The Delta boys basketball team grabbed their sixth win of the season Tuesday, holding 1-16 Hilltop to just eight points per half in a 57-16 drubbing of the Cadets at home.
The Panthers now sit at 6-12 on the year.
Braden Risner and Hunter Tresnan-Reighard, Delta’s top two scorers on the night, each registered four points in the opening frame as the Panthers built a 13-4 lead.
“Braden was great tonight. He was active versus Hilltop’s 2-3 zone and man-to-man defenses. Bryar Knapp did a great job of getting Braden the ball, no matter if Braden curled, faded, or cut vertically off Hunter and Josh’s (Josh Tresnan-Reighard’s) screens,” said Panther coach Derek Sheridan.
“Hunter Tresnan-Reighard did a great job of screening and then establishing position on the blocks and our guards did a great job of getting him the ball. Josh Tresnan-Reighard, and Nolan Risner were also very effective tonight – screening and seeking openings after they screened. Hunter Tresnan-Reighard was really good on the offensive glass tonight, too.”
Hilltop stayed within nine points just past the three minute mark of the second quarter, until a pair of Bryar Knapp free throws gave the Panthers a 19-8 lead with 4:39 left before halftime.
Facing the Cadets’ 2-3 zone, Delta was able to penetrate it on multiple occasions down the stretch, ending the half on an 11-0 run.
Hunter Hamilton scored on a pass from Braden Risner, and the latter then tacked on consecutive baskets of his own, followed by a Hamilton three-pointer to give the Panthers a 28-8 halftime lead.
“Regarding their zone defense; through scouting, we noticed that we could seal in their high post covering guard and enter the ball to the high post using that fundamental,” said Sheridan of his team’s offensive strategy against the Cadet zone. “Matt Brighton, Adam Conrad, and Jared Schriner (Delta coaching staff) also noticed that they didn’t consistently bump their guards and forwards on the L side of their zone, so we could enter the ball to the short corner and collapse their 2-3 zone for rolldowns and kick-outs to Braden at the top of the key. We thought that if we were patient and reversed the ball for seven or eight passes, we could eventually get the ball into the high post or short corner. Hilltop’s guards do a great job of digging the ball out of the high post and short corners, so we knew that we had to move the ball quickly in order to avoid turning the ball over. Hilltop’s guards do a great job of pressuring the high post.”
The Cadets scored the first points of the third quarter – two free throws by Jay Garrett – but then it was all Panthers.
Hunter Tresnan-Reighard scored on three straight offensive trips, then split a pair from the foul line and Braden Risner stuck back the miss for a 37-10 lead at the 4:35 mark.
Hilltop’s Blake Funkhouser broke the streak with a three-pointer on the next possession; however, the Cadets scored just three points the rest of the way. In fact, they went scoreless over the final 9:05.
Braden Risner had 18 points for the Panthers, while Hunter Tresnan-Reighard tacked on 14.
Delta resumes NWOAL play at Archbold (13-4) Friday night.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010