Smooth second half carries Rams past Glenville
Bob Madison For the Chronicle
Contributions from every corner helped Shepherd leave struggling Glenville on Saturday, when the Rams scored 53 second-half points to keep the Pioneers winless, securing an 85-68 conference win.
Without the necessity of getting much positive from its reserves, Glenville faded in the closing minutes to lose contact, seeing a five-point deficit balloon to 17 points at the end of its seventh consecutive season-opening loss.
Shepherd moved to 3-4 overall just in front of its conference game against unbeaten West Liberty.
Without much meaningful rebounding, the Pioneers couldn’t keep pace with their team, which lacked size and had only one significant scorer in Brooks Ely.
Shepherd countered Ely with a group of contributors led by AJ Carr, Steffen Davis, Derek McKnight, Winston Burgess and Gavin McTavish.
While Brooks was scoring 20 points and donning the leadership mantel for the Pioneers, Shepherd loosed Carr for 17 points and 17 rebounds — just 10 fewer than the entire Glenville roster.
Davis enjoyed his most accurate shooting night of the season and had another 17 points, while McKnight totaled 14 points, Burgess 11 more and McTavish — Shepherd’s most active player in the first half — finished with 10.
Shepherd had only a one point lead at the intermission, but then outgunned the fading Pioneers, 53-37, in the second half.
A significant 43-27 rebounding advantage buoyed the Rams.
The Rams also made the most of the 26 free throws they attempted, making 22 of them.
Especially in the second half, Carr and Burgess took full advantage of the size differential they enjoyed over Glenville’s smaller inside players.
Shepherd reached the bonus at the foul line with fully 10:08 to play.
The Pioneers pared away a one-time, 12-point Shepherd lead to trail 64-59, but were outpointed 21-9 in the final six minutes.
Both teams took care to avoid turnovers and neither one had as many as 10 floor errors.
Glenville hadn’t won and, though it stayed close — at times right on Shepherd’s heels — there was never any indication the Pioneers knew where the points, plays or leadership were coming from that could turn the game in their direction.