Jay County wins low-scoring matchup with Adams Central

By: 
MIKE MACKE
Staff Writer

The Adams Central boys basketball team hosted Jay County on Saturday night at the Hangar. The Patriots came away with a 35-25 win in a low-scoring affair. While both teams struggled shooting from the floor, the game was hard-fought and featured a lot of action and some solid defense.

Jay County’s Ethan Dirkson started the game by hitting a shot from beyond the arc for three. On the next possession, Ethan Brown answered for the Jets with a basket for two. Each team managed to score just two points the rest of the quarter and when the horn sounded at the end of one, the score was 5-4 in favor of Jay County. Both teams feature an active zone defense and while both sides went cold from the field, many shots were contested or rushed. In period two, the chilly shooting continued. Jay’s Gavin Muhlenkamp then went on a layup spree as he converted on the end of two A.C. turnovers and a third on a fast break as the Patriots opened up an eleven to six lead. Jay would score four more points in the half while the Flying Jets managed just three and the halftime score was 15-9 in favor of the visitors. Jay was a mere 6 of 24 from the field (1 of 12 from three) while Adams Central hit on just three of nineteen shots in the half.

The third period was also low-scoring as the Patriots outscored the Jets eight to five. All five points for Central were scored by Ethan Poling who muscled up a shot from close range, then stepped outside the arc and hit for his first points of the game, but Jay took a 23-14 lead into the final stanza. The Flying Jets cut the lead to six when Brayson Yergler attacked the rim to make it a 26-20 game with five minutes left. Jay would answer with five straight to take control and Dirkson hit four of four from the FT line down the stretch to keep Adams Central at bay. Final shooting stats showed the Jets at nine of 41 from the field while the Patriots were only slightly better at 13 of 43.

In assessing the game, Central coach Aaron McClure felt his team did much of what they wanted other than the shooting woes. “I told the guys I thought they played pretty well overall, shooting aside tonight. Our defense was solid and we didn’t really encounter anything that surprised us. We just needed to get a few shots to go down. We held their team to 35 points, played hard, and we’ll take that every game.”

Poling led A.C. with seven points. Yergler scored six and Brown had four. Micah McClure hit a late three pointer, Nick Neuenschwander and Ryan Tester each had a basket and Isaac Schultz hit a free throw. For Jay, Dirkson and Dusty Pearson scored nine each while Muhlenkamp finished with eight as nobody hit double figures for either team. Bennett Weitzel scored four, Brady Davis three and Josh Dowlen two to round out the scoring for the Patriots who move to 8-2 with the win. Adams Central falls to 3-4. The Jets did win the JV contest by a score of 39-34.

Both teams play each other again Tuesday night at the Hangar in the ACAC tournament.

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