Pointers use strong defensive effort to reach district finals
Published 11:33 pm Saturday, February 26, 2022
By Jim Walker
WAVERLY — Listening to Travis Wise it makes you wonder if he uses folding chairs on wheels for his practice drills.
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The Pointers’ head coach praised the defensive effort of his team as they shut down the Eastern Brown Warriors 57-47 in the Division 3 district semifinals on Saturday.
“The second half we just absolutely sat down and guarded them,” said Pointers’ coach Travis Wise.
Trent Hundley — who scored 1,000 points in his career — led Eastern with 17 points but only had one field goal in the second half and it was a 3-pointer with 3:43 left in the game.
“The (Luke) Garrett kid is really, really good. Hundley was the x-factor. He’s 6-5 and jumps well. He’s a great ballplayer. For our defense to to lock him down says a lot for us,” said Wise.
The Pointers couldn’t get anything to fall in the first quarter except for layups by Xander Dornon and Caleb Schneider as they trailed 8-4.
The scoring picked up in the second quarter thanks to Jordan Ermalovich.
After a 3-pointer by Christian Hoskins, a putback by Christian Amburgey and a 3-pointer by Garrett, Ermalovich drained a trifecta.
Hundley answered with a basket but Ermalovich hit two more 3-pointers sandwiched around another Garrett layup and the Pointers trailed 20-16 with 1:09 left in the half.
Hundley’s trey and Amburgey’s layup made it 25-16 but Xander Dornon nailed a 3-pointer at the buzzer and the Pointers were down 25-19.
“It was a great team win. We had a couple of guys who stepped up big. Jordan Ermalovich in the first half kept us in the game. And then late in the game Mason Kazee just finds a way.
“It was just a good team effort against a good Eastern team. They’re long and they’re strong and our kids just battle.”
Kazee came out and hit a 3-pointer, Caleb Schneider scored 4 points and a layup by Kazee cut the spread to 34-31. Hoskins’ layup made it 38-32 but Ermalovich hit his fourth 3-pointer and Kazee got a layup and the deficit was just 40-37 at the end of the third quarter.
Dornon had a layup and then Kazee made a layup with 6:06 to play that gave the Pointers their first lead of the game.
Hundley hit his 3-pointer to tie the game at 45, but Ermalovich followed up a missed shot and Kazee connected on 5-of-6 free throws for a 52-47 lead with 30 seconds to play.
Dornon sank a free throw and Ermalovich sealed the outcome with two free throws for a 55-47 lead wth just 22 seconds to play.
The win sends the Pointers to the district finals at 9 p.m. on Friday at Waverly who they meet the Fairland Dragons for the third time this season. The Pointers won the two previous meetings.
Kazee finished with 19 points, Ermalovich scored 16 and Dornon added 10.
Besides Hundley, Garrett scored 15 and Amburgey got 10.
South Point 4 15 18 20 = 57
E. Brown 8 17 15 7 = 47
SOUTH POINT (17-8): Caleb Schneider 2 0 2-2 6, Jake Adams 1 0 0-0 2, Mason Kazee 4 2 5-7 19, Malik Pegram 0 1 1-4 4, Jordan Ermalovich 1 4 2-2 16, Xander Dornon 3 1 1-2 10. Totals: 11 8 8-17 57. Fouls: 9. Fouled out: None.
EASTERN BROWN (18-6): Kade Walkup 0 0 0-0 0, Luke Garrett 3 2 3-3 15, Carter Vaughn 0 0 0-0 0, Christian Hoskins 1 1 0-0 0-0 5, Wyatt Haupt 0 0 0-2 0, Don Mynatt 0 0 0-0 0, Caleb Jamison 0 0 0-0 0, Trent Hundley 1 3 6-9 17, Christian Amburgey 5 0 0-0 10. Totals: 10 6 9-14 47. Fouls: 14. Fouled out: None.