Wabash Valley rallies past Cardinals

2010-11-20T03:00:00Z Wabash Valley rallies past CardinalsBy MATT KING Daily Journal Sports Writer Daily Journal Online
November 20, 2010 3:00 am  • 

PARK HILLS — The Mineral Area men’s basketball team failed to generate much offense inside the perimeter, and could not contain post player Chris Evans while dropping its home opener on Friday night.

Evans compiled 27 points with 11 rebounds and made a pivotal defensive block to help Wabash Valley preserve a 68-64 victory, as the 15th-ranked squad in the nation rallied late to remain undefeated.

Wabash Valley (7-0) limited Mineral Area without a 2-point field goal throughout a 12-minute stretch during the second half, and enjoyed a decisive edge at the free-throw line by converting 19-of-28 overall.

Mineral Area (4-3) drained a dozen 3-pointers in the game, including five by sophomore Riley Raulston, but finished just 8-of-21 from the stripe. Raulston tallied 19 points while Brier West added 12 points with four assists.

The Cardinals built their largest advantage of 54-47 when freshman guard DeAndre Ballard connected from an open left corner, and led 61-56 following West’s triple off an inbounds play with 3:39 remaining.

But Evans countered with a clean steal and slam after the Warriors had misfired from long range, then muscled his way through a double team for another basket in the paint.

Pressing defense rattled Mineral Area into two more critical turnovers down the stretch. Ian Chiles turned a loose ball into the go-ahead dunk with 37 seconds left after tying the score at 62-62 with two free throws.

The Cardinals nearly pulled even despite being called for traveling on their ensuing possession, as MAC center Demetrius Harris stole a baseline inbounds pass, but his potential dunk was rejected by Evans near the rim.

Donovan Johnson’s perfect trip to the line with 9 seconds left sealed the outcome. Chiles finished with 14 points and D’Mitri Riggs netted 13 for the Warriors, who will face Three Rivers tonight in the Bob Sechrest Classic.

Mineral Area trailed throughout the opening stanza until West found Raulston along the right wing for a 3-pointer at the buzzer. Back-to-back threes from Raulston would extend the 38-37 intermission margin.

Wabash Valley achieved its maximum lead of 16-7 on Chiles’ driving layup after sharp entry passes from the perimeter created two dunks for Evans during an initial 8-0 scoring run.

The Cardinals earned numerous second chances by crashing the boards with the first half winding toward a close, and surged back with a 14-6 spurt sparked by Errol Isom’s putback.

Isom pulled down a team-high 10 rebounds for Mineral Area, which will challenge perennial power Indian Hills tonight at 7 p.m.

Wabash Valley  37  31 - 68

Mineral Area  38  26 - 64

SCORING:

Wabash Valley - Chris Evans 27, Ian Chiles 14, D’Mitri Riggs 13, Donovan Johnson 8, DavRon Williams 4. Kreig Oxley 1, Shaquille Wilson 1. 3-point FG - Riggs 2, Evans. FT- 19/28

Mineral Area - Riley Raulston 19, Brier West 12, Darrion Hooker 7, DeAndre Ballard 6, Errol Isom 5, Leland Smith 5, Demetrius Harris 4, Vakhtang Kadaria 3, Drew Thomas 2, Josh Minner 1. 3-point FG - Raulston 5, West 3, Ballard 2, Smith, Hooker. FT - 8/21

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(1) Comments

  1. farmer
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    farmer - November 20, 2010 7:21 am
    Once again, I don't recognize a single player on the MAC men's basketball team. No local players. With the economic times being what they are I am sure there will be discussions of the board to reduce costs and consequently those talks will include options including reducing programs. Maybe due to costs and maybe due to the fact other schools have decided to drop theirs which leave MAC with no one to compete against. What happens when the only athletic programs that remain are those that do not allow for any local participants. When does it cease to be acceptable for what is supposed to be a local community college to pass out scholarships to atheletes from around the U.S. and do nothing locally. I am not sure if it has dawned on MAC personnel and board that attendance will continue to suffer and virtually dissappear until there are local players that we know and care to come out and support playing on the team. I realize it has become about winning, to compete is not good enough, but I find it interesting that for years Sechrest was able to manage with local talent and a minimum number of recruits. Maybe it is a reflection on the coaching rather than available talent pool, but regardless of the reason, there should be a means of awarding local students scholarships to our local college.
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