An up-tempo style of basketball can be a beautiful thing to watch.
Nothing can dirty-up something beautiful, however, like a little bit of junk.
The Davis County girls basketball team threw a little bit of “junk” to completely turn Centerville’s up-tempo offense against themselves. The Mustangs’ 3-2 zone defense turned a competitive game through much of the first half into a one-sided runaway as a run of 29 straight points led Davis County to a 64-38 South Central Conference win Friday night in Bloomfield.
“That’s a new thing for us. We call it our ‘junk’ defense because basically that’s what it is,” Mustang girls head hoops coach Dave Mason said. “I don’t play a lot of girls and we get tired running man-to-man defense. We’ve been having some success with the 3-2 zone recently, we got hands in their faces and fortunately they didn’t hit those shots.”
The game capped a frustrating week for Nic Belloma’s squad, who finished last week riding high on three-game winning streak. Losses to Mount Pleasant and Clarke have featured similar frustration on offense, as Centerville scored just 68 points in the two contests.
Things got no better on Friday. The Redettes shot just 28 percent from the field, hit just three of 19 3-point attempts and were forced into 22 turnovers.
“We were really hesitant. We just really didn’t want to attack the basket,” Belloma said. “That could be a result of playing three games in four days, but we want to get better looks from the outside. We have to attack the basket to do that.”
While Centerville never got into a true flow at any point on Friday, the Redettes did enough to take an early 6-2 lead. Centerville took their last lead of the night after two free throws by Alyssa Barger gave the Redettes a 15-14 lead midway through the second quarter.
It would be another eight minutes before Centerville would score again.
Shelby Graves began to heat up after struggling in the first quarter, scoring eight points in the period to start the game’s defining run. Back-to-back field goals by Graves kicked off a half-closing 16-0 run that put Davis County up 30-15 at the break.
“I was really nervous right at the beginning,” Graves said after leading all scorers with 22 points. “Once I got that first basket, it settled me down quite a bit.”
Things didn’t get better for Centerville at the start of the second half. Five turnovers and only one shot attempt in the opening three minutes kept Davis County’s run going. The first 11 points of the half gave the Mustangs a sudden 41-15 advantage.
“My assistant coach told me when we scored that basket that it was 27 in a row for us. I told him not to shut up. I didn’t want to jinx it,” Mason joked.
Once the run was over, Centerville was left with nothing but frustration, which was evident after a traveling call on MaKenna Pershy. The Centerville junior spiked the basketball on the court, drawing a technical foul that told the final story of the contest.
“There were just a lot of little things that we did to ourselves,” Belloma said. “We just made too many mistakes.”
Barger finished with 10 points for Centerville (5-11, 3-4), who will look to regroup next week starting with a home matchup against Moulton-Udell that will serve as a ‘pink-out’ night to support breast cancer awareness. Davis County (7-7, 3-3) will look to continue turning the corner after beating a 10-win Van Buren team last weekend by heading to Chariton next Friday.
“We have a couple of close losses to Clarke and Central Decatur coming out of the break. I told the girls then that they were a good team that just needed to get wins,” Mason said. “The girls got to work trying to improve and we’re seeing the results.”
“I think this team is ready to go on a big run.”
Davis County 64, Centerville 38
Centerville 11 4 10 13 — 38
Davis County 9 21 22 12 — 64
Centerville (38) — Alyssa Barger 10, Jess Demry 7, Makenna Pershy 6, Kiley Micetich 5, Mackenzie Richmond 4, Kaitlyn Ahnen 3, Kaitlyn Moore 3. Totals 13-46 9-19 64.
3-point goals — 3-19 (Barger 2-3, Moore 1-3, Shelby Royer 0-1, Pershy 0-1, Maddie Lange 0-2, Richmond 0-2, Demry 0-3, Micetich 0-4). Rebounds — 30 (Barger 8, Richmond 6, Pershy 5, Ahnen 4, Lange 3, Demry 2, Micetich, Royer). Assists — 11 (Demry 3, Lange 2, Moore 2, Ahnen, Micetich, Pershy, Richmond). Steals — 12 (Demry 3, Barger 2, Pershy 2, Lange, Moore, Royer). Blocks — 3 (Barger 3). Total fouls — 18 (Technicals - Pershy). Turnovers — 22.
Davis Co. (64) — Shelby Graves 22, Rylee Eakins 15, Kate Birchmier 11, Cami Guiter 7, Audra Kincart 4, McKenna Harward 2, Ashley Weatherington 2, Ally McClure 1. Totals 24-51 13-22 64.
3-point goals — 3-10 (Graves 2-5, Guiter 1-3, Birchmier 0-1, Sheridan Dunlavy 0-1). Rebounds — 41 (Eakins 14, Birchmier 11, Graves 4, Brittany Bremer 3, Guiter 3, Harward 2, Kincart 2, Maggie Hougland, McClure). Assists — 20 (Graves 7, McClure 4, Eakins 3, Hougland 2, Blair Bodkins, Birchmier, Harward, Kincart). Steals — 8 (Graves 2, Guiter 2, Harward 2, Birchmier, McClure). Blocks — 5 (Eakins 3, Birchmier, McClure). Total fouls — 17. Turnovers — 21.