Pioneers dig early hole, can't get out

Posted Online: Jan. 11, 2013, 11:27 pm
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Matt Schuckman
QUINCY -- Pat Rangel didn¹t have to say anything to the Alleman boys' basketball team after Friday¹s 58-40 loss at Class 4A's No. 8-ranked Quincy.

His captain said it for him.

Pioneers senior guard Adam Hoogerwerf told his teammates they can¹tcontinually play from behind like they did against the Blue Devils. Quincyscored on its first five possessions, opening the game on a 12-2 run thatled to a 21-8 lead.

"We¹re not capable of digging ourselves out of a hole like that all of thetime," Alleman coach Pat Rangel said. "That¹s kind of been our M.O. rightnow. There¹s nothing average about an Alleman basketball player, but ourguys know they are playing mediocre basketball right now. They know whatthey have to do.

"We saw some good things out there tonight despite the loss, not as lopsidedas the score shows. We have to take what we did well here and apply it to(Saturday) and try to right the ship."

One of those was the performance of Joey Mihm.

The 6-foot-5 junior forward made five of his first six 3-point attempts andwas pivotal in the second quarter as the Pioneers whittled the deficit tosingle digits. "He¹s been struggling a little bit trying to find his game," Rangel said."He came out and really showed what he was about."

Unfortunately, it came during a fight from behind.

Quincy (12-2, 4-0) scored on its first five possessions and on 8-of-11possessions in the first quarter, building a 21-8 lead. The Blue Devils went8-of-12 from the field and 4-of-7 from 3-point range in the first quarter.The Blue Devils also had assists on six of the eight first-quarter fieldgoals and finished with 13 assists on 22 field goals overall.

"We have some smart guys who find the open spot," Quincy coach Sean Taylorsaid.

They get after it defensively, too.

Led by the presence of 6-foot-7 forward Jason Salrin, the Blue Devilsoutrebounded the Pioneers 33-23 and held them to 35 percent shooting fromthe field. Salrin grabbed 10 rebounds -- his fourth double-digit reboundeffort in the last seven games and he is averaging 9.9 boards over thatspan.

"He¹s a great rebounder," Quincy guard Zach Burry said. "It helps so muchwhen he¹s down there getting almost every rebound."

It was expected of him. With Burry replacing Connor Mellon in the startinglineup -- Mellon served a one-game suspension after being ejected in his lastgame -- it was the first time this season the Blue Devils used a four-guardlineup, making Salrin the primary rebounder.

He didn¹t back down from that challenge.

"I think confidence is so important," Taylor said. "He¹s gaining confidence.He thinks he¹s a good player. Offensively, defensively, he¹s doing a littleof everything."

Just like Burry did.

Burry more than doubled his season scoring output with a career-high 16points. He finished with three assists, three steals, three rebounds and ablocked shot in the most extensive playing time of his career.

"I told Zach over and over again why he isn¹t playing more isn¹t becausehe¹s not good," Taylor said. "He¹s just caught behind Martin (Kvitle), Mason(Fairley) and Cole (Abbey). He¹s in sort of a bad predicament. But he justbattles in practice. ... And he showed he can play offensively, but he did a
really good job guarding at the other end."

Above all, Burry finally was able to showcase his 3-point shot.

Burry went 4-of-7 from 3-point range, making two in the third quarter afterAlleman (5-9, 1-3 WB6) trimmed the deficit to just seven points.

"It was the first time I actually felt it," Burry said. "I felt good. I wasconfident. I knew it was going in when I shot it."


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