The 12th-ranked Indian Hills Warriors used their vaunted pressure defense and placed six players in double figures as they picked up their 10th win of the season against Malcolm X, 115-77, Friday night in the Hellyer Center. The game was part of the Professional Computer Solutions Classic. IHCC will play tonight against Independence (Kan.) in the second night of the PCS classic.
After the Warriors jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead, the visitors hung around and fought back to tie it at 13. Richard Amardi and Ronald Ross combined for eight early points to keep the Warriors up 9-2 just four minutes into the game.
The game was tied again at 15 and 18 before the visitors grabbed the lead at 22-18 on a basket by Malcolm X’s Kendrick Nichols. Nichols would go on to have a game-high 32 points.
A three-point play by Frank Williams gave the lead back to the Warriors at 23-22.
The visiting Hawks had their problems against the Warrior press, but they did enough right to still hold lead 26-23 just past the midpoint of the opening half.
“In every game, we have four or five ways we want to attack and every opponent has a way they want to attack,” said IHCC coach Barrett Peery. “We continually evaluate our press until we find the advantage.”
Dustin Hogue had a hand in the Warriors taking control. He started with a rebound of a missed free throw and found Ronnie Stevens for a score inside and the Warriors led 28-26. He would add two free throws of his own to up the lead to four. Nichols hit a 3 for the Hawks but then IHCC went on an 18-0 run to go up 50-29.
In that four-minute period, Hogue would contribute four points and five of his seven first-half steals.
“I always try and bring energy. I think that’s just part of us pushing each other to play hard,” said Hogue. “I think we got to the point where we realized that this game shouldn’t be close and we really played well together.”
“Steals is not really part of Dustin’s game,” added Peery. “His play on the defensive end was big tonight.”
The depth of the Warriors, coupled with the continous pressure on both ends of the floor, really started to take a toll on the visitors.
“We did a good job of running off our stops. We didn’t allow many second chances,” said Peery.
Warrior game-high scorer Ronald Ross added four of his team-high 21 points in the final minutes as IHCC built a 61-36 halftime lead.
The Warriors won all the stats, but the 27 assist total was really evident in the opening minutes of the second half. Three early scores came on perfect passes and after Trinson White hit Ronald Ross for a wide open 3, the IHCC lead was 30 at 72-42.
“Our guys who are supposed to distribute the ball did a good tonight,” said Peery.
Eleven Warriors played in the final half and all eleven scored. One of the Warrior bigs who had good second-half minutes was Rawane Ndiaye. The 6-foot-10 Nidaye, just coming back from an injury, had five points and five rebounds.
“Being here and playing for Hills has really helped me be more active,” said Ndiaye. “I’ve learned to use my size playing in this system, because coach expects us to work hard every day.”
Another one of the bench guys who made contributions to the big win was Martin Dixon-Green. His third basket gave the Warriors their biggest lead at 104-62. He would finish with 10 points.
Nichols hit five late points, and three late 3s by Jeremiah Moore kept the Hawks within 115-77 at the buzzer.
Peery evaluated the Warrior play.
“I’d give us a B+,” he said. “Our effort was really good and when they fly around the court like we need them to, we can handle a couple of rough spots.”
Indian Hills 115, Malcolm X 77
Malcolm X (77) — Moore 18, Justin Reynolds 5, Mackly Bien-Aime 2, Nichols 32, Winston Williams 4, Anthony Parker 4, Maurice Alexander 6, Randall Saintlus 2, Dorall Wright 4. Totals 27-60 14-24 77.
3-point goals — 9-19 (Moore 3, Reynolds, Nichols 4, Alexander). Fouled out — Wilson, Alexander, Williams . Rebounds — 41 (Nichols 7, Wright 7). Assists — 16 (Moore 4). Steals — 11 (Nichols 4). Blocks — 1 (Wright). Total fouls — 24. Turnovers — 40.
Indian Hills (115) — Amardi 14, Stevens 9, Gary Williams 14, R. Ross 21, Hogue 10, White 7, G. Ross 8, Jelan Kendrick 2, Frank Williams 13, Dixon-Green 10, Majok Deng 2, Ndiaye 5 . Totals 44-83 20-34 115.
3-point goals — 7-27 (G. Williams, R. Ross 4, G. Ross 2). Fouled out —none . Rebounds — 49(Hogue 7, F. Williams 7). Assists — 27 (G. Williams 8). Steals — 20 (Hogue 7). Blocks — 3 (Amardi 2). Total fouls — 21. Turnovers — 21.