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NH breathes own fire vs. Dragons, 96-78

NH breathes own fire vs. Dragons, 96-78
NH breathes own fire vs. Dragons, 96-78
North Harrison junior Cody Mitchell (22), left, used a pump-fake to get Silver Creek's Josh Lanham (30) in the air. (Photo by Alan Stewart)

If the best defense is a good offense, then there was plenty of defense in the North Harrison-Silver Creek Mid-Southern Conference basketball battle Friday night in Ramsey. But there were plenty of folks who won’t buy that argument after judging the numbers produced by the host Cougars and the Creekers.
One team shot 52 percent from the floor, had just 12 turnovers, went 9 of 21 beyond the arc, and had four players in double-digits (almost five). That squad was Silver Creek, which lost, 96-78.
With those kinds of figures, the No. 11-ranked (Class 3A) Cougars had to put up even more gaudy numbers. They did: North was 39 of 64 (61 percent) from the field, hit 9 of 20 from the cheap seats, and put three players (almost four) in double-figures in scoring, led by junior guard Blake Snodgrass with 30 points and 10 assists.
It was his second-straight 30-point outing versus the Dragons.
Chad Miller, a 6-2 senior gun-slinging guard, tallied 20 points with six assists, and forward Cody Mitchell marked a season-high 18 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Ross Schulz buried two more 3-pointers (he’s got 12 for the season) to finish with nine points, and he pulled down four offensive rebounds.
“We’re a team that gets out and runs a lot,” said North Harrison assistant coach Kelly Cooper. “We’re really harping on our defense, and our kids are working really hard. We’re so much better defensively now than what we were last year and having a lot of fun. The way we’re playing, we’re fun to watch.”
Silver Creek’s skipper agreed.
“It was two teams that like to speed it up a little, and it was two teams that are offensive-minded,” said Joe Ledbetter. “Unfortunately, they did a little bit better job defending us than we did defending them. We made a lot of defensive errors, which is what we’ve been working on for a while. We’ll continue to work on it till we get better and better.”
North Harrison (3-0, 2-0 M.S.C.), which hosts a huge conference game Friday night against a dangerous Brownstown club, outscored the Dragons (3-2, 2-1) in every quarter.
Silver Creek led just one time in the ball game, when Terry Roudenbush bombed a triple from out front for a 15-13 lead. At the other end of the floor, Miller sliced inside for a deuce and Snodgrass hit a three for an 18-15 lead after one period.
The Cougars pushed the lead to 43-35 during a wild second quarter highlighted by five combined treys in just two minutes and an 8-2 run by North over the last 1:56.
The Cougars’ biggest surge came in the third, when the squad outscored Creek by nine, 29-20, to take a 72-55 advantage into the fourth quarter and effectively put the game out of reach.
Miller and Love got the job done early on the third, with Mitchell, Snodgrass and Throckmorton taking care of the scoring later.
With all of the offense, the biggest number by halftime was actually the smallest: Silver Creek’s leading scorer, Josh Lanham, was held to two points the first half. He finished with 18 – second only to teammate Geoff Miller’s 20 points – and most came when the game was already decided.
“Daniel (Love) did a great job on (Lanham) the first half,” said Cooper. “He got in a little bit of foul trouble, but that was a big difference on our part, to come in and limit his scoring and keep him to two points in a half. That was a great job. Steve Throckmorton came in and guarded him some as well, and did a nice job on him. We were really focused on knowing where he was.”
North won the rebounding battle, 34-25, and forced the issue on every defensive rebound by making long sideline passes down the court. In the second half, the Cougars whitewashed Creek on the boards, 21-7.
“Our rebounding, we struggled against South Central, but the last two games we’ve rebounded well. The second half I think we just dominated.
“The way we play, we want to get our shooters out and get them as many scoring opportunities as possible,” Cooper said. “We certainly did that tonight. We’re a team averaging about 85 a game. When you’re scoring that much, you’re going to be tough to beat.
“Defensively, we’re doing a pretty good job, and that’s the way we want to play. If we can get to the hundred mark, great, but the bottom line is winning and doing whatever it takes to win, and our kids are doing that right now.”
Rounding out North’s scoring was Daniel Love with five points and four rebounds, Steve Throckmorton scored six in his second game back from a broken hand,
Krieg Reed notched six, and Anthony Milburn brought cheers from the student section with his lone basket in the fourth quarter.