SHELBY − Shelby picked up a nice early-season win within the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference over Marion Harding Thursday night 74-54. Shelby improved to 2-1, as Marion Harding dropped to 2-2.
Here were the main talking points:
Shelby's mix-and-match defense
Many coaches like to use the "defense wins championships" moniker. Others say our offense comes from our defense. Well, the latter applied to Shelby in this one.
The Whippets jumped out to a 16-0 lead on Marion Harding, with a large part of that due to their disruptive 2-2-1 full-court press that gave the Presidents fits. When Marion Harding inbounded the ball, Shelby trapped, made sure their rotations were quick and got their hands on many balls, whether it was picking up steals or just making pass deflections.
"In our first two games, we didn't get off to a great start," said Shelby coach Greg Gallaway. "I think we got outscored 37-24, so that was our big point. We gotta get our juices flowing defensively. (The) 2-2-1 has been looking good for us and we're going to continue to work on it. Really, our guys played hard from the opening tip."
"We gotta start with energy," said Shelby guard Max Hess, who finished with 12 points. "If we start with energy, we're really a good team. We are too athletic to not have have energy. When we play with energy, we're lethal."
On top of the 2-2-1 press Shelby used to get out to a early lead, it also incorporated some 2-3 zone and man-to-man defense from the second quarter on that seemed to rattle the flow of Marion Harding's offense the rest of the game.
"Yeah, just some different defenses," Gallaway said. "It's something we haven't done in the past. Just to keep offenses on there heels. With our versatility defensively, we feel like we can do different things and that played into that."
"It's mostly for confusing the offense," Hess said. "Different strategies to get them off guard. Either way, we have to talk, communicate, and keep working together and playing hard."
From defense to offense for Shelby
The active defense Shelby displayed throughout the game triggered its offense. Whether off a turnover from pressing or gathering a rebound and quickly getting the ball up the court, the Whippets got quality baskets because of their running game.
"Our best offense is when we run," Gallaway said. "A lot of that started with the pressure we had in full court. Credit to our guys for pushing the ball."
"We like to play fast," Hess said. "I think by starting off pressuring, getting steals, forcing turnovers, getting rebounds and getting the ball out, that's our best offense I feel like. I think that'll be our identity."
Alongside Hess' double-digit game, Alex Bruskotter had a team-high 19 points, Casey Lantz scored 14 points, Issaiah Ramsey scored 11 points and Bryson Baker added seven.
"We made shots. It's something we've been struggling with," said Gallaway, on his team's half-court offense. "I feel like we got good looks tonight and then our guys stepped up. It wasn't just one guy making shots. Kudos to the guys. We had a good week of practice. Really proud of them."
This article originally appeared on Mansfield News Journal: Shelby High School boys boys basketball defeats Marion Harding