EATON TWP. — Midview’s zone defense gave Amherst fits in a Southwestern Conference matchup Tuesday night, forcing 21 turnovers to propel the Middies to a 54-41 win.
Midview (9-6, 8-5) swept the season series against the Comets (3-11, 2-9).
“We knew from the last game (Amherst) wanted to get the ball to the elbow,” Midview guard Nyco Vidal said. “Our defensive plan was to limit that and they didn’t have an answer for that.”
Pressure was another key to Midview’s success on defense.
“We also pressured them from the top of the key to try to not give up an easy layup,” Vidal said.
The Middies started out strong in the first half, holding Amherst to 3-of-13 shooting and forcing 12 turnovers to lead 28-7 at halftime.
“I thought we defended well in the first half and we were locked in,” Midview coach Jim Brabenec said. “Our guys were competing and playing hard. I was disappointed in the second half because we lost some focus and concentration, but that’s high school kids for you.”
The Middies did have some sloppy moments in the second half.
“We went into halftime with just five to six turnovers,” Brabenec said. “Our guards need to do a better job with the ball and we needed to have better fundamentals. We were not having great fundamentals in the second half. Our body language wasn’t very good and that got Amherst back into the game.”
Amherst tried to climb back into it in the fourth quarter, but Midview’s lead was too much to overcome. The Comets outscored the Middies 23-13 in the final period to cut Midview’s advantage to 50-38 with 1:01 left.
“We started the game sleepwalking and no energy, no fire,” Amherst coach Pat Bray said. “The talk at halftime was ‘When are you getting ready to go?’ So, in the second half, we went after them.”
Bray altered his game plan at intermission in an effort to get his team back in the game.
“We wanted to attack the rim and dish the ball in the first half because we knew Midview was coming out in the zone,” Bray said. “We attacked the rim in the second half, got some open looks and knocked down some 3-pointers. And we got in their face and got physical with them.”
Jonny Manning led Midview with a double-double of 21 points and 10 rebounds.
“I just go out and play as hard as I can,” Manning said. “My coaches told me to attack the rim and to be more aggressive. My teammates helped me get the ball, so when I got the ball I gave it my all.”
Vidal, who returned after missing two games with a concussion, added 14 points off the bench, making four 3-pointers.
Midview 54, Amherst 41
AMHERST (41): Kyle Ferguson 2-0-5, Khennedy Scagliozzo 0-0-0, Josh Croston 1-0-2, Ty Weatherspoon 1-1-3, Christian Pfeiffer 4-0-8, Jason Monos 3-0-9, Coltin Camp 0-1-1, Ryan Hritsko 2-2-6, Troy Brachen 0-2-2, Gavin Darmon 1-0-3, Scott Iliff 1-0-2. Totals 15-6-41.
MIDVIEW (54): Isiah Johnson 1-0-2, Nyco Vidal 5-0-14, Andrew Gooch 1-0-2, Jesse Franklin 1-0-2, Dane Reichard 3-1-7, Marcell Young 2-2-6, Jonny Manning 9-3-21. Totals 22-6-54.
Amherst 4 3 11 23 — 41
Midview 15 13 13 13 — 54
Three-point goals: (Amherst) Monos 3, Ferguson, Darmon, (Midview) Vidal 4. Field goals: Lakewood 15-34 (44 percent), Midview 21-43 (49 percent). Free throws: Amherst 6-8 (75 percent), Midview 6-11(55 percent). Rebounds: Amherst 13, Midview 20. Turnovers: Amherst 21, Midview 15. Total fouls: Amherst 14, Midview 16. Fouled out: (M) Nyco Vidal.
Junior varsity: Amherst, 36-31