Goshen put an emphasis on their defensive strategy early in the preseason and the Warriors saw that work pay off on Friday, Dec. 9 as they handled their Southern Buckeye Conference American Division rivals, Amelia, 57-45.
The Warriors opened the game in a man-to-man defense, but switched to a one-three-one zone early in the first quarter that gave Ameila fits.
“We’re trying to work on our defense a lot,” Goshen head coach Scott Wake said after the game. “The one-three-one has been good. We have some long kids with long arms that make it tough and get a lot of deflections.
“That helps slow down (Amelia’s) pace down because they want to get out and create some tempo.”
The Warrior defense was so good, in fact, that Amelia was only able to score two points in the first quarter, leaving Goshen up six points after one, 8-2.
Things opened up in the second quarter for the Barons as they were able to crack Goshen’s defensive code to score 14 points.
After they scored, the Barons were able to get into their full-court press, an adjustment that gave Goshen some problems.
After Wake called a timeout following a pair of Goshen turnovers, the Warriors were able to handle the pressure a little better, originally breaking the press with a baseball pass to Ryan Ashcraft who was able to get behind the Amelia defense for an easy lay in.
Ashcraft thrived in the up-and-down second quarter, scoring nine points in the quarter including six straight solely on layups. Ashcraft was forced to pick up the slack for Goshen as one of their offensive leaders, Austin Fischer, got into early foul trouble, making him unavailable for most of the second quarter.
Even with Fischer on the bench and the tempo favoring Amelia, the Warriors were able to match the Barons in the second quarter, keeping their six-point lead in tact at the half, 22-16.
The third quarter belonged to the visiting Warriors as Fischer and Nick Messer enforced their will on the offensive end of the court. The duo scored 17 points between them in the quarter to give Goshen a comfortable 18-point cushion at the end of three, 46-28.
“Both of them just gave good effort,” Wake said. “We’re trying to get Messer to be consistent. When he comes out and plays hard and gives us effort like that he can do a lot of good things for us. “
Messer, a 6-foot-3 junior forward, led all scorers with 15 points, nine of which came in the Warriors big third quarter. Fischer, 6-foot-4 senior, added 13 points on the night, eight of which came in the third quarter.
“Fischer always plays hard and does a good job,” Wake said. “He gives us some scoring, he rebounds the ball well and jumps well and he plays with a lot of energy.”
The shots weren’t falling for Amelia all night. The Barons’ lanky sophomore guard Trevor Simon went 0-7 from behind the arc, but it wasn’t all a result of the stout Goshen defense.
“We knew from last year when he played little bit on the varsity as a freshman that he was a shooter,” Wake said. “He’s expanded his game some, he can get to the basket more now.
“We knew we had to run him off the three-point line and contest his shots. He got some open looks, but we got
lucky tonight that he didn’t shoot it as well as he normally does.”
With his expanded game, Simon was able to lead the Barons with 10 points, but his effort wasn’t enough to change the outcome as the Barons fell 57-45.
Goshen enjoyed a balanced offensive attack that saw four Warriors score in double figures. Aside from Fischer and Messer, Ashcraft and Kyle Wake both reached double digits in the scoring column with 14 and 10 points, respectively.
“We don’t have anybody that we can give the ball to and say, ‘go score,’ so we have to get points from a lot of different areas” Wake said. “We got some offensive boards, we got some things in transition and we knocked down some shots from the perimeter in the half court.”
The win moved Goshen to 1-1 on the season and dropped Amelia to 0-3. The Warriors were back in action on Monday, Dec. 12 when they played Williamsburg and the Barons hosted Batavia on Tuesday, Dec. 13.
Goshen (1-1) – Wake 4 0 10, Fischer 3 7 13, Smith 1 1 3, Ashcraft 6 0 14, Taylor 1 0 2, Messer 6 3 15. Totals: 20 11 57.
Amelia(0-3) – Moeves 2 0 4, Lughinbuhl 1 2 4, Crowder 5 1 11, Simon 4 0 8, Hacker 3 0 6, Dean 1 0 2, Mickler 4 0 10. Totals: 20 3 45.
Halftime: Goahen 22-16. 3-Pointers: G 4 (Wake 2, Ashcraft 2); A 2 (Mickler 2).