ALL SET FOR
A SHOWDOWN
Piketon wins easy,
Unioto holds on...two
unbeatens meet after
the New Year
Big fourth quarter gives Unioto win over Paint Valley
Tuesday night at Unioto, the visiting Bearcats and the host Shermans locked up in a bloodbath battle.
Paint Valley found itself on the friendly side of the scoreboard after the first three stops, but Unioto’s
depth continued to take its toll as the Shermans grabbed the lead in the fourth quarter and held on for a
55-53 win. The victory keeps the Shermans perfect on the season.

The Bearcats came out firing in the first half. Senior Caleb Stratton had a hot hand as he scored 13 of his
game-high 18 points before halftime. The Paint Valley zone also caused problems as Logan Markko –
the PV senior center who recently became his school’s all-time leader in blocked shots – made
points at the rim tough to come by for Unioto.

I really felt coming into this game that PV would have to get something from its bench to win. As talented
as PV’s starting five is, I knew Coach Hoops would consistently run eight or nine guys at the
Bearcats, and without bench production, it would probably be more than PV could overcome.

Paint Valley did get some solid play from its subs. In the second quarter when Stratton picked up his
second foul, Nathan Barker came off the bench and scored a bucket that gave Paint Valley a two-point
advantage at 30-28 entering the half. In the third quarter, it was Aaron Claytor who got in foul trouble.
This brought Logan Krivak off the PV bench and he delivered a right-corner three-pointer that helped
soften a Unioto push and allowed PV to still lead 45-42 after three quarters of play.

Despite PV surviving these two stretches, you could just sense Unioto’s depth starting to take over
the game. So many role players played big for Unioto. Against PV’s zone, Unioto got away with
poor shooting from the field because of second chance opportunities. In the first half, Cody Strange
offered many hustle plays to earn Unioto extra possessions, and in the second half, Adam Woods did the
same. Speaking of role players playing well, Nick Rose was extremely clutch for Unioto on this night. In
the first half, the Bearcats were showing signs of opening up a double-digit lead, but down eight, Rose
knocked down a three. In the fourth quarter, the game was tied at 47 when a Rose triple from the right
wing gave Unioto its first lead of the second half at the five-minute mark – a lead that Unioto never
relinquished.

It was a nice team win for Unioto, but I thought Unioto’s go-to guy Brick Davis really came up big
for the Shermans. Davis is such a huge match-up problem because of his size and versatility, and he really
caused PV some problems throughout the night. Throughout the game, Davis started to get into the
middle of the Paint Valley defense more and more. Davis got to the line nine times and made them all. The
free throw line had been a horror story for Unioto in recent weeks, but tonight, Unioto was 14-18 from
the charity stripe.

Davis led Unioto with 17 points, but a great example of the depth comes from the rest of the scoring.
Cole Murray scored 10 points. Chase Detillion added nine points; Rose and Christian Dunkle scored
eight and seven points respectively.

I was so impressed with the effort of both teams. I thought the officiating was outstanding tonight, because
the crew let both teams play. This was good news, bad news for PV. The Bearcats can’t afford to
have a tightly called game, because they can’t deal with the foul trouble that would come with that.
Unfortunately for PV, it did make for a physical game that made life tough for the Bearcats when dealing
with Unioto’s pressure.

The win does set up a chance for Unioto to enter their head-to-head match-up with Piketon undefeated in
league play. Barring the Shermans upsetting the Redstreaks – who beat SE 75-45 Tuesday night –
tonight’s game proves to me that the race for second-place is going to get crazy this year. Unioto is in
the driver’s seat as it appears they will finish the first half of SVC play no worse than 6-1, but keep in
mind they have played several home games in the first half. Starting in January, Unioto will play six of its
next seven SVC games away from home.

IN OTHER ACTION…Tuesday night was a big night for many individuals around the league. We had
a player knock down five triples in a loss and another who lost despite scoring 28 points. One star
continued to climb the SVC history ladder while one team had every player in uniform score in tonight's
win. Make sure to take a look at tonight's
McDonald's i'm lovin' it SVC Boys' Basketball Scoreboard for
all the scores and stats.
www.svcsportszone.com
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