Pirates remain perfect with defensive win over Braves

Pirates remain perfect with defensive win over Braves

Image Credit: Dave Mast

Every coach’s dream is to watch his or her team play a game of hoops and find different ways to win.

The Garaway Pirates found one in knocking off visiting Indian Valley 51-38 on Tuesday, Dec. 13.

In a game that was sometimes ugly but always played with gusto on both sides, the Pirates used their length in the backcourt to harass the Braves on just about every shot attempt, and a strong third quarter and their strong defense helped Garaway carve out the win.

“One of the first things I said to the kids after the game was that the best teams are the ones that can play different styles and be successful,” Garaway head coach Terry Rowe said. “And also teams that can interchange and play multiple roles are going to be successful. I think we have the type of team that can win a game in the 70s, the 60s, the 50s and the 40s and maybe even the 30s if we have to. Tonight was a low-scoring game where we didn’t shoot particularly well, but we found a way to beat a good team.”

That was mostly because both teams played with fervor on the defensive side, but it was Garaway’s ability to force Indian Valley into rushed or challenged shots that was the key.

“They did a good job of getting out on us,” Indian Valley head coach Ty Miller said. “And we didn’t do as good as we have been in the past of attacking and getting to the hoop.”

Logan Yoder and Alex Yoder teamed up for Garaway’s first nine points, but IV’s Brayden Troyer poured in six to spot the Braves to an 11-9 lead. At that point Garaway went on a 10-0 tear, led by Brady Roden, and Garaway took a 19-11 lead.

Tyson Prior’s four points brought Indian Valley back and trimmed Garaway’s lead to 23-19 at the half.

The third quarter was a struggle for both teams in the early going, and the first three minutes saw bad shots and turnovers, until Jenson Gerber hit a triple for the Pirates and Troyer scored five points for the Braves to make it 29-26.

At that point Garaway took command, with Brady Roden scoring on a twisting drive and adding a free throw. Then Blaine Raber took over, scoring on a pair of put-backs and making a steal, then feeding Yoder for a score to cap off another 9-0 run that lifted Garaway’s lead to 38-26.

“We ended up having both (Troyer and Prior) on the bench during that stretch, and that was when they kind of stretched it out,” Miller said. “We also got beat up on the boards, and those two guys mean so much to us. I thought that was a turning point.”

IV’s leading scorer Isaac Klaserner, who had been shut down most of the game, finally got free and hit a 3-pointer to draw the Braves to within 10 at 40-30, and Troyer hit two free throws to get to within eight. But Alex Roden made his presence felt on both ends of the floor, and Drew Mullet canned a trey to keep the Braves at bay the rest of the way.

“I thought we made them work for every shot tonight,” Rowe said. “Both teams got in a little foul trouble, but I thought our bench gave us some strong minutes and we found a way to win. It was another night of seeing some growth.”

Miller said he thought his team competed hard for most of the game and said he felt his group took some steps in furthering their effort to figure out their identity