Healing Kramer helps Poland blast Hubbard
By Greg Gulas
Dan Kramer injured his Achilles tendon in November and was sidelined three weeks before Poland head coach Ken Grisdale inserted him into the Bulldogs’ lineup.
Grisdale said that while Kramer isn’t quite back to full strength, he’s getting there. With tournament play rapidly approaching, the timing couldn’t be better.
Kramer scored 15 points and Brandon Barringer 14 more to lead five players in double figures as the Bulldogs rolled over the Hubbard Eagles, 84-43 on Tuesday.
Michael Cougras also had 14 points while Braeden O’ Shaughnessy and Mike Diaz each scored 11 as Poland raced to the early 18-2 advantage and never looked back.
The 84 points scored was a season high.
“Everything starts for us on the defensive end,” Kramer said.
A 31-point first quarter, which included 10 points from Barringer and five of their nine triples staked Poland (17-0, 10-0 All-American Conference White) to a 31-17 lead.
A stingy Poland defense held Hubbard (9-9, 5-6) to just six second-quarter points, getting five points from Kramer as they opened a 48-23 margin heading to the locker room.
“Brandon and Mike Diaz are our rocks that we depend on,” Grisdale said. “They do the dirty work and run the court.
“When you add Dan Kramer to the mix, it’s as if we have three point guards out there at the same time,” Grisdale said. “One area where we need to improve however, is handling the ball. With 16 turnovers tonight, that’s way too many.”
Hubbard’s Davion Daniels scored seven of his game-high 17 points in the third period, but the Bulldogs were able to extend their lead to 66-34.
“Right now we lack consistency as a team,” Eagles head coach Justin Townsend said. “When you play a team the caliber of Poland and aren’t there mentally, it’s tough to compete with them.”
Cougras nailed seven of his 14 points in the final period.
Poland’s 41-point victory was the second-highest margin of victory of the season (the Bulldogs defeated Jefferson, 78-22, on Dec. 19).
Poland canned nine of their 12 attempts from beyond the three-point line while Hubbard was just one of 15.
Poland connected on 32 of 49 field goal attempts (65.3 percent) while Hubbard was 18 of 54 for 33.3 percent.