The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

January 25, 2014

Ramblers hold on against Pats

BY GREG FLINT sports@dancomnews.com
The Commercial-News

---- — WILLIAMSPORT, Ind. – The visiting Attica boys’ basketball team survived a seven-minute scoring drought late in the game to hang on and defeat Seeger 51-39.

The Red Ramblers looked to have the game under control with a 15-point lead, 39-24, with 2 minutes, 34 seconds left in the third quarter, but they would not score again until they got a free throw at the 3:41 mark of the fourth and nothing from the field until a Keetin Arnold “and-one” at 3:32 that made the score 43-32.

“I thought that play by Keetin was really big for us,” said Attica head coach Chuck Hutchins. “We were up by maybe six or so [actually eight], but after that play, we could finally relax a little.”

Nobody was relaxed to start the game, as the first four minutes were little more than a basket by Seeger, a free throw by Attica and a lot of frenetic play that resulted in nothing more than turnovers by both squads.

Kenny Little hit a 3-pointer for Attica then 20 seconds later, after a Jake Fell lay-up for Seeger, so did Bryce Cooper.

“We don’t handle adversity well,” said Hutchins. “So hitting those shots got us going. If we’d missed them, we’d be struggling, but making them raised our confidence.”

Seeger continued to stay with Attica in the first quarter, even taking the lead at 9-7 on a 3-point play by Borden Kennedy. The Ramblers then ran off eight points to close the quarter on baskets and free throws by Arnold and Little to go up 15-9.

The teams traded baskets as the second quarter started, but Cooper hit consecutive treys to help Attica start to pull away. Meanwhile, Seeger players were getting some open shots, but they were not falling for the Patriots.

“We got the shots we wanted,” said Seeger head coach John Collins, “But they just wouldn’t go in for us. How many lay-ups did we miss? You have to credit Attica for defending us well, but we just didn’t shoot well and they did.”

Attica led by seven at halftime and upped the margin to double digits in the third period as Brady Sheridan and Arnold scored inside while Little was hitting from beyond the arc.

When Arnold stole the ball and drove the length of the court for a lay-up in the third quarter, it gave Attica that 39-24 lead, but they Ramblers would not score again until a Lance Whorrall free throw broke the scoreless stretch in the fourth quarter that led to the win.

Collins said that he liked the effort by his team, but that they could get no breaks.

“It seems like we’d work hard, but every tipped ball seemed to bounce to Attica. With our cold shooting, too, it wasn’t our night,” Collins said

For Hutchins, the game played out the way he wanted on both ends of the floor.

“We say that our defense should determine if we win or not and our offense should say by how much,” he explained. “Tonight I think we showed we’re improving as a team in both offense and defense. This was our fourth win in a row.”

Greg Flint is a freelance writer/photographer for the Commercial-News. He can be reached at gfphoto@gfphoto-web.com