Mount Gilead struggled offensively against visiting East Knox in a Tuesday night boys’ basketball game, with the result being a 46-28 win for the Bulldogs.
MG was held to single digits in all four quarters and never led in the contest — things that head coach Dan Strasser attributed to a lack of efficiency against a very disciplined defense.
“We never got it going,” said Strasser. “Credit that a lot to East Knox. They’re well-coached and play disciplined defensively and offensively. We knew that going in and we knew we had to be a lot more efficient offensively.”
After falling into a 4-0 hole and not scoring in the first four minutes of action, the Indians picked things up with a basket from Quade Harris and a pair of free throws by Elijah Chafin. However, the team would only get two more points off a Paul Butterman steal and score over the final three minutes of the quarter.
This allowed the Bulldogs to finish the quarter on a 9-2 run sparked by five points from Dillon Moreland.
Leading 13-6 after eight minutes, the Bulldogs extended their lead to 24-8. However, the Indians were able to finish the half with some momentum, getting two free throws from harris and four points by Butterman. While a late score by Ethan Rine ended that run before the half, MG had clawed back within a 26-14 margin.
They would then open the second half with a three-pointer by Aaron Gannon. After a Bulldog free throw, Butterman scored, was fouled and converted on his attempt from the charity stripe to get MG within seven at 27-20.
East Knox responded with four straight points, but a Chafin three-pointer made it 31-23 with 3:35 left in the third. Unfortunately, the Indians would be shut out over that duration. East Knox responded with threes by Shane Knepp and Peyton Lester on their way to holding a 39-23 lead going into the fourth.
Strasser felt his team forced too much on offense and couldn’t consistently work to get good looks.
“Bad shots don’t go in,” he said. “You’re not going to shoot yourself back into the game. You have to be more disciplined to get back into it. That’s not how our offense is built. You don’t do it on one attack. You have the break the defense down with multiple attacks. We ran out of patience and tried to make our comeback in one huge push.”
The Indians opened the fourth quarter with a basket by Butterman, but then suffered a six-minute drought that allowed their opponents to win comfortably as they were able to take the air out of the ball with long possessions.
“They’re very offensively disciplined and patient,” said Strasser. “They’re okay with running a minute and a half or two minutes off the clock. They’ve run their system a long time and they don’t beat themselves. Those were all things we knew coming into it — we just didn’t execute our gameplan.”
Butterman paced the Indians with 11 of their 28 points.