ARGOS — John Glenn’s Jordan Hesters found his long-range groove Friday.
With the Falcons struggling from the perimeter against Argos’ 2-3 zone, the 5-foot-11 senior guard stepped up and rained down a trio of second-half treys during a 5-minute span as the Falcons pulled away for a 60-42 boys basketball win at Phil Weybright Gymnasium.
For the game, Hesters scored a team-high 15 points, nailing 4 of 6 from 3-point territory, the last of which put the Falcons up 48-32 with 5:03 left in the game. He turned his only 2-point attempt into a conventional 3-point play with a third-quarter steal, basket and foul.
“We’ve had some confidence issues; we have not shot the ball well since Christmas,” Glenn head coach Travis Hannah said. “We missed a couple of 3-pointers in the third quarter, and you could see our guys get hesitant to shoot. At a timeout I told them that I’ve got confidence in them, and fortunately Jordan hit a couple of shots in the fourth quarter.”
Even with Hesters’ strong second half the Falcons still only hit 6 of 20 from behind the arc, including 3-for-12 during the first half.
“We did a good job defensively until the third quarter,” Argos head coach Doug Snyder said. “Then we gave the Hesters kid way too many easy 3s.”
Defensively, Glenn piled up 34 points off of 26 Argos turnovers with a variety of full-court and half-court pressure defenses.
“I thought (Argos) did a good job moving the ball,” Hannah said. “They got the ball to the baseline and exposed our defense a few times.
“But we did put a lot of pressure on them,” he added. “When you’re playing juniors and seniors, and they’ve got three freshmen — the majority of the time two freshmen — on the floor you’d like to think you can turn them over a few times. Even though Argos is 0-17, they’ve come a long way this season.”
The more experienced Falcons indeed created problems for the younger Dragons, who used rookie guards Taylor Ogle, Dominic Cataldo and Brian Snyder for significant minutes, right from the opening tip. Glenn converted 14 first-half miscues into 20 points and a 28-19 edge at the intermission.
“It’s getting old,” the Argos skipper said of his team’s turnover tendencies. “We’ve seen every kind of pressing and trapping defense. We are young, but these freshmen have been playing long enough that it’s time to grow up, even though they are playing against stronger kids, older kids.
“It’s not just the kids handling the ball, it’s other kids recognizing where they have to be on the floor,” he added. “It’s jump stops, pivoting, good passes; those are all things we work on in practice and then struggle with in a game.”
Also for Glenn, 6-3 senior forward Carsen Heim cracked double figures with 11 points.
Glenn junior guard Josh Anderson pitched in seven points — headlined by a rebound bucket with 3:41 left in the first quarter to put the Falcons up for good — grabbed five caroms and dished out four assists. Brock Solmos also nabbed five boards and handed out four assists, and Aaron Stegemiller pulled down five rebounds as well for Glenn which scrapped its way to victory.
“If we’re going to win, we’ve got to be winning ugly,” Hannah said. “It’s not going to be a pretty win. We’re in the third week of February, and that’s just who we are. I look ahead at our last three games and the sectional, and those are games we’ll have to win ugly. We have to make plays when we have the chance to make plays and scratch and claw to win.”
Senior Matt Hollar tied for game-high scoring honors for the Dragons with 15 points and a couple of assists. His first of three treys cut Argos’ deficit to three points, 19-16 with 4:22 left in the first half, the closest the Dragons pulled the rest of the way.
Dylan Colburn reeled in a game-best six rebounds for Argos, and Ogle added a pair of assists and two steals.
“We battled and competed; it’s not a lack of effort,” Doug Snyder said. “Each kid executed in spurts, and then each kid had some things he could have done better. Right now I need some consistency out of individuals and consistency out of a group of guys as a unit.”
Both teams are at home tonight. Glenn hosts New Prairie, while Argos entertains Elkhart Christian.
• JOHN GLENN 60,
Score by quarters
Glenn: 13 28 40 60
Argos: 8 19 27 42
GLENN (60): Jordan Hesters 5 1-1 15, Trey Rhodes 2 0-0 6, Brock Solmos 2 0-0 4, Josh Anderson 2 3-5 7, Carsen Heim 5 1-4 11, Aaron Stegemiller 3 0-2 6, Tom Knape 0 2-2 2, Jon Stewart 1 2-2 4, Charlie Dreessen 0 1-2 1, Nathan Stegemiller 0 4-6 4. TOTALS: 20 14-24 60.
ARGOS (42): Taylor Ogle 1 2-4 5, Dominic Cataldo 2 0-1 5, Zach Hartman 0 0-1 0, Brian Snyder 2 0-0 4, Duane Spencer 0 0-0 0, Matt Hollar 4 4-4 15, Dylan Colburn 1 0-0 2, Joep Schlosser 2 0-0 4, Sam Edmonds 3 0-0 6, Casey Johnson 0 0-0 0, Zackery Smith 0 1-2 1. TOTALS: 15 7-12 42.
3-point goals: Glenn 6 (Hesters 4), Argos 5 (Hollar 3, Ogle, Cataldo); Turnovers: Glenn 15, Argos 26; Rebounds: Glenn 26 (Solmos, Anderson, Stegemiller 5), Argos 25 (Colburn 6); Assists: Glenn 12 (Solmos, Anderson 4), Argos 8 (Ogle, Spencer, Hollar 2); Steals: Glenn 10 (Hesters, Solmos, Anderson 2), Argos 6 (Ogle, Schlosser 2); Fouls (fouled out): Glenn 15 (none), Argos 19 (Spencer); Records: Glenn 9-8, Argos 0-17.