Lebanon Reporter

December 21, 2013

Stars get first win in dominating fashion

By Jeff Nelson
For The Lebanon Reporter

Dover — Western Boone got the holiday season off to a good start as they picked up their first win of the campaign with a 71-35 win over Southmont Friday.

“In our first five games we took good shots, but nothing fell,” Stars coach Scott McClelland said. “Tonight we found a way to get some easy shots and baskets.”

The Stars, who picked up their first win of the season and now stand at 1-5 overall and 1-1 in the conference, used their speed and quickness to pressure the Mounties early on and force 16 turnovers in 33 possessions, scoring 23 points off those mistakes.

“Getting shots to fall has been our downfall this whole season,” McClelland said. “We knew we had to find a way to find some easy baskets, and pressuring Southmont worked.”

A lot of shots fell for the Stars early on, as they hit five of their first seven and stayed well above 50 percent for the night.

For the game, WeBo was 30-of-50 from the floor for an even 60 percent, nearly double their season average.

“We made a couple of lineup changes,” McClelland said. “We moved Riggs Baxter from the point to a wing, which allowed him to take advantage of his speed and quickness. We moved Nathanial Bye to the point, and Logan Wethington was a real spark off the bench. Those changes isolated out big guys down on the post that we were able to take advantage of. It gave us better passing angles and the wings had better driving angles.”

The Stars put four players in double figures, starting with JT Whitaker’s 16, followed by Braxton Porter with 12, Austin Burtner with 11 and Riggs with 10.

Wethington finished with eight points and six boards.

“We got good balance, good shots, and when shots fall, your defense is better,” McClelland noted. “The kids just really responded well this week to the changes we made. They have dealt with some adversity early and I’m proud of their resiliency.”

The Stars were 3-of-10 from long range and 8-of-11 from the line. They won the rebound battle 36-20 and finished with 17 turnovers, 10 of which came in the fourth quarter. Baxter’s seven rebounds were team-best, followed by Wethington and Whitaker with six each.

The Mounties were led in scoring by Jarrett Todd’s 15 points off the bench.

The 6-0 sophomore spend the game at the 3-point ring, hitting four out of the eight he attempted.

Cameron Remley was also in double figures with 11 points. For the night, South was 12-of-40 from the field, 7-of-24 from long distance as the Stars made it difficult to get inside, 5-of-9 from the line and they gathered 20 rebounds. Deryk Benge led the Mounties with four boards. They finished with 23 turnovers, but had only two in the third quarter and five in the fourth.

“We had a lot of guys really step up tonight,” McClelland said. JT (Whitaker) really hit some nice shots down low, Burtner and Baxter both came up with with some steals and shots. It was a much-needed win.”

Western Boone hosts Fountain Central tonight.

Jeff Nelson writes for the Crawfordsville Journal Review.