WALKERTON — Any game after a big emotional win always carries the risk of a letdown.
John Glenn’s thrilling down-to-the-wire Bi-County championship win over LaVille last Saturday certainly qualified as a big, emotional win, but the Falcons quickly dispelled any fears of a letdown in their Northern State Conference match-up with Knox Friday.
Glenn opened the game with seven unanswered points, and the Falcons caught fire from the perimeter in the second half, stretching a nine-point halftime advantage into a 20-point cushion early in the fourth on their way to an eventual 70-41 rout of the Redskins at home at The Aerie.
“Our biggest concern going into any game — as I’ve said before — is us,” said Glenn head coach Travis Hannah. “Coming off a win like that you worry with young guys that they’re still getting the pats on the back and maybe they’re living from last Saturday, but I thought they responded pretty well.”
The Falcons used their signature drive-and-kick tactics to good effect, knocking down 9 of 16 3-pointers, including 6 of 8 in the second half to put the visitors away for their first NSC victory.
“Give John Glenn credit, they stepped up and knocked down shots,” said Knox head coach Chris McGowen. “I’m looking, and they were (9-of-16) from the 3-point line for the game. That’s tough to deal with — 27 points right there. We’ve got to do a better job of closing out on shooters. Right now we’re kind of getting caught in the middle because we know we’re not the fleetest of foot, so we’re closing out a little bit too slow because we don’t want them to drive around us, and you saw in the second half we close out hard and they start to penetrate and get some easy layups.”
Glenn didn’t give Knox any help keeping track of its shooters, either, as four different Falcons knocked down triples in the contest.
Reserves Tyler Prentkowski and Calvin Kretchmer each buried a trio of trifectas on their way to team-leading totals of 19 and 14 points. Freshman forward Alec Runyan did a yeoman’s job in the paint with 10 points and six rebounds, Austen Hayes flirted with double figures with nine points, Jacob Strong put up seven points with a team co-leading six boards, and Drew McDonald finished with six points and seven assists helping to fuel Glenn’s balanced offense.
“The nice thing is, we’re looking at the stats up there, and we’ve got two guys that come off our bench in Prentkowski and Kretchmer that lead us in scoring tonight,” Hannah said. “People that understand our system, I feel like we are a very good basketball team when we can put seven or eight guys out there that can go off for double figures on any given night, and we’re getting closer to that point. It’s exciting to be able to do that because we are so young.”
The Falcons got it done on the other end of the floor as well, holding the Redskins to 13-of-38 field shooting and using full-court pressure to fluster the visitors — who were without the help of usual point guard Curt Scherer — into 24 turnovers, parlaying several of those miscues into easy transition buckets in the process. The Falcons also pushed the pace off the outlet, enjoying a nine-rebound advantage in the contest as they won nearly every statistical category for their most lopsided margin of victory so far this year.
“I thought we did a good job with our pressure full-court defense, making them handle the ball and make decisions. It translated into some easy points for us,” said Hannah.
“Defensively we did some good things… and I think this is the fourth or fifth game in a row where we’ve led our opponents in rebounding, and that’s been a big emphasis for us because we’re not a physically real strong basketball team yet. So to be able to clean the boards like we’re doing and get down the floor, that’s a start.”
“It wasn’t one guy that beat us tonight; it was a total team effort by John Glenn. Their kids stepped up and knocked down shots when they needed to, and that’s the game of basketball, that’s going to happen,” said McGowen. “But again, we’ve got to do a better job of contesting shots and taking care of the basketball, and we’ll be alright.”
While the Falcons were paced by Prentkowski, Kretchmer and Runyan, Knox was led by Brian Fulghum’s 11. Dylan Short finished with eight, and Austin Hansen scored six points for Knox, which dips to 2-11 overall with a 0-5 NSC mark. The Redskins return home to face Washington Township tonight at 7 p.m. CT.
(Short) averages about 11 a game so he’s right where he needs to be,” said McGowen. “Fulghum… he stepped up and played the way he did, I’m proud of the heart that he showed tonight.”
Glenn, meanwhile, improves to 5-8 with a 1-3 NSC record. The Falcons enter tonight’s home contest with North Judson on a four-game win streak, and they’ve won five of their last seven after opening the season at 0-6.
“You keep preaching to them when they’re struggling at the beginning of the year that this will prepare them for things, and I’ve got to give them all the credit, they came in every day and even when we were 0-6 you wouldn’t know that we were an 0-6 basketball team when you walked into our practice,” Hannah said. “It’s good to see that they’re being rewarded for that right now and they’re seeing results because it builds on their confidence and it builds on what we’re trying to do. Hopefully this springboards us into, obviously tomorrow night at North Judson and into February when we get into another tough stretch of our schedule.”
• JOHN GLENN 70,
Score by quarters
Knox: 8 20 33 41
Glenn: 9 29 49 70
KNOX (41): Brian Fulghum 11, Dylan Short 8, Austin Hansen 6, Cody Fletcher 5, Jere Crittendon 4, Colton Hill 3, Davey Johnston 2, Caleb Heinemen 2, Kameron Keehn 0, Dakota Manns 0, Colton Fox 0; Totals: 13 8-16 41.
GLENN (70): Tyler Prentkowski 19, Calvin Kretchmer 14, Alec Runyan 10, Austen Hayes 9, Jacob Strong 7, Drew McDonald 6, Nathan Stegmiller 3, Levi Schleg 2, Isaac Keldsen 0; Totals: 28 5-10 70.
3-pointers: Knox 7 (Fulghum 3, Short 2, Hill, Fletcher), Glenn 9 (Kretchmer 3, Prentkowski 3, Hayes 1, Stegmiller 1, McDonald 1); Turnovers: Knox 24, Glenn 14; Rebounds: Knox 13 (Short 3), Glenn 24 (Runyan 6, Strong 6); Steals: Knox 7 (Heineman 2, Hansen 2), Glenn 15 (Prentkowski 4); Assists: Knox 10 (Fulghum 3), Glenn 16 (McDonald 7); Fouls (fouled out): Knox 12 (none), Glenn 19 (none).
Records: Knox 2-11 (0-5 NSC), Glenn 5-8 (1-3 NSC).
JV score: Knox 27 (Jordan Anderson 9), Glenn 25 (Daniel Wallace 5, Levi Schleg 5).