Kouts runs away from Westville
KOUTS — After one quarter of Friday’s Porter County Conference road contest, the Westville boys basketball team trailed Kouts by just one basket.
According to Blackhawks coach Drew Eubank, however, the slim deficit didn’t reflect a great performance by his team in the first eight minutes.
“In that stretch where we played OK, we got buckets that were kind of helter-skelter,” Eubank said. “I wasn’t happy with our effort and our focus when we started the game.”
From that point, the host Mustangs took their focus, effort and execution to another level, denying Westville a field goal for the rest of the half, building up a 15-point halftime lead with a 16-3 second quarter, and an eventually breezing to an 81-47 victory.
Class A No. 6 Kouts (6-0, 3-0) used a 10-2 run early in the second quarter to grab the advantage that it never relinquished the rest of the game.
Westville would regain some offense in the third quarter but was outscored 26-14 in the third quarter – as Kouts excelled its transitional scoring game – and found itself behind 23 points heading into the final eight mintues
“They (Kouts) play really physical on the ball defense; they play the passing lanes real hard, and we just didn’t do a very good job of getting into any type of offense at any point in the game,” Eubank said. They’re a really good defensive team, and we know they were going to run and push the tempo.
“In order to combat that, you have to be strong offensively and take good shots; we didn’t a very good job of that. Normally, it’s about our defense, but didn’t give our defense a chance. We didn’t have many opporutnites to set up a defense. They were beating us off the dribble.”
Off the dribble and especially on the break, Kouts twin guards Cole Wireman (26 points) Cale Wireman (15 points), and Anthony Norman (14 points) were especially effective, compensating for the team’s taller players who ran into early foul trouble.
“I would be curious to know what they could do offensively, because we gave them so many fast break opportunities where they didn’t have to run an offense,” Eubank said. “Their guards are excellent on ball and passing lane defenders, and we just didn’t do a good job of playing through them.”
“Their guard put on a show defensively, and they were sharing the ball well offensively. Their goal is to make you speed up and get you take the first shot instead of a good shot, and we played right into what they wanted. That’s a credit to them because they are a really good ball team.”
After scoring in the 60s during their previous four wins, the Mustangs scored the most points since their season opener – a 101-61 win over West Central. The Blackhawks’ offensive output was its least since opening the season with an 88-36 loss to Michigan City.
“Our goal was to put pressure on their guards and try to limit chances for their shooters,” Kouts coach Kevin Duzan said. “If we could defend and rebound, we think we can run against people. Our defense creates that, and we put pressure on them. It was a good team effort for 32 minutes.”
Josh DeChantal led the Blackhawks (4-2, 2-1) with 10 points, while Jace Woods, Jose Jenkins and Carlin Young all pitched in with eight points.
Kouts 81, Westville 47
Josh DeChantal had 10 points for the Blackhawks.