VERMILION — When Vermilion spotted visiting Midview the first 10 points of Friday night’s game, it did not look good for the Sailors.
But instead of rolling over, the Sailors responded with three dominating quarters, outscoring the Middies by 22 points during that stretch en route to a 56-46 West Shore Conference victory.
Vermilion (11-5, 8-4 WSC) used a suffocating defense — forcing 15 turnovers after just forcing one in the first quarter — solid foul shooting — going 17-of-23 from the free throw line — and a balanced scoring effort paced by three Sailors in double figures.
The way Midview (9-8, 5-6) opened the game with leads of 10-0 and 14-2, it appeared that it was going to be a rout the opposite way.
“It was probably me screaming at them during our first timeout,” Vermilion coach Kurt Habermehl said. “We needed a wake-up call because we came out really flat and we had a hard time getting going. I give the kids a lot of credit. They picked up their defense quite a bit and pressured the ball a lot and got ourselves back in the game.
“We really wanted to increase the tempo. Midview’s so great with their matchup zone that, if you can’t get some easy baskets in some transition, you’re gonna struggle. I thought we did a pretty good job of increasing the tempo and getting some quick layups.”
A 3-pointer by 5-foot-10 senior reserve Zach Myracle with 36 seconds left in the first cut the deficit to 16-7. That three kickstarted a 10-0 run that brought Vermilion within two points.
Myracle finished with 12 points on 4-for-7 shooting. He was joined by starters Cameron Kuhn (game-high 16 points and six rebounds) and Kyle Nader (14 and six).
“Zach Myracle was unbelievable tonight,” Habermehl said. “He was our player of the game. He saved us tonight. He came off the bench and hit some huge threes and just made plays. I’m real happy for him. What a great moment for him.
“Obviously Cameron had a great game and I thought Kyle Nader did a nice job hitting some big free throws and controlling the game, too. We can’t run our tempo game if Kyle’s not bringing the ball down hard and pitching it. I thought he did a great job of pitching the ball forward.”
Vermilion took its first lead with 1:45 left in the first half on reserve Caleb Waller’s 3-pointer — his only basket of the game — capping a 19-6 run to make it 23-22 Sailors. But the Middies responded with a 7-4 run down the stretch to grab a 29-27 halftime lead.
“We picked up the tempo on the defensive end and that sped up the game,” said Kuhn, who shot 5-of-11 from the floor and 6-of-8 from the line. “We’re better when we go fast. We finally figured out how to play with them (in the second quarter). At halftime, (Coach Habermehl) told us that if we picked the tempo up in the second half, we should win this game.”
It was Kuhn, who scored six of his team’s 11 points in the third quarter, that gave his Sailors the lead for good, when his mid-range jumper with 1:15 left made it 38-37 Sailors. Nader converted a three-point play to make it 41-39 early in the fourth quarter, en route to a 4-for-5 performance from the line during the final eight minutes.
The Sailors outscored the Middies 29-17 in the second half to come away with the win.
“We’ve got to play 32 minutes, not eight,” Midview coach Troy DiFranco said. “We were executing, sharing the ball, making the extra pass in the first quarter. The second half came along and we weren’t doing that so well. (Vermilion) turned up their defensive pressure and did a nice job defensively.
“They also made a lot of free throws. We’ve got to be prepared to play more physical basketball. In the first quarter, we did what we wanted to do. After that, I don’t know. If I knew the answer, it wouldn’t have happened.”
Contact Dan Gilles at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vermilion 56, Midview 46
MIDVIEW (46): Logan Bolin 6-0-12, Grant Overy 4-2-11, Daimion Mahone 2-3-7, Matt Randolph 2-0-4, Jack Duffner 0-2-2, Jacob Wells 2-1-5, Dimitri Redwood 1-1-3, Garret Overy 1-0-2, Kyle Warner 0-0-0. Totals 18-9-46.
VERMILION (56): Cameron Kuhn 5-6-16, Kyle Nader 5-4-14, Forrest Boyd 2-4-8, Seth Konrad 1-1-3, Aaron Dawson 0-0-0, Zach Myracle 4-2-12, Caleb Waller 1-0-3, Ross Lewis 0-0-0, Garrett Whitely 0-0-0. Totals 18-17-56.
Midview 16 13 8 8 — 46
Vermilion 7 20 11 18 — 56
Three-point goals: Midview 1-10 (Gr. Overy), Vermilion 3-13 (Myracle 2, Waller). Field goals: Midview 18-38 (47 percent), Vermilion 18-40 (45 percent). Free throws: Midview 9-12 (75 percent), Vermilion 17-23 (74 percent). Rebounds: Midview 26 (Mahone 8), Vermilion 18 (Kuhn 6, Nader 6). Turnovers: Midview 16, Vermilion 11. Total fouls: Midview 18, Vermilion 15.