, 75 percent like we did in the first three quarters, you’re not gonna get a win in this league playing that way.”
The Dutchmen are back in action next week against Hanover-Horton (1/23).
For more photos head to https://thesuntimesnews.com/photo-gallery-manchester-basketball-vs-addison-1-19-18/