The final margin of victory is no indicator of the game as it was a tight affair until the fourth period. With limited offensive weapons, the Tigers have been looking to keep game’s methodical and low scoring all season and they did it once again Friday night.
Playing this type of game means two things; the winner is all about survival and every scoring opportunity most be converted.
“We told the guys this was going to be a tight game,” commented Ft. Recovery coach Brian Patch. “We knew Versailles would not give up and we would have to make plays tonight.”
Making most of the plays was Indians’ sophomore Greg Kahlig. After being held to just two first half points and going 0 for 5 from the field, Kahlig got it going in the second half. The guard finished with 16 points on the night pacing all scorers. Bobby Rammel added 15 to aid the Indians’ cause.
Versailles was paced by Ian Nisonger, who connected for 12 points and was the only double digit scorer for the Tigers.
Offense has been a problem for Versailles as this marked only the second time in four games they have gone above the 40 point mark.
But Versailles coach Scott McEldowney is very aware that his team must rely on defense, with a number of inexperienced players on the court.
“We played very well defensively but a couple of times we didn’t check out. That
resulted in a couple of easy buckets for them,” said McEldowney after the game.
The first stanza played out exactly how McEldowney had hoped; a lot of defense and just dash of offense. When buzzer sounded on the period it was 9-7 Ft. Recovery.
What Versailles didn’t like was the fact that four of their first five possessions ended in turnovers. But, after that stretch the Tigers settled down committing only 13 total turnovers.
When the two teams returned to the court for the second period, Versailles brought with it some offense. The Tigers went on a 5-0 run, spearheaded by Nisonger’s three pointer. However, after that point it was mostly Indians in the period.
The biggest difference was rebounding. Ft. Recovery did a lot it, while the Tigers struggled. The Indians gathered 30 total rebounds, including 12 offensive rebounds. That proved crucial as Ft. Recovery converted a number of second and even third chance opportunities into points.
The Indians took a 13-12 advantage midway through the second period and never trailed again. Using a variety of defenses, Ft. Recovery kept the Tigers off balance and guessing the entire the game.
“We wanted to change things up and force Versailles to constantly adjust and keep them from getting in a flow,” noted Patch.
The concept worked as Patch’s crew took a 23-18 lead to the break.
The third period was much the same as the Indians got enough offense to keep Versailles at arm’s length. Rammel hit a field goal to open the third period, giving Recovery a 25-18 advantage.
The Tigers responded making it 25-20. The biggest blow of the game came when Kahlig gave the Indians a ten point lead with a three pointer, 34-24. After that Versailles was forced to play catch up, something they don’t want to do.
When the fourth period opened Recovery held a 34-27 advantage, but Rammel quickly made it a 37-27 game with another three pointer. A few minutes later he hit another one, pushing the advantage to 40-29. That was the Indians final field goal of the night as they spent the rest of the evening shooting free throws, converting them into points.
“When you at home and at the end of the game you need to convert free
throws,” commented Patch. “I give our guys a lot credit for making them at the end.”
From there it was just a matter of time as Ft. Recovery posted the 56-41, improving to 3-1 on the season. Versailles drops to 1-3 on the year.