Royal Valley boys never trail in road victory over Atchison County
For as rough as the girls game may have started, it was smooth sailing for the Royal Valley boys as they led start to finish to pick up a 47-23 victory on the road at Atchison County on Tuesday night.
Despite the lack of resistance on the Panthers’ path to victory, the team had to manage some choppy waters at times because of some mental lapses and inconsistencies.
Royal Valley opened the game with a 12-0 run and never looked back, which is a result RVHS coach Keith Pelton is more than happy to take.
“Any win’s big in the Big Seven. We knew coming in that we should have the advantage, but you never know until you play them,” Pelton said.
Part of Atchison County’s game plan centers on disrupting offensive flow, which the Tigers did at times on Tuesday, though Royal Valley helped its opponent out with some sloppy play that took the team out of a rhythm in certain instances.
Some of that was to be expected, as Pelton noted the Panthers are still tinkering with their offense and were working some things out on the court against ACCHS.
“We passed some things up that we normally would have done, but we wanted to work on that extra pass. We wanted to run things through from side to side,” Pelton said. “We wanted to make sure we work on that kind of stuff and we had the opportunity to do it in a live situation instead of just practice.”
Despite the Panthers building a 12-2 lead after one quarter and a 25-7 advantage by halftime, the Tigers exploited some things, as some fundamental breakdowns allowed ACCHS to win the turnover battle in the first half.
It was details as simple as getting in position for an outlet pass that hindered Royal Valley in that regard and that is something Pelton noted was addressed at halftime.
Moving forward in the third quarter, there was more of a focus on correcting those issues and pushing the pace right back at Atchison County to jumpstart the offense.
“Any chance we got, we wanted to advance the ball. If nothing else, just to get us running; not necessarily speed up the game itself, but speed it up for us where we’re getting up and down the floor. We got some energy going,” Pelton said.
Turnovers started to balance out in the second half as the Panthers came up with steals and got some offense in transition, but ACCHS again found a way to keep RV from getting into a groove as the Tigers started to draw fouls and force their opponents to the free throw line.
While the fouls and free throw attempts slowed Royal Valley down overall, Atchison County could not make any headway cutting into the Panthers’ lead. Brothers Kwaki and Masen Spoonhunter seemingly could not be contained, as the pair helped RV maintain its lead throughout the game. They combined for 28 of the team’s 47 points.
“They worked well together, too. They started to look for each other,” Pelton said. “Masen can put it on the floor and take it to the hole. Kwaki can spot up and he can take it to the hole, too, but he gave that up a little bit. They did some different things.”
Most everybody who got in the game contributed in some way, Pelton noted, as players like Derek Linn (four points, three rebounds) were solid off the bench as well.
Defensively, the Tigers got a few more looks in the second half after Royal Valley gave up almost nothing in the first two quarters, which Pelton said should illustrate to the team the importance of adjusting on the fly. The Panthers pushed their lead to 30 early in the fourth quarter, though, to put the game away.
While the outcome was never in doubt, Royal Valley came away from the game with some things to work on and the Panthers (2-0) will now prepare to face a tough defensive squad from Hiawatha (0-1) at home this Friday with games starting at 4:30 p.m.
Dec. 8, 2015
RV: K. Spoonhunter 7 (2) 0-0 16, M. Spoonhunter 4 (1) 3-6 12, Barger 1 2-8 4, N. Rottinghaus 2 0-0 4, Linn 1 2-2 4, Ehrhart 1 (1) 0-0 3, Roy 1 0-0 2, Broxterman 1 0-0 2. Totals- 18 (4) 7-18 47.
ACCHS: Bowen 4 1-2 9, Tr. Smith 4 0-0 8, McAlexander 1 3-5 5, Ta. Smith 0 1-2 1. Totals- 9 5-7 23.
Rebounding: RV- 34 (K. Spoonhunter 9, Rottinghaus 6, M. Spoonhunter 6); ACCHS- 17 (Miller 5, Tr. Smith 5, McAlexander 4).
Assists: RV- 9 (Barger 3, K. Spoonhunter 3); ACCHS- 2 (McAlexander 1, Ta. Smith 1).