|12/31/2020 8:09:00 AM|
Wild time nothing new when River Valley and Dodgeville meet
In one of the wildest endings possible River Valley outlasted Dodgeville 60-57 in a SWC match-up in the year of COVID 2020.
Over the years, no matter how good either team is on paper they are always up for a battle on the court. Monday night was just another night among many where fans got what they came to see.
After the host Blackhawks had gone up by three as the final seconds ticked away it almost wasn't over at the final horn. In fact if would not have been if a 3/4 court heave by Dodgeville's Dillon Garthwaite would have had another couple inches on it. The throw from the middle of the lane on River Valley's end of the court had the right aim but fell just short.
The way the game ended it would not have been a big surprise if the shot would have made it through the net.
The start was a little on the strange side too. It was almost as if the Dodgers felt at home on the River Valley court as they raced to an early 10 point lead, forcing the hosts to play catch-up most of the first half. It then became a new game with both teams knotted at 25-all at the half.
The Blackhawks turned it up a notch at the start of the final 18 minutes and they were on the way to coasting to the win until the Dodgers found the three point line to their liking. They went on to bury five of them down the stretch and had a chance to get closer when they missed a shot with 16 seconds left and fouled 6-2 junior Zach Gloudeman as the Hawks gained possession. Gloudeman went to the line and dropped in both free throws in double bonus and a 59-55 lead.
But Garthwaite, Dodgeville's 6-5 junior scoring threat, worked the lane and made it a two point game by hitting a nifty turn around jumper.
The Dodgers then fouled 6-2 junior Preston Hying who was shaky on the first shot but got the second to go down and gave the Hawks a 60-57 lead with six seconds left.
That was enough time for Garthwaite to attempt a three that was in and out.
The Dodgers fouled Hying on the rebound and with eight tenths of a second left and he could get neither attempt to drop.
That didn't leave much time but it was enough for Garthwaite to get in his heave that kept fans watching, holding their breath until it just missed and fell away.
Both coaches--Matt McGraw for the Dodgers and Luke Thatcher for the Hawks--came away knowing their teams have work to do but feel improvement and success are on the horizon.
McGraw feels the difference for the Dodgers was a stretch of turnovers and poor decisions that made the difference.
"We started well and ended well," McGraw said. "For the first game I am pleased with many things. The things we need to change are very fixable." The Dodgers had their season delayed due to COVID precautions.
McGraw sized up the performances for the Dodgers as follows.
"Charlie Keith and Matthew Pittz, both sophomores, were big contributors in their first varsity start scoring 19 points together. Dylan Wasley also in his first varsity game gave us big minutes in the first half when we were in pretty significant foul trouble. Dillon was real solid and he didn't make it look like it was his first game of the season. Garrett Busch, Christian Jacobsen, Austin Montague and Charlie Geisking all were solid especially with the stats that don't get recognized as much. Big Chandler Batchelor gave us good minutes as well. We have many things to look forward to."
"River Valley turned up the pressure at the right time which took us out of our comfort zone for a little too long," McGraw added. "Coach Thatcher pushed the right buttons and unfortunately we couldn't respond quickly enough to take control of the game. We had a few chances to tie or take the lead late in the game. That's what I am most proud of about tonight. We had a rough sketch and went down as much as 14 but we responded and came flying back. I'm excited about what this team is capable of."
Garthwaite was steady all night with 25 points, 12 the first half and 13 the second. He had a pair of three pointer in the second half run.
Pittz also had a pair of clutch threes the second half and finished in double figures with 10.
Thatcher, whose team and coaching staff are aiming at being at full strength after a recent bout with
COVID complications, got a 29 point outbreak from Hying with 19 of them the second half when the Hawks were mounting their lead. Landen Alt also reached double figures with 10.
There was also a strong performance off the bench from Kameran Smith who put up eight points the second half and nailed a pair of threes that helped put space between the two teams.
"Those were some huge three pointers the Dodgers made the second half," Thatcher said. "We also put them on the line too early the second half but we can cure that. That and the three pointers made a couple of our 10 point leads disappear. Garthwaite, Pittz and Busch made some big threes that put us on our heels."
Thatcher was also concerned with the turnovers and missed free throws at the end of the game when taking care of the basketball and taking advantage of free shots are key.
Thatcher was also concerned that his team seemed to settle for jumpers at the end of the game instead of attacking the rim.
"We can become a jump shooting team but right now we aren't," Thatcher said. "When you miss a jump shot in a close game it almost becomes a turnover. Right now our best move is to be a team that attacks."
"We also have to realize that possessions are a big deal in this league," added Thatcher. "But in the end we know where we need to improve and tonight we learned a lesson. I'll take learning a lesson anytime when it comes with a win. After all, we are still a pretty young team and are still raw. Our offense will improve and we will keep on learning."
SCORE BY HALVES
Dodgeville 25 32 57
River Valley 25 35 60
DODGEVILLE 57: (fg-ft-tp) Keith 2-2-6, Garthwaite 10-3-25, Jacobson 1-0-2, Busch 2-1-6, Geisking 0-0-0, Montague 1-0-2, Pittz 3-2-10, Wasley 0-0-0, Batchelor 2-2-6 Totals 21-10/16-57 Fouls-20 Fouled out-Jacobsen
RIVER VALLEY 60: Prochaska 0-0-0, Bailey 0-0-0, Rhodes 1-0-3, Nachreiner 1-0-3, Prem 0-0-0, Hying 10-9-29, Alt 4-0-10, Wickman 0-0-0, Gloudeman 1-5-7, Smith 3-0-8 Totals 20-14/24-60 Fouls-12
3 point goals:
D-(5) Garthwaite 2, Pittz 2, Busch 1
RV-(6) Smith 2, Nachreiner 1, Rhodes 1, Alt 2
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