CASSTOWN — As Bulldogs assistant coach Phil Renfro walked off the court after Saturday night’s road game loss, he smiled and gestured to a Yellow Springs fan in the stands.
“We’re 5-2 against teams in the second half,” he said. It’s that first half that has been giving Yellow Springs’ youthful bunch some problems, so far, this season.
The visiting Bulldogs fell behind 30-10 at the break, then outscored the Vikings the rest of the way in a 42-28 loss, Dec. 29 at Miami East High School.
Yellow Springs outscored Miami East 18-12 in the second half.
“Yeah, we’ve had a lot of good second halves. But when you’ve got a young group — we’ve got two freshmen playing significant minutes for us, and a couple seniors who are playing bigger roles and maybe taking on a little bit more responsibility — that happens,” Bulldogs coach Bobby Crawford said. “We had a good second half. But we just can’t turn the ball over as much as we do.”
Up against a full-court defense for much of the first half, Yellow Springs unofficially turned the ball over 11 times. They reduced the miscues down to three in the second half, but by then the host Vikes were already in control.
Senior guard Andrew Clark led Yellow Springs (1-6 overall, when you count both halves) with 15 points. Freshman guard Deandre Cowen scored all eight of his points in the third quarter, and fellow freshman Dimitri Wallace scored the Bulldogs’ other five points in the loss.
“We’ll gain experience from this, and we’ll watch the game films and learn from this as well, but we’ve gotta put what we do in practice into motion,” Crawford said, “But for coming off a holiday break, where we hadn’t played in two weeks, this was a good effort by them.”
Yellow Springs will get back into league play with a 7 p.m. game on Friday Jan. 4, when they will host Troy Christian.
Miami East coach Allen Mack was impressed with the Bulldogs’ defense, especially in the second half.
“They played a lot more zone defense in the second half, and unfortunately we didn’t shoot the ball very well tonight,” Mack said. “Give them some credit. They limited our opportunities in that second half. We were able to get more offensive rebounds in the first half, and we generated a little bit more opportunities with our defensive press.
“They took care of the ball in the second half. Our stats had them for only three turnovers in the second half. They definitely took better care of their opportunities in the second half, and they had some guys step up and hit threes for them when they needed them,” said Mack.
Miami East (5-6) was led by junior guard Brendon Bertsch who tied Clark for high honors with 15 points. The other Viking win double figures was junior guard Will Hudson II, who finished with 14.
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.