Smithville High School1012613
Savannah High School86711

The only thing harder than beating a team the first time on the road? Beating them a second time on the road.

That was our task in our 2nd matchup vs. Savannah on Friday night. The tournament bracket of the Savannah Tournament led us to face the hosts in the consolation championship where we were able to pull out the victory, 66-59, led by a school record 39 points by Ryker Edwards. This time, however, the game would be much different. Battling a flu bug, both Ryker and Caleb Donnell would not be available for Friday night’s game, leaving us with yet another starting lineup but more importantly, an opportunity for some other guys to step up and put the ball in the hole.

Without a doubt though, we knew this would need to be a defensively minded game. Scoring wasn’t our first option in this matchup, it was going to be about holding them below 40 points, if we did that, we thought we’d have a chance to win. We came out pretty timid in the first two quarters, we actually over-passed, passing up some great opportunities to shoot or go to the rim and while we always appreciate the unselfish play, those types of possessions don’t always end up with “better” opportunities. The same could be said for the 3rd quarter as well. There are some games where we are threatening to make 15 three pointers so for us to only attempt 15, only making 3, we were uncharacteristically passive. To be expected under the circumstances and give credit to Savannah for putting us into those positions.

The defense, however, was awesome. Giving up a season best 0.59 points per possession, they really locked up when it mattered. Sometimes you have to win games in an ugly fashion and the sign of a good team is when you can win a game by nearly double digits when you’re not playing well. Forcing 24 turnovers, we continue to force teams to turn the ball over and if we can keep that up, this team will get better and better.

Keltin Nitsche led us in scoring with 13 points, Rhett Foster chipped in 9, Marcus Garza and Andrew Miller had 6, Cody Simoncic had 4 points, Dawson Strickland had 2 and Spencer Engle finished off the scoring with a free throw. Rhett also led us in rebounds on the night with 7 while Keltin also led us in steals with 5.

Ultimately, a win is a win. We don’t ever complain about wins. Still have to get healthy, still have to keep improving but the Warriors win and we move on to a matchup vs. Ballard (IA) next week.

Go Warriors!