|Piketon finds a way to keep on winning . . . Redstreaks improve to 10-0
Unioto was knocking on the door of sole possession of the SVC standings Friday night at Piketon, but
the Redstreaks found a way to make just enough plays to survive a scare in a 53-47 win over Unioto.
The two teams played in an electric atmosphere as this physical, back-and-forth battle had a little bit of
First, the opening minutes looked like Piketon was going to record the early TKO as the Redstreaks
stormed out of the gate to score the first 12 points of the game. This early run was a result of a few things.
One, Unioto â€“ who did a solid job in the overall game handling the ball â€“ did a poor job of just
passing and catching in the early going. Piketon was able to create several transition opportunities and
each bucket had Piketon right back in its pressure ready to go again. Secondly, the run was a result of
quick shots from Unioto. I thought Unioto got baited into some quick shots, and when they didnâ€™t go
down, Piketon was once again off and running.
Finally, Unioto broke the scoring drought with a pair of Chase Detillion free throws with 2:55 remaining in
the first quarter. Detillion then scored Uniotoâ€™s first field goal and Cody Strange added another
bucket to cut the lead to 12-6 after one.
The run continued in the second quarter. Unioto was starting to have longer possessions offensively, and
Piketon was starting to settle for several jumpers on the other end. This slowed the game down, and
Piketon was getting very little opportunity to extend the floor defensively. Eventually, Unioto grabbed its
first lead at 14-13 and ended the half on a Cole Murray runner to take a 20-17 advantage at the half.
Two things stood out to me in terms of Uniotoâ€™s ability to get back in the game. First, I give a lot of
credit to Coach Hoops. Down 12-0, he never did panic, and he stayed true to his game plan. He used his
bench and kept his team fresh. Throughout the year, Piketon has had the ability to wear down teams in
the second half and tonight that never really happened to Unioto. I also thought Unioto got a great lift from
some of their athletic role players. I have always thought Unioto played hard, but tonight, Unioto proved
to me how much toughness they have. Cody Strange, Adam Woods, and Detillion really brought a lot of
energy to the defensive end in the final 10 minutes of the first half. These players started diving on the
floor, working hard in the passing lanes, and supplying some much needed energy that their teammates
started to feed off of in the second quarter.
In the second half, I thought Piketonâ€™s overall talent started to show. With Piketonâ€™s Evan Legg
appearing not to be 100-percent, several other Redstreaks stepped up. Keenan Brush was outstanding
tonight. He was active on the glass. He was a presence defensively, and he was able to give Piketon some
points in the paint in the second half. I also thought Zach Farmer supplied some offense in the third
quarter, and Jamie Helton hit some big shots and did a great job on Uniotoâ€™s Brick Davis. Davis,
who entered the game averaging 16 ppg., scored only five points, but played with great effort on the
boards with 12 rebounds. Scoring wise, a bright spot for Unioto was the fact that Christian Dunkle shot
the ball really well as he scored 14 points.
The thing Legg did do tonight was make timely plays. The biggest play came with Piketon leading 47-45
with just less than two minutes remaining. Unioto had a good look at a go-ahead three-pointer, but the
ball didnâ€™t fall. It appeared Unioto had the offensive rebound, but Legg stripped the ball and broke
loose into the open court where he finished to give Piketon a 49-45 lead. On the ensuing possession,
Unioto missed the front end of a bonus situation at the line, and Piketon was able to put the game away
This game had to be an emotional roller coaster for both coaches. Piketon is probably disappointed with
their 8-19 free throw shooting down the stretch that allowed Unioto some shots to take a late lead, but
the Redstreaks have to be proud of the overall gutsy, team win to stay in pursuit of a perfect year.
As for Unioto, they have to be proud of the way the responded to the slow start, but the final result leaves
them feeling like they let a great opportunity slip away. From Uniotoâ€™s perspective, if Detillion was
able to stay on the floor a little longer (he fouled out with 2:32 remaining in the game with Piketon leading
47-45), perhaps the outcome could have been different.
For Piketon, the goal is still the same. The Redstreaks are halfway home to a perfect season. Tonight is
another example of how they continue to find ways to win. I have said before that going undefeated is
really hard because you are not going to get to play 20 times at the tempo you want. Everyone knows
Piketon is going to be nearly unbeatable when they play fast, but tonight is an example of how they found
a way to win a game that was played out of their comfort zone and that is a credit to Coach Lisath, his
staff, and his team..
As for Unioto, the Shermans need to forget about Piketon and try to take it one SVC game at a time until
Piketon makes the return trip to them in the second half. Tonight should prove to Unioto that they belong
in the league race discussion, and if they could remain just one game back, the February 11th rematch
could be interesting.