AGS can’t complete comeback versus Hale
AUGRES — Hale figures to be in the thick of the North Star League title chase this season, but AuGres-Sims was eager to crash the party.
Hale's 53-38 victory over the Wolverines set up the ready-for-prime-time Eagles' showdown this Thursday with Fairview. The Wolverines, while able to compete with one of the best teams the league has to offer, showed they're not yet quite at that level.
"You can see that AuGres has really improved since last year," said Hale coach Ryan Parkinson. "(Coach) Gordie (Ostrander) has them playing hard. They rebounded well and got a number of second and third opportunities, and they beat us to a lot of loose balls, which I really didn't like.
"But I thought we got some great minutes off the bench from Lane Self, Eddy Cadwell and Evan Caverly, and that was a big key to the game."
The Eagles opened up a 30-15 lead early in the third quarter, but AGS fought back with a 14-4 run that included seven points by Travis Byard. Byard's 3-pointer with 30 seconds to go in the third quarter cut it to 34-29, but Caverly answered with a trey from the corner to increase the lead to eight.
Hale opened the fourth quarter with a pair of free throws by Self and two more from Tanner Shellenbarger made it 40-29, but Byard answered with a pair of baskets to cut it back to seven with 5:20 left.
But that was as close as AGS could get as the Wolverines' shot selection deteriorated down the stretch and Hale made 5-of-6 free throws in the final minutes.
"We're just not putting it all together tonight," Ostrander said. "We're suffering a bit from not having practiced in a week (thanks to snow days and games on Thursday, Friday and Monday).
"I thought our guards were unselfish and got the ball into Byard, A.J. (Baker) and Nate (Jennings), but that's not something we've always done well in the past, so they're not as confident getting the ball in there as we'd like.
"Our effort was good, but you could tell Hale's kids really know what to do with the ball when they get it."
Shellenbarger's defensive effort was also a huge factor as he held the Wolverines' Chad Taylor, who'd averaged more than 20 points in the Wolverines' first two games, to just four.
"Tanner didn't score much tonight, but he did whatever it took to win this game," Parkinson said. "And tonight that meant defending Chad."
The Eagles burst out to a 7-0 lead, but AGS crept back in the game after Nick Katterman took a seat with his second foul. But after AGS pulled to within 14-13 midway through the second quarter, Katterman returned to spark a 10-point run to close the second quarter, scoring three points but pulling down several rebounds. Christian Moody started the run with a 3-pointer.
Christian Mudry led a balanced Hale attack with 11 points, while Katterman had nine points and nine rebounds and Shellenbarger had eight points, six assists and six rebounds. The Eagles also held AGS to just 12-of-54 shooting from the floor (22 percent) while shooting 50 percent themselves.
"I really think we have a lot of improvement to make on the offensive end of the floor," Parkinson said. "But it's always nice to go to AuGres and get a win. It hasn't always been the best place for us to play."
Byard led AGS with 19 points, with Kyle Gingerich adding seven. Baker had five rebounds and Alex Lutz had three assists
Hale (2-0, 2-0) hosts Fairview (2-0, 1-0) on Thursday, while the Wolverines (1-2, 1-1) host Atlanta (1-1, 0-1).