By Joe Williams, Sports Editor
It was a tough night near the basket when Independence visited neighborhood rival Summit last night. Finis Stribling's (green #0) attempt to keep the Spartans' Jack Klein (25) from scoring was a physical affair. Becky Williams
The Independence defense was swarming, affecting almost every Summit shot as the Eagles captured the neighborhood rivalry game 50-36.
|Summit's Damonte Williams battles for two of his team high 13 points in last night's loss to Independence 50-36. Photo courtesy of John Young
“I couldn’t be prouder of the way we played defensively,” said Indy coach Greg Glass after the win. “We set defensive goals for every game and we attained all of our goals.”
The Eagles challenged almost every shot the Spartans put up, holding Summit to 4-of-15 shooting (26.7%) in the first half and only ten points. Summit scored only two points in the first eight minutes, crippling their confidence according to Spartan head coach Chris Ladd.
“You could see the confidence drain out of our kids. We were standing around and not competing. I told them at halftime I wanted to see some fight out of them; I wanted to see them compete.”
Summit gave it a fight in the second half, but only after Indy had stretched the lead to more than twenty points and momentum had carried the Eagles to a dominant position. Much of that success came on the back of senior Finish Stribling who scored all ten of his points in the second half and being a defensive demon in the first.
“He’s our best athlete,” said Glass of the Missouri football signee. “Obviously football and track are his main sports, but I couldn’t be more proud of him tonight. He was all over the boards, was aggressive defensively and he really went after the ball.”
Deion Simms led all scorers, notching 14 points for the Eagles, while Damonte Williams led Summit with 13. The Spartans nearly tripled their offensive production in the second half.
The win gives Independence some momentum heading into Tuesday night’s scheduled match at Dickson County, while Summit prepares for a visit from Brentwood.
In girls’ action, Independence had to make a couple of runs to come from behind, eventually stopping Summit 44-41.
“Summit-Independence is an automatic, high emotion big rivalry game,” said winning coach Mary Beth White. “I have a feeling we’ll have a lot more like this.”
Summit’s Josh Goodwin is hoping that is not the case, as his team let a seven point lead slip away in the final quarter.
“It’s tough to lose a big rivalry game, especially leading at half,” said Goodwin who had to play the game without three starters. “I don’t feel good about it, the girls don’t feel good about but it’s something we can learn from and build on.”
Posted on: 1/3/2014