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Indy drops second at Ryan tourney

Independence fell behind 7-0 Friday afternoon and was never able to recover, losing 57-42 to Memphis University School in the Father Ryan Christmas Tournament.
The Eagles (3-8) were able to cut the Owls’ lead to four early in the third quarter but could not find consistency at the offensive end, coach Greg Glass said.
“We did a good job of getting back in the game, but we had some lapses both offensively and defensively,” he said. “Eighty percent of the guys in my program are freshmen and sophomores, so we still have to find the right combination out on the floor.”
The MUS defense kept the pressure on, forcing eight Indy turnovers and allowing the Eagles very little room to work on offense. Deion Simms was the lone bright spot for the Indy offense, scoring 16 points to lead his team.
“He’s leaving it all out on the floor, we just have to find some other guys who are willing to do the same,” Glass said.
Conversely, 11 different players scored for MUS, led by Baley Buford and David Nelson each with 14 points. The Owls shot better than 51 percent from the floor (21-of-41) and 36 percent (5-of-14) from 3-point range.
Independence shot just 16-of-48 (33 percent) from the floor, with Simms the only player in double figures. Bryan Thompson was next with eight points, followed by Finis Stribling with six.
“We’ve got to get guys more involved at both ends of the floor,” Glass said. “We can’t have one guy do everything. We need to have someone step up and take ownership.”
The Eagles got off to a rocky start, thanks largely to the MUS pressure defense, which created five first-half turnovers. When Indy could break the press, it was not always able to establish its offense, leading to short possessions and quick shots.
“We weren’t rushing so much but just trying to get into something we could execute,” Glass said.
The Owls, on the other hand, used the defensive momentum to their advantage, shooting 12-of-25 from the floor in the first half and 5-of-12 from behind the 3-point line. Buford was 4-of-7 from 3-point range in the first half with 14 points, helping MUS build a 32-20 halftime advantage.
Ball movement was key for the Owls on offense, getting the Eagles out of position and opening up good looks at the basket from the perimeter. Indy was able to limit the Owls in the second half, however, closing the gap to just four points after trailing by 12.
“At times we can look really good, and at times we can look really bad,” Glass said. “If we can just eliminate the bad times and make those into decent or good times, we’ll be OK.”
With just four seniors, and only one (Simms) with significant experience, the Eagles are definitely a work in progress.
“Eventually there comes a point when the guys on the floor have to start figuring things out,” he said. “One thing I’m looking for this season is at the end of the game for us to compete and give ourselves a chance.
“We’ve just got to get over that hump.”
It was the second straight loss for the Eagles at the Ryan tourney, dropping a 47-27 decision to Blackman on Friday.  Simms has 15 in that contest.

Posted on: 12/27/2013


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