By Wade Linville –
As we approached the mid-season of Southern Buckeye Athletic/Academic Conference National Division play this week, the Georgetown G-Men stood atop league standings with a flawless record of 5-0.
Following an exciting league win on the road over the East Clinton Astros on Jan. 5 and an easy league victory at home against the Felicity-Franklin Cardinals on Jan. 9, the G-Men had beaten all but one team in the SBAAC National Division…the Clermont Northeastern Rockets.
The G-Men were scheduled to were scheduled to face the Rockets (3-2 in league play) on Jan. 12 to cap off round one of SBAAC National Division play.
Just midway through the season, this year’s G-Men have already claimed more league victories than last year’s Georgetown varsity boys’ squad that finished with a 4-6 league mark, and more wins than the 2015-16 G-Men that finished 3-7 in league play.
In Doug Williams’ second year as head of the Georgetown varsity boys basketball program, it appears the G-Men are adapting to the changes. The result has been a sturdier defense, more consistency, and increased confidence.
If one thing is for certain, high school boys’ hoops is alive and well in Georgetown.
“It feels good,” Williams said of his G-Men’s success on the court so far this season. “It’s kind of like I was telling the kids before (Jan. 9) when I said, ‘I told you guys that you are better than three wins.’ Now that we’re in this spot, it’s like ‘I told you so.’”
The G-Men faced one of their toughest league battles of the season while venturing to East Clinton High School on Jan. 9.
The G-Men struggled to find their rhythm early on, being outscored 27-15 in the second quarter to trail 41-27 heading into the locker room for halftime break.
After both teams shot for 15 points each in the third quarter of play, the G-Men trailed by 14 going into the final period of regulation play. But the G-Men refused to give up, and it was an impressive fourth quarter rally that saw the G-Men outscore the Astros 26-12 in the frame to knot the game at 68 and send the league bout into overtime. The G-Men went on to outscore the Astros 5-3 in overtime to escape with a 73-71 victory, upping their league record to 4-0 on the season.
Georgetown’s 6’7” junior Noah Pack recorded a double-double in the win at East Clinton with 19 points and 14 rebounds. He also dished out four assists.
Georgetown senior Jonathan Strickland shot for 17 points in the win over the Astros to go along with four rebounds and four assists.
Georgetown senior Logan Doss fired for 14 points in the Jan 5 win, and the fourth G-Man to reach double figures in scoring in the league win was junior guard Cameron Brookbank with 10 points.
Leading all scorers in the contest was East Clinton’s JT McCarren with 26 points, while teammate Wyatt Floyd finished with 21 points.
“I was really worried about East Clinton,” said Williams. “We fell behind in the first half, but we were able to come back and win in overtime. I was happy with the effort in the second half and in overtime.”
On Jan. 9, the G-Men rose to a 5-0 record in SBAAC National Division play with a 63-39 victory over the now 1-9 Felicity-Franklin Cardinals.
The G-Men started off the league game at home against the Cardinals on a 14-4 run and outscored Felicity 20-12 in the second quarter to hold a 34-16 lead at halftime.
The G-Men went on to outscore the Cardinals 29-23 in the second half to claim a 24-point victory.
Doss led the way in scoring for the G-Men, racking up 22 points against the Cardinals.
Brookbank shot for 17 points in the win.
Pack finished with eight points and 10 rebounds, while Georgetown junior Luke Gast ended the night with seven points.
Not only have the G-Men made significant strides offensively in their second season under the leadership of Williams, but it’s their improvement on the defensive end that has also played a huge role in their success on the court this season.
“Some of that (improvement on defense) is understanding what we want to do. Most of it is them buying into it,” said Williams. “We want it to be a sense of pride. We’ve taken some pride in our defense this year, and we want to continue with that.”
Going into the second half of the 2017-18 basketball season, Williams said there are some areas where he would like to see improvement out of his varsity team that held an overall record of 7-3 following the Jan. 9 win over Felicity.
“In the games we’ve struggled in this season we didn’t shoot the ball very well. I would like to see us shooting the ball better and being more efficient, taking good shots and moving the ball. Defensively, we’ve set the goal of getting our opponents’ average below 50 points, and we’re getting close.”
After holding the Felicity-Franklin Cardinals to 39 points on Jan. 9, the G-Men had downsized their opponents’ scoring average on the season to 52 points per game.
For this year’s members of the Georgetown varsity boys basketball squad, it’s the best start they have to a season in their careers as full-time varsity players and, according to Williams, the atmosphere is good at Georgetown Jr./Sr. High School as the G-Men stand on top in the battle for this year’s SBAAC National Division crown. Although the G-Men have managed to gobble up league wins during their first round against league opponents, they still appear to be hungry for more.
“I think the kids are still hungry,” said Williams.
The G-Men are back on their home court to host the Goshen Warriors for a non-league contest on Jan. 16.
Williamsburg, Blanchester, and Clermont Northeastern were tied for second in SBAAC National Division standings with 3-2 league records as of Jan. 10.