October 23, 2021

Eagles move into first with win over Rockets

Joe McIntyre/staff photographer

McGraw's Ziao Lin (11), and Chase Curtis (12), right, contest the Shot of DeRuyter's Louie Glisson (14), left, in the second quarter.

DERUYTER — The visiting McGraw boys’ basketball team outscored host DeRuyter 14-5 in the fourth quarter Friday night to score a 43-36 Central Counties league win in a battle of stateranked Class D squads.

With the win, the Eagles, ranked 12th in Class D this week, improved to 7-1 in league play to take over first place from the Rockets and are now 11-3 overall. Fifth-ranked DeRuyter fell to 6-1 in league play and 12-3 overall.

Two players had double-doubles for McGraw, Caleb Smith with 13 point and 14 rebounds and Chase Curtis with 12 points and 10 boards. Devon Ackley scored 10 points with four rebounds and four assists and Chris Pickert added eight points with three assists and four steals.

Tristan Worlock led the Rockets with 10 points while Frank Glisson (four rebounds, four assists) and Benjamin Barnes (six steals) had nine points each. Louie Glisson, the team’s leading scorer, was held to four points.

“This was a great team win for us,” Eagles coach Derek Allen said. “Three players in double figures and outstanding defense and rebounding as a team especially in the second half really was the difference, as well as free throws. We shot 14-for-16 from the line and DeRuyter was 6-for-16. We have been a 50 percent free throw shooting team all year, so we picked a good one to turn those numbers around.

“Our game plan was to limit Louie Glisson’s touches. Caleb Smith did an excellent job of defending him and the other players helped out when needed to make a steal when he spun to the middle. At halftime emphasis was on rebounding, defending the pick and roll and moving the ball quicker on offense. DeRuyter came out and extended their lead to 12 after a few missed shots by us led to fast break layups. We changed up some things on defense and cause a few turnovers of our own and went on a run of our own. We were able to close the gap to two at the end of the third, and in the fourth we had great defensive pressure and were able to knock down eight of our nine free throws.”

“We led for three quarters and even comfortably in the third, by 12,” Rockets coach Ric Barnes said. “Then the wheels fell off. They are a tall team. They go to the boards hard. They score well around the basket. They made some adjustments after we took our lead and we went cold from the field. Nobody hit much after that and we were soon looking up at them. We just can’t allow second and third, and in some cases fourth, shots at the basket and succeed. In the first half we controlled defensive rebounds; in the second half not so much.”

The winners had a 39-22 rebounding advantage.

McGraw visits Cincinnatus Tuesday and DeRuyter is at Madison Wednesday, both with 5:30 p.m. JV starts.