INTER-COUNTY LEAGUE Patient Reserve upsets McDonald
The league's second-place team was limited to 27 points.
By CHUCK HOUSTEAU
McDONALD -- Western Reserve coach Steve Miller preached patience to his team throughout the game with Inter-County League rival McDonald.
Even when Western Reserve failed to score a point the entire third quarter, they stayed the course designed by their coach.
The result was a 32-27 Inter-County League upset of McDonald.
Western Reserve (7-10, 6-5) erupted for 17 fourth-quarter points to rally from a five-point deficit and grab the road win.
"This was a great job by our guys of sticking to the game plan, staying composed and doing what they needed to do to win this game," Miller said.
The victory was the second for Western Reserve over McDonald (11-5, 8-3) and they did it in similar style the first time for a 38-37 win.
"We felt like if that game plan worked once, it could work again," Miller said.
Western Reserve sat in a tight zone defensively that was designed to stop McDonald's top scorer, Kevin Stonestreet.
Offensively, Western Reserve worked deliberately all night to find the open man.
Reserve was just 8 of 18 for the game.
The Blue Devils' best success came at the foul line, where they were 7 of 7 in the first half and 8 of 13 in the final quarter.
The game plan had to be toughest for Reserve's leading scorer, Ryan Jones (averaging 18 points per game), who sacrificed his scoring to help his team win a game.
Jones did not take a single shot from the field and made only one point at the foul line.
"That's the type of players I have," Miller said. "I have the greatest players to coach. They listen. They are willing to do anything you ask of them to win a game on the road against a very good team like McDonald.
"It wasn't an easy sacrifice for Ryan to make for the team," Miller said.
Behind Stonestreet's 14 points, McDonald forced the action most of the night and opened up leads of 10-7 in the first quarter and 20-15 early in the fourth quarter.
Dividends at the end
But Reserve's patience finally began to pay dividends.
The Devils' intensified their defensive pressure, forcing McDonald to take bad shots.
McDonald shot just more than 30 percent (11 of 31) from the field.
Offensively, Reserve players worked hard for open shots and were often fouled after breaking open for easy baskets.
The Devils sealed the win at the foul line.
Jake Zatchok scored all of his team-high 13 points in the first half for Western Reserve while Matt Speece led with seven rebounds.
Stonestreet led McDonald with eight rebounds while Nick Testa scored six points and also had eight rebounds.