Strickland, Linville lead Georgetown boys with 15 each –
By Wade Linville –
The drought has finally ended for the Georgetown G-Men, as they were able to snap a six-game losing streak by topping the Felicity-Franklin Cardinals 77-41 in Tuesday’s round of high school boys’ hoop action.
Not only have the G-Men been up against a tough early season schedule, but they have also been waiting on some capable scorers to break out of their cages. On Tuesday evening, it happened! The G-Men would go on a scoring rampage to claim their first victory of the season in impressive fashion.
For the G-Men, it was exciting to see their hard work finally pay off with a victory.
“I feel the same way that I felt after every game, other than it’s a win. I feel like we played really hard, and I think we’ve done that all season. Our problem has been whether we can play for four quarters, and I still don’t feel like we played all four quarters, but I think we played well longer than we have in any game yet,” said Georgetown head coach Doug Williams following Tuesday’s win.
During the early season of play the G-Men have relied heavily on the scoring from their 6’5” sophomore standout postman, Noah Pack, but any opponent that has scouted the G-Men are well aware of their need to focus on Georgetown’s leading scorer and rebounder who is averaging a double-double on the season. But in Tuesday’s league bout against Felicity there were four G-Men to reach double figures in scoring. Leading the way in scoring for the G-Men were senior guard Christian Linville and junior guard Jonny Strickland with 15 points each.
Pack ended the night with 12 points to go along with 18 rebounds while junior guard Logan Doss, who is working his way back from an injury, drained five field goals for 10 points.
The G-Men knew coming in to the Dec. 20 Southern Buckeye Athletic/Academic Conference National Division contest that holding down Felicity’s leading scorer, senior guard Dominic Ruwe, could prove to be a challenge, but they would hold Ruwe well below his season average to 16 points.
“I think every team that goes in to play Felicity knows that Ruwe can really score, and for us it was no different. We knew he was going to be their guy and our kids really stepped up to the challenge and decided we were going to do a good job on him. It helped us that he got into foul trouble, but we did a good job of getting him into foul trouble,” said Williams. “He’s averaging double figures at the foul line, so it was big for us to not put him at the line.”
The Cardinals started out the game on a 7-0 run, but it didn’t take long for the G-Men to heat up on the offensive end. An assist by Linville for a three-pointer by Strickland snapped the early Cardinal run, leaving the G-Men trailing 7-3.
Ruwe cruised down the court for a score on transition to expand the Felicity lead to 9-3.
It was then that Linville would begin what became a hot night of shooting, rifling in his first of five three-pointers on the night to cut the Felicity lead to just three.
Pack was able to get in on the first quarter scoring action, sinking a shot down low to trim the Cardinal lead to just one.
The G-Men took their first lead of the night with 1:36 to go in the first quarter, as junior guard Luke Gast dished an assist to senior forward Levi Burns to leave the Cardinals trailing 10-9.
A score in the paint by Felicity’s Kevin Arkenau followed by field goal from Ruwe put the Cardinals back on top 13-10, but another three-pointer by Linville tied the game at 13-13 before the first quarter reached an end.
Linville buried his third three-pointer of the night to start off scoring in the second quarter, lifting the G-Men to a 16-13 lead.
A three-pointer by Felicity’s Jared Boeckmann tied the game at 16 apiece, but it was Gast coming through with a score on a drive to the hoop to break the knot, putting the G-Men on top 18-16.
Buckets by Pack and Doss would follow, expanding the Georgetown lead to 22-16.
The Cardinals were able to trim the Georgetown lead to 22-18 just before the G-Men would 12-0 run. Strickland grabbed a steal and cruised down the court for a score on transition to kick off the Georgetown run in the second quarter, putting the G-Men up by six.
A three-pointer by Georgetown sophomore Cameron Brookbank widened the Georgetown lead to nine, then it was Doss coming through with a score on a fast break to put the G-Men up 29-18.
A set of hit free throws by Strickland left the Cardinals trailing by 13 points, but things were about to get even worse for the visiting Felicity team. With 1:03 to go in the first half, it was Linville sinking his fourth three-pointer of the night to expand the Georgetown lead to 34-18.
The G-Men would go on to hold a 35-22 lead at halftime.
Coming off halftime break, it was an assist by Georgetown’s senior guard Solomon Underwood for a score by senior teammate Chris Dietrick to leave the Cardinals trailing 37-22.
The G-Men went on to outscore the Cardinals 22-12 in the third quarter and 20-7 in the fourth quarter to secure the 36-point victory.
Linville managed to sink his fifth three of the night in the fourth quarter, finishing with five-of-eight shooting from beyond the arc.
Strickland buried five two-point field goals, sank one three-pointer, and connected on two-of-two attempts from the foul line in an outstanding offensive performance.
Pack drained five two-point field goals and connected on two-of-five attempts from the foul line for 12 points, while Doss earned his 10 points by burying five field goals from inside the arc.
Brookbank contributed with eight points, Dietrick ended the game with six points, and Gast finished with five points.
Rounding out Georgetown’s scoring in Tuesday’s win were Underwood (2), Tanner Ellis (2), and Burns (2).
It’s still to early to see if the big victory over Felicity marks a turning point for the G-Men, but the first win certainly takes some pressure off of the Georgetown varsity boys squad as they move closer to the midway point of the season.
“I think it gets the monkey off our back,” Williams said of his G-Men’s first victory. “Our schedule hasn’t done us any favors to start the season. There are two or three games that I think we should have won, but we didn’t (Fairfield, Ripley, and New Richmond). We were up in all three of those games but it didn’t turn out for us well in the end because we had lapses where we didn’t play well. I told the kids after the win that I was really happy to get that monkey off our back, but moving forward to see whether or not this is a turning point is determined on whether they learned anything from playing well (against Felicity).”
FFHS 13 9 12 7 – 41
GHS 13 22 22 20 – 77
Georgetown (77): Strickland 6 2-2 15, Linville 5 0-2 15, Pack 5 2-5 12, Doss 5 0-0 10, Dietrick 2 2-2 6, Ellis 0 2-2 2, Burns 1 0-0 2, Brookbank 1 5-8 8, Gast 2 0-0 5, Underwood 1 0-0 2. Three-pointers: Linville 5, Gast 1, Brookbank 1, Strickland 1. Team: 28 13-21 77.