WALKERTON — Size mattered for John Glenn Friday. And strength. And depth. And quickness. And offensive balance.
The Falcons utilized all five of those qualities to work the ball inside, and finish, in a 67-46 Northern State Conference boys basketball win over visiting Knox at The Aerie.
With Knox standout Josh Risner sidelined for the evening by what Redskins head coach Todd Boldry termed “a violation of team rules,” the Falcons opened the second half with a game-changing 17-1 run to convert a five-point halftime edge into a 44-23 lead with 2:53 left in the third frame.
“Knox was at a disadvantage without Risner on the floor,” Glenn head coach Travis Hannah said. “At the same time it kind of throws off the team you’re playing. When the other team has a stud, you practice and put your game plan together to try to stop him. Then he doesn’t play and you’ve got different guys in different spots from where you practice, and it takes time to make the adjustments.
“We’ve struggled to put the ball in the hole since Christmas break,” he added. “We made a commitment tonight to get the ball inside. I think we can do a better job getting the ball inside to our guards, too, because I think our guards are strong enough to finish inside. We finally started finishing around the basket in the third quarter.”
Glenn senior forward Carsen Heim muscled up for seven of his team-high-tying 15 points during the 17-1 stretch, including a conventional 3-point play in transition to put the Falcons up 32-22 at the 6:53 mark of the third quarter and throw a monkey wrench into Knox’s game plan.
“We got in a hurry in the third quarter and made some bad decisions,” Boldry said. “In the second quarter we did a good job running some clock; we wanted to keep it halfway manageable and conserve energy.
“That was our game plan in the third quarter, too, but they made some plays,” he added. “When it’s a four-possession game it’s tough to run clock.”
Aaron Stegemiller, a 6-foot-3 senior forward, chipped in 13 of his 15 points off the bench in the second half and also ripped down a game-best nine rebounds for the Falcons, and junior forward Tom Knape tacked on 11 points.
“Tom Knape is playing well, so we gave him the start; he scored six or seven points to get us going early,” Hannah said. “Carsen, in the second half, took off in the post.”
Senior guard Jordan Hesters just missed double figures with nine points but hit 2 of 3 from behind the arc for a Glenn club trying to find its accuracy from downtown. Junior guard Josh Anderson added eight points, eight rebounds and four assists for Glenn.
“Jordan Hesters played with more confidence tonight and hit some shots that we need him to hit,” Hannah said. “Tonight we had pretty good balance. Our guards did a good job getting the ball and distributing the ball.”
Elliott Coad, a junior guard, drilled a game-best 23 points for the Redskins, highlighted by a triple from the right wing to trim Glenn’s lead to three, 22-19, with 2:13 left in the first half.
Senior point guard Patrick Ambrose chipped in 13 points, four rebounds and two assists for Knox, which played its starting quintet almost the entire first half against the free-subbing Falcons.
“(Glenn) did a nice job inside and getting the ball inside,” Boldry said. “We just didn’t have any depth in the post to match their size and strength. We were looking for support from our guards, but their guards are pretty quick and got the ball to the basket before we could swarm them.”
Both teams return to action tonight. Glenn hosts North Judson, and Knox returns home against Washington Township.
• JOHN GLENN 67, KNOX 46
Score by quarters
Knox: 12 22 32 46
Glenn: 20 27 51 67
KNOX (46): Quinn Biddle 0 2-4 2, Connor Carlson 0 0-0 0, Dylan Short 0 3-4 3, Patrick Ambrose 4 4-6 13, Steve Graman 1 1-2 4, Elliott Coad 7 7-8 23, Caleb Heineman 0 0-0 0, Austin Hansen 0 1-2 1, Thomas Clem 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 12 18-26 46.
GLENN (67): Jordan Hesters 3 1-1 9, Trey Rhodes 0 0-0 0, Brock Solmos 0 1-2 1, Josh Anderson 2 4-4 8, Carsen Heim 7 1-1 15, Aaron Stegemiller 6 2-4 15, Tom Knape 4 3-5 11, Jon Stewart 2 0-0 4, Pat Wolff 0 0-0 0, Charlie Dreessen 1 2-2 4. TOTALS: 25 14-19 67.
3-point goals: Knox 4 (Coad 2, Ambrose, Graman), Glenn 3 (Hesters 2, Stegemiller); Turnovers: Knox 12, Glenn 12; Rebounds: Knox 16 (Short, Ambrose 4), Glenn 34 (Stegemiller 9); Assists: Knox 4 (Ambrose 2), Glenn 14 (Anderson); Steals: Knox 3, Glenn 2; Fouls (fouled out): Knox 16 (none), Glenn 19 (none); Records: Knox 5-8 (2-3 NSC), Glenn 7-5 (3-1 NSC).
JV score: Glenn 46 (Adam Stull 16, Tyler Prentkowski 13), Knox 32 (Caleb Heineman, Curtis Scherer 9).