UTICA — Going into Friday’s game at Utica, the East Knox boys basketball team knew it had to figure out a way to slow down the Redskins’ top scorers — Scott Cline and Nathan Wyscarver.
For a while, the triangle-and-two defense the Bulldogs employed worked. But, then Utica’s Broc Stradley came off the bench, lit up the scoreboard and broke the backs of the Bulldogs players. Stradley hit three straight 3s in the first quarter, scoring 13 of his 18 points in the frame as the Redskins went on to a 53-43 victory in Mid-Buckeye Conference action.
“We wanted to get off to a fast start. We went to a junk defense, a triangle-and-two, on Cline and Wyscarver. It worked well until No. 10 (Stradley) came in and really hurt us. He hit, what, five or six 3s in the first half. That really took us out of our game plan,” said East Knox coach Don McDaniel.
“They went to a triangle-and-two and we had to make adjustments,” said Utica coach Eric Sheck. “We have a couple of kids that can shoot, but they took away Scott and Nate. We had to make a quick adjustment and sent Broc in there. I told him if they are not going to guard him to shoot the ball. He was able to hit a couple shots and got into a rhythm. That’s big. That’s Broc’s job to be a scorer off the bench for us. Obviously, he did a great job for us in the first half.”
Utica (9-4 overall, 6-2 MBC) wasn’t able to pull away, yet, though. The Bulldogs (6-6, 4-4) kept it close until midway through the second quarter when Utica went on an 8-0 run. The Redskins used three straight quick-hitters off inbounds plays to push the lead to nine at halftime, 38-29.