By: Seth Kinker, firstname.lastname@example.org
After opening the season with a 23 point win followed by a ten point loss, the Manchester Flying Dutchmen boys basketball team (2-1) defeated the Sand Creek Aggies (0-2) on Dec. 4, 84-58 in non-conference action.
The same reasons the Dutchmen had a 23 point season-opening victory were on display once again. In addition to easy transition buckets and full-court defense, the half court man to man defense for the Dutchmen was effective against the Aggies.
They held the Aggies to seven points in the first quarter and took a 28 point lead into halftime to secure the game early.
Normally an 11 man squad, the Aggies were down to seven players with one player not dressed and three out due to sickness.
The Dutchmen started the game on a 7-1 run and led 24-7 after the first quarter. The Dutchmen show a full-court press after scoring and that led to many deflections and steals early for the defense, which led to the offense getting out and running for easy transition layups.
Dutchmen senior Tommy Tremblay had two steals and went the length of the court on both of them, drawing a foul once and finishing the layup on the other.
He also had an assist at the end of the quarter, finding Dutchmen senior forward Luther Westcott down low who dropped another perfect pass to Dutchmen senior guard River Spitler for the easy layup.
Spitler was the other top scorer for the Dutchmen, notching 15 points on 7-10 shooting from the floor.
— Seth Kinker (@SethKinker) December 5, 2018
Tremblay finished with seven points four steals, a block, and a charge, earning defensive player of the game.
Dutchmen junior guard Ty Horky had a bounce-back performance after struggling against Madison. He scored 31 points to lead all scorers including 11 points in the first quarter.
By halftime, the Dutchmen had built a 49-21 lead to take control of the game. The Dutchmen press continued to force turnovers and caused the Aggies to take multiple timeouts in the first half when they couldn’t break the press.
The scoring was evenly distributed for the Dutchmen as five players got on the stat sheet. Horky and Dutchmen junior forward Braeden Caszatt had eight each in the quarter.
Caszatt had a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds on the night as the leading rebounder and second-leading scorer.
The Dutchmen defense held the Aggies to 4-15 shooting in the first half.
In the third quarter, the Aggies outscored the Dutchmen 19-16 but it was too little too late. Aggies junior guard Noah Benge led the Aggies with 29 points, including 14 in the third quarter alone.
The Aggies started the quarter on a 10-1 run before Manchester head coach Mike Ahrens took a timeout leading 51-31.
“We gotta fight back,” said Ahrens when asked about what he told the team in the huddle at the timeout. “They had the momentum. We were in control, now we had to bounce back. No major changes, just focus on mental toughness.”
With 4:19 in the quarter, senior forward Devon Kelly went to the ground after going for an offensive rebound. He stayed down for a few minutes before being helped to his feet and limping to the sideline, he did not return.
After the game, Ahrens said he would have to talk to the trainer about the injury. Kelly told The Sun Times it was a re-aggravation of a right ankle injury suffered a few summers ago.
Although still sporting a limp after the game, Kelly said it wasn’t as bad as the initial injury.
In the fourth quarter, the Dutchmen wrapped up the win outscoring the Aggies 19-18.
Dutchmen junior forward Ian Penberthy and Dutchmen junior guard Joe Rogowski saw their first extended time of the season and made the most of it.
Penberthy had a layup and Rogowski hit a three and a layup to notch their first varsity points.
Next, Manchester opens conference play against Vandercook Lake on Dec. 7.