Switch pays off for Stars
NEW MARKET — Shenandoah Valley Academy boys basketball coach Bob Kilgore decided that the Stars were due for a little change in defensive philosophy ahead of Thursday’s game against visiting Massanutten Military Academy.
Traditionally a zone team, the Stars made the switch to a man-to-man defensive look against the Colonels — and the move paid off. SVA snapped its three-game losing streak with a 47-21 win over MMA, forcing 23 turnovers in the process.
“They’ve been wanting to stay in the zone and we just had too many holes before,” Kilgore said. “We’ve been killed three times so far, so this was nice to win. And actually, they played pretty well. I appreciated that. We had good rotation on defense.”
MMA (0-3) further compounded its offensive struggles with a poor shooting performance in the loss. The Colonels shot just 20 percent (9 for 45) from the field and failed to score more than seven points in a quarter.
“We seemed a little flustered at the beginning,” Colonels head coach Ryan Byrne said. “When we settle down and run our plays I’m very confident we’d score most of the time. … We tried to set up those plays to get in the post and back out, but it just wasn’t working for us today. Shots weren’t dropping.”
SVA (1-3) suffered from some shooting woes of its own on Thursday, but the Stars still managed to stake an early lead, as guards Daniel Mundy and Luke Fogg combined to boost SVA to an 8-0 run to start the game.
The Stars carried an 11-4 lead into the second period and led 15-9 midway through the quarter after Colonels senior Damoni Gunter hit a 3-pointer from the wing. SVA closed out the first half with an 8-0 run to take a 23-9 lead into the break. Mundy, who scored 11 of his game-high 12 points in the first half, fueled the Stars with four more points during the spurt.
SVA’s cold shooting from outside the paint prohibited the Stars from producing as well as Kilgore would’ve like in their up-tempo offense. SVA made just 2 of 21 3-pointers in the win, but the Stars — who swiped 14 steals — were able balance out some of that inaccuracy via fast-break buckets.
SVA shot 39.6 percent (21 for 53) from the field.
“I don’t know what happened today. We just weren’t making shots,” Mundy said. “But we made up for it on defense with a lot of fast breaks.”
The Stars took a 31-16 lead into the final quarter and blew the game wide open by outscoring the Colonels 16-5 in the final frame.
Iverson Kester-Calvin scored eight of his 10 points for the Stars in the fourth period, while Fogg finished with 11 points for the Stars.
Gunter and Zachary Siegel lead MMA with six points apiece, while point guard Joshua Holt had five points for the Colonels.
MMA’s defense forced 12 turnovers in the loss.
“Defensively I thought we played pretty good in the first half and then we just kind of gave up on it towards the end,” Byrne said. “But defensively, I don’t think it was the issue. It was our offense. When you see the defense change, you have to change the way you play the offense. You can’t just run to the same spot. I have to do better at that as a coach, coach them better for certain situations. But hopefully they learned a little something from this game and get back out there.”
Contact staff writer Brad Fauber at 540-465-5137 ext. 161, or firstname.lastname@example.org