Pontiac cruises past Dwight

One team gets blown out by 33 points and really doesn’t feel bad. The team that won by such a wide margin, liked aspects, but found there are some things that need improvement in a hurry.
    Pontiac took care of business with a 58-25 victory over host Dwight Friday night at Kresl Memorial Gymnasium. In all honesty, this was a game the Indians were expected to win going away, which they did.
    But the Trojans are not the caliber of the teams PTHS will be facing next week at home, and Pontiac head coach Durrell Robinson knows his team has to improve some key areas to meet the challenge of the Pontiac Holiday Tournament.
    “For us to have any shot at Bloom Township, we’ve got to defend; team defense will be very important,” Robinson said. “We’ve got to shoot the ball better as far as free throw. Our free throw was horrible, we just weren’t hitting them and there’s no reason for that.”
    Pontiac was rather horrendous at the charity stripe, making just 3 of 11 tosses. Fortunately for the visitors, it didn’t come into play.
    What did was defense.
    “We still have a ways to go but we got better defensively, that’s what kept us ahead the whole game — dictating defense, doing a better job of off the ball movement as far as help defense,” Robinson said.
    “We’re showing more discipline. When teams are able to do certain things, we still have to stay disciplined on defense, where we don’t over commit and allow something to open up. We did a better job of showing team defense.”
    Dwight, actually was able to do some things when it had the ball. The Trojans were able to run sets and get some looks, they simply had trouble finding the range.
    “I think we got better execution-wise against a tough man-to-man team,” DTHS head coach Eric Long said. “We handled pressure decently, so we made some progress even though we didn’t shoot. If we put some good shooting with some good execution, hopefully we will be seeing where we really should and could be at.”
    Dwight wasn’t shooting well from anywhere — from the field or from the free throw line. DTHS was 5 of 11 from the line. Even worse from behind the 3-point line.
    “We have to shoot better than 18 percent from the field to have a chance to win,” Long added. “We’ve been shooting pretty well on the season overall from 3, I think we’re around 31-32 percent. Tonight, we’re 2 of 23. We need to shoot better.”
    One of the makes came 1:15 into the game when Colton Holm buried a 3-pointer to give the Trojans a 3-0 lead. It took a few minutes, but Pontiac overcame the deficit and began its trek to victory.
    Joe Murphy scored inside to break a 3-3 tie, and baskets from Murphy and Ryan Weir in the first two minutes of the second period pushed the Indians to an 11-4 lead. A 14-3 run to open the second quarter gave PTHS a 21-7 lead and started to widen the gap.
    One of the problems facing Dwight as Pontiac kept pulling away was shooting.
    “In thought we did a lot of things really well,” Long said. “If there was another way to score points other than making a basket, we would have been in great shape.
    “I thought we executed our plays really well, we got the shots we wanted to get. I think we only had 5 turnovers in the first half, we were tied in offensive rebounds with 5. We did the things we wanted to do, the bottom line is you have to make shots.”
    Pontiac led 23-11 at the intermission and got the advantage to 42-19 late in the second after Isaac Nollen scored inside off a beautiful feed from Cobi Parra.
    Murphy led the Indians (6-7) with 14 points and Weir added 10. Payton Amm hit for 9 points with Ben Schuler throwing in 5. Nollen chalked up 4 markers with Max Gschwendtner, Clay Miller, Mike Davis and Mason Monahan each hitting for 3 points. Luke Fox and Matt Murphy added 2 points apiece.
    Lane Thompson, who played a solid game against Pontiac last year, led Dwight with 9 points. Logan Graham chipped in 6 points with Dakota Wahl adding 3. Cal Schultz and Holm each had 3 points.
    SOPHS: Dwight took the preliminary contest by outscoring Pontiac in the second to claim a 35-31 victory. PTHS led 20-19 at the intermission but was outscored 8-6 in the third. The Trojans also scored eight points in the final frame while holding the Indians to five in taking the win.
    Brandon Ceylor had 12 points for the Trojans. Isaac Telford added 7 points with Jeremy Kapper scoring 6 and Trent Tilley throwing in 5 points. Abe Rieke had 3 and Landon Brown tallied 2 markers.
    Keegan Brinkman scored 13 points for the Indians and Caleb Peet threw in 7. Aaron Adcock and Matt Murphy each scored 4 points while Monahan netted 3.