Turnovers, defensive lapses send Wildcats to 58-52 loss to DePue at Williamsfield Monday
It wasn’t the opening night performance that the Galva boys basketball team and head coach Chance Jones had in mind.
Fueled by a 10-0 run to end the third quarter and start the fourth, DePue rallied to defeat Galva 58-52 in Monday’s opener at the ROWVA-Williamsfield Tournament.
The Wildcats were their own worst enemy as turnovers and defensive breakdowns helped the Little Giants climb out of a five-point hole, 27-22, midway through the third quarter.
“I had upperclassmen that shocked me that they came out so nervous, and that falls on me,” Jones said. “I’m really hard on them about things, but obviously I didn’t have them ready for that. Bottom line, it’s my fault.”
Neither team mustered much offense in the opening half. DePue went on an 8-0 surge in the first quarter to build a 10-5 bulge, but a Cooper Hoxworth hoop and Mason Kaiser trey to close the frame pulled the Wildcats even at 10-all.
Two points was the biggest lead either team enjoyed in the second quarter and Parker Taylor’s bucket just before half gave the Wildcats a 19-18 edge at the break.
Ethan Peterson fueled the Galva offense with a pair of 3-pointers in the third quarter — the latter giving the Wildcats a 30-26 lead — but the rest of the night belonged to the Little Giants.
DePue rattled off 10 straight points to take a 36-30 lead and force Jones to burn a timeout with 7:14 remaining.
“Defensively we missed some assignments,” Jones said of DePue’s run. “We gave them layups all game. That is something that these boys know that we don’t stand for. We were not switching and we didn’t talk defensively.
The Wildcats trimmed the deficit to four points on four different occasions, but would get not closer as DePue took a big step toward defending its R-W tourney title.
His team’s opening-night jitters and miscues caught Jones off guard.
“I did not see it coming,” Jones said. “I had players out there that were in a big hurry to get rid of the basketball, and I have to find some guys now that want the basketball in their hands. I have good players that tonight (Monday) didn’t get it done.”
The Galva coach has some depth to work with this season, but Monday night didn’t yield much of an opportunity to tap into that bench strength.
“Our rotations are really tough right now because we have a lot of guys in the same positions and a lot of guys that can do good things,” Jones said. “I felt like it was just an uphill battle so we didn’t go as deep.”
Hoxworth led the Wildcats with 20 points and Kaiser finished with 18.
Jones lauded the play of Taylor off the bench, but that was about the extent of the silver linings in the season-opening loss.
“They got every loose ball. They tipped it out of our hands. They just outhustled us, bottom line. They just outhustled us to every ball and we just look scared tonight,” Jones said. “And I’m surprised after playing in a regional title game with a big crowd, and we’ve been here before. We came out scared. I didn’t see it coming and that’s my fault.”
The Wildcats returned to action Tuesday (Nov. 21) at the R-W tourney against Henry. Due to an early press time this week, results from the game were unavailable.
Tourney hosts win opener
Paced by 23 points from Austin Batterson, ROWVA-Williamsfield rallied from a first-quarter deficit to defeat United 60-43 in Monday night’s finale at Williamsfield.
The Red Storm led 17-12 at the quarter, but R-W answered with a 20-9 surge in the second frame to lead 32-26 at the half. The Cougars put the game away another 20-9 run in the final frame.
Batterson’s 23-point night featured four 3-pointers — one in each quarter.
Isaac Cordle added 14 points for the Cougars.
Also Monday at Williamsfield, Henry topped West Central 50-45.
R-W tourney schedule
After Tuesday night’s slate of games, the tourney breaks for a couple of days and the action resumes Friday afternoon in Williamsfield.
Here’s the remainder of the tourney schedule:
Friday, Nov. 24 — Henry vs. DePue at 2 p.m., United vs. Galva at 3:30 p.m. and West Central vs. ROWVA-Williamsfield at 5 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 25 — Galva vs. West Central at 2 p.m., DePue vs. United at 3:30 p.m. and ROWVA-Williamsfield vs. Henry at 5 p.m.
Monday, Nov. 27 — DePue vs. West Central at 5 p.m., Henry vs. United at 6:30 p.m. and ROWVA-Williamsfield vs. Galva at 8 p.m.
Ridgewood Thanksgiving Tournament
The four-team Ridgewood Thanksgiving Tournament tips off Wednesday (Nov. 22) night in Woodhull.
Here’s the tournament schedule at AlWood High School:
Wednesday, Nov. 22 — Riverdale vs. Abingdon-Avon at 6 p.m. and Ridgewood vs. Knoxville at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 24 — Knoxville vs. Abingdon-Avon at 6 p.m. and Ridgewood vs. Riverdale at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 25 — Riverdale vs. Knoxville at 6 p.m. and Ridgewood vs. Abingdon-Avon at 7:30 p.m.