HALSTEAD, Kan.—As tournament week goes along, it would be expected for a team to lose steam in the second half by the time Saturday rolls around. But for Andale, the ability to surge in the second half helped the Indians to a 64-46 win over Moundridge to take first place in the Adolph Rupp Tournament.
“Moundridge is a heck of a team,” said Andale head coach Jeff Buchanan. “They will give anybody fits. Our guys did a great job of coming out at the half and making some adjustments; getting the ball inside. They made some adjustments and had a great third quarter. That is what really got them going.”
Getting the ball inside to 6-foot-6 senior Gerad Deaver was just what Andale needed to gain a big advantage over the Wildcats. Deaver finished with a game-high 16 points and dominated in the paint.
Deaver controlled the game from underneath the basket, but needed a little help to get the job done for his team.
“We’ve just got guards that can make great passes into the post,” said Deaver. “Every player will have their game once in a while. I was able to use my size and got great passes from the guards.”
Moundridge hung tough with Andale in the first half. Hot 3-point shooting from Ryan Lorimor and Garrett Higgins kept the Wildcats within striking distance. After the first quarter, Andale had a slight 11-8 lead.
In the second quarter, Daniel Ratzlaff joined the party for Moundridge, draining a pair of 3’s to help Moundridge go into the locker room with hope, trailing 25- 20.
However, playing their third game of the week, and second in as many days, the Indians punished Moundridge, getting the ball into the paint and pounding the ball to the hoop like a merciless body puncher.
In the third quarter, Andale outscored Moundridge 22-9 in the quarter with Deaver scoring 6 of his 10 second-half points. A 5-point game at the break became an insurmountable 47-29 mountain after three quarters.
“Moundridge did a great job of really taking (Deaver) away,” said Buchanan. “In the first half it was much harder. But Gerad made some adjustments, and the team made some adjustments, and we were able to isolate him a little bit more down low.”
With the week in the books, Buchanan has had a look at his team in a tournament format. The Indians took care of the competition in Halstead, but their coach sees growth as sub-state tournaments are around the corner.
“Even though we came away with a championship, we’ve still got some things we’ve got to work on,” said Buchanan. “There is room for improvement. But these guys, it’s nice to see the progress they’ve made so far this year.”