By Taylor Eldridge
This one wasn’t as close as it looked. Cheney led by 17 points with 56 seconds left before pulling its starters. This game actually looked to be pretty evenly matched at halftime, when Cheney took a 33-30 lead into the break. But Medicine Lodge missed all 15 shots in the third quarter and Cheney broke open the game.
Click the jump for more analysis.
Both of these teams entered the game with one loss and it looked like in the first half this matchup was pretty even. After watching a couple of City League teams this season, this game was a little slow to watch. Things were much more methodical, both teams relied on back-cuts to get open and both teams played good, hard-nosed defense.
Not much separated the teams in the first 16 minutes. Neither team led by more than four points and Cheney took in a 33-30 lead to halftime. The Indians shot 12-of-29 and the Cardinals shot 11-of-23.
Medicine Lodge has a smooth lefty in Joe Dohrmann, who runs the point for the team. Bryan Hellman provides a nice compliment around the perimeter as a slasher and Josh Rogers is a nice, high energy guy.
Cheney relies mostly on 6-foot-5 junior Sean Osler to create offense. He is a pretty built guy and looks like he could dominate a game, but I was disappointed that he didn’t go inside more and use his height. He has a nice perimeter game though and the Cardinals have a stud in him. Ben Hill and Wade Hopper are two, steady inside presences for Cheney that helped out-rebound the Lodge by 17 (46 to 29).
The difference in this game came at 2:50 left in the third quarter. By then, it was already shaping up as an ugly quarter. Cheney had scored four points and Medicine Lodge had only added a point, but with 2:50 left Dohrmann picked up his fourth foul and had to sit the rest of the quarter and well into the fourth quarter. Without Dohrmann running the point, Medicine Lodge struggled to create much offense.
When I say much offense, that might be an over-statement. The Indians created zero offense, missing all 15 shots in the third quarter and scoring only one point. Cheney wasn’t much better, scoring only 11 points, but it was enough to build an almost untouchable 13-point lead heading into the fourth quarter.
The game had about zero life in it until Cheney’s bench spark Seth Alstrom scored a 3-point play with 1:58 left in the third quarter to spark a 15-0 run. Osler took a mid-range jumper and it sailed long and Alstrom was there to catch it in the air and finish it, while being fouled. That injected the life that the Cardinals were missing.
When Dohrmann returned with 6:13 left in the fourth quarter, Cheney led 48-31 and the game was pretty much decided. The Indians cut it to 12 and momentarily held out hope, but Cheney crushed it with a 5-0 run. Osler put the finishing touches on the win with a dunk to give Cheney a 17-point lead with 56 seconds left.
I talked to Osler after the game and he said that was his first dunk every in high school ball. That’s hard to believe. He has some nice hops and although it wasn’t the prettiest dunk, he threw it down and let out a yell that you could tell was pulling that monkey off his back.
Hellman showed off some nice spin moves to finish drives in the lane, but without Dohrmann on the floor he had to assert himself more on offense. This game should have been close, but just a tough shooting night for the Indians. They’re still a good team and should be a factor to return to the state playoffs this season.
I was able to check out some of the girl’s game and came away impressed with the Cheney girls. Ally Nikkel is a nice guard for the Cardinals. She is real athletic and has a nice mid-range jumper to complete her game. With her on the perimeter, Cheney is still working back Merissa Quick from what I think is a broken nose. She had to wear a protective mask and you could tell it bothered her some, but wow, what an inside presence. Not only how many shots she blocked (which was a lot), but how many other shots she altered. The Cardinals should be a tough team to knock off this season.
Check out the box score:
(14) Joe Dohrmann*3-92-40-08022020
(3) Bryan Hellman*6-160-46-918077365
(11) Josh Rogers*3-111-21-38336153
(15) Andy Musgrove*3-62-40-28123000
(20) Cole Long*2-40-00-34022211
(1) Zach Larkin2-50-00-04112004
(25) Kelvin Shinliver2-91-40-05213101
(30) Lane Miller0-00-00-00011002
(21) Devon Miller*0-10-11-21279103
(3) Taylor Beilman*4-130-21-29134313
(15) Ben Hill*4-70-06-714077001
(24) Wade Hopper*3-70-12-48347031
(23) Sean Osler*6-101-19-1222167336
(4) Joe Hubener1-10-00-02112001
(13) Seth Alstrom1-20-01-13123001
(12) Hunter Bolinger1-20-00-02101012
(5) Gage Scheer1-30-10-02123013