Sandwich Hoops Shine In War On 34 With Plano
Indians ‘D’ Punctuates Fourth Straight Win, Keep Reapers Winless
By Bill Lidinsky
Only two other times in Sandwich High School varsity basketball history have the Indians been so stingy as far as total points allowed in a hoop contest.
Friday nights 61-25 defensive masterpiece by Sandwich (7-3, 3-0) over arch rival Plano (0-9, 0-3) elevated the Indians into some rarefied air within their school record books.
The stellar defensive gem also garnered Sandwich a fourth straight win in 2006 as well as keeping the Reapers winless as Plano searches for some basketball stability after a state championship in football.
There have been only two other times in Sandwich school varsity hoop history that the Indians have allowed less than 25 points in a game.
In the 1998-99 season along with the 1958-59 campaign, Sandwich gave up only 24 points during a ballgame.
Against Plano on Friday, the Indians came within a point of equaling defensive perfection, at least as far as the Sandwich record books are concerned.
“Twenty-five points allowed in a game is the second best point total to hold an opponent to in the history of our school,” said Sandwich head basketball coach Chris Johnson. “It just doesn’t happen very often. It shows that this team playing as well as it is now, is performing tremendously especially on defense.”
Sandwich held Plano to no points in the first quarter of play as they jumped out to a 15-0 lead after the first eight minutes.
The Indians allowed the Reapers minimal shot attempts during a period that saw Plano frustrated at not being able to get many shots off inside the paint.
“It’s not like we didn’t have any opportunities, but they did a good job keeping us off the boards inside early,” said Plano head basketball coach Eric Bryant. “Give them credit because they executed a very good perimeter defense. It’s a switching man to man that may look like a zone and that is a very tough defense to play against. They played it extremely well tonight and we couldn’t get anything going.”
The Reapers however battled back scoring the first eight-of-10 points in the second quarter to pull within nine at 17-8.
But the Indians reeled off the next 11-of-12 points over the final four minutes of play in the half to take a 28-9 lead into the locker room.
Sandwich bolted out of the gate in the third quarter netting the first nine points to extend their advantage to 37-9 at the 5:25 mark. Senior Robert Munson tallied four of those nine points as the Indians were rolling.
“It was a huge battle tonight even though we won big. The games against Plano are always very physical. Eric Nelson (of Plano) and I fought hard in the paint. It’s the heat of the game kind of thing,” Munson said. “Nelson and I are friends on the side, but when it comes to the floor we both have to do what we have to do.”
Munson ended up with eight points, while Nelson had five in a fierce battle between two great basketball warriors even though Sandwich carried the fourth quarter to win by 36.
Sandwich senior Lance Futrell led all scorers with ten, while senior Gil Buttels added nine as the Indians placed 11-of-12 rostered players in the scoring column.
“Our highest scorer was Lance with 10 and we scored 61 points. That is tremendous team basketball,” Johnson said. “Our rotations were great tonight. We realize Plano’s legs still might not be there two weeks after winning a football championship, but we really played great overall and we shut them down in the end to grab our fourth straight win in convincing fashion.”
Senior Obinna Agomo led Plano with six points along with Nelson’s total and senior Brook Bott’s four tallies.
The Reapers will look for their first win on the 2006 campaign as they host Somonauk Saturday night at home.
“We need to get a win and we think we can play with anybody. But we have to find a better rhythm with the football guys coming back to basketball,” Bryant said.
Meanwhile, Sandwich goes for their fifth straight victory Saturday night as they’ll host LaSalle-Peru. The Indians are on what seems to be ‘cruise control’ both offensively and most definitely defensively. Can they sustain the effort against one of the few IHSA Class two A schools they’ll play?
“It will be a tough one against LP. They have only two losses and are on a roll as now as well,” Johnson said. “We want to maintain our good fortune going into the Plano Christmas Tournament. Too get a win versus a quality double A school would be big. Over the past four games we’ve shown a lot of offensive and defensive progress. We set the bar high defensively tonight against Plano and hopefully it will pay off as we move ahead.”