By Julie LaFollette
The Caldwell Redskins hosted cross-county rival Shenandoah on Tuesday, with the Redskins earning the 60-52 victory over the Zeps.
”It was a good one, a fun one,” said Caldwell Head Coach Clint Crane. “Every time we play them, we know it is going to come down to the wire. Our kids did a good job of finishing the game. We played a better game defensively in the second half. We had some letdowns in the first half and they have some kids who can score the ball and they did a really nice job of that in the first half.
“I thought Dylan Wheeler changed the game defensively for us,” the Redskins’ boss continued. “He did a nice job but doesn’t get the credit. He is really valuable to us.”
“It was a great atmosphere,” Coach Crane added. “Coach Smith and I were talking before the game how great it is that our kids get to play in an environment like this. This does not happen everywhere.”
“Our kids played very well tonight,” Shenandoah Coach Marc Smith stated. “We talk about trying to play the same no matter who the opponent is or what the score is. Caldwell is a very fine basketball team. They are very athletic and very long.
“For the most part, I thought our kids maintained their composure and their patience,” the Zeps’ coach continued. “We had a couple times that did not happen and it cost us. Once it got out to eight or nine points, especially since they are a good free throw shooting team, it made it difficult at that point.
“I was pleased with how we played.” Said Coach Smith. “Our challenge is to play to our standard every night; not just when we are playing our rival. It just hasn’t been consistent enough for our record to be where we want it to be. Fortunately, it is a tournament sport so if we continue to play well, we will be okay.”
The Redskins started the game with a 9-2 run led by Bede Lori and Tyce DeVolld. The Zeps then went on an eight-point run to take the lead on a basket by Carsten Smith with just over three minutes remaining in the quarter, but Caldwell answered with an eight-point run including six by Lori to lead by seven late in the period. Shenandoah closed the gap to three at the end of the quarter on back-to-back buckets by Grant Stottsberry and Xander Fairchild as Caldwell led 17-14.
Carter Wheeldin and DeVolld each scored to start the second quarter to give Caldwell a seven-point lead. Shenandoah had a 10- 2 run, tying the game at 28-all on a shot by Fairchild. Alex Herlan again gave the Redskins the lead on a layup, but Fairchild tied it with 30 seconds left in the half and a last-second shot by the Redskins fell short and the teams went into halftime tied at 30-30.
The lead changed hand several times in the third quarter before Wheeldin hit a shot to give the Redskins a 38-37 lead. This was in the midst of a 12-point run by Caldwell that ended with a basket by Wheeler to extend the lead to nine. The period ended with Caldwell having a 50-42 advantage.
The Redskins slowed the ball down in the fourth quarter to limit the Zeps’ possessions. Shenandoah closed within four points with a minute left on a bucket by Weston Mile, but the Zeps were forced to foul and Lori sunk a pair of charity tosses and DeVolld got a layup to clinch the eight-point win.
Caldwell shot 22-of-41 (54 percent) from the floor, 4-of-11 (36 percent) from behind the arc, and 12-of- 13 (92 percent) from the foul line.
The Redskins were led by Lori with 30 points and five assists. DeVolld had 18 points and Wheeldin had eight rebounds.
The Zeps were 21-of-46 (46 percent) from the floor, 7-of-21 (33 percent) from three-point range, and 3- of-5 (60 percent) from the free throw line.
Fairchild led Shenandoah with 25 points, followed by Miley with 10 points and five rebounds. Stottsberry had three assists and Smith had two steals.
Caldwell swept the night, winning the JV contest, 50-30. The Redskins were led by Dylan Schott with 15 and Guiler Preston with 10. Garrett Stottsberry led Shenandoah with nine points.