Tuesday night’s boys basketball game between Shelby and visiting Galion was like watching two different halves. Shelby was the obvious aggressor in the first half, making its first eight-shots of the game, shooting 18 of 24 from the field in the first half en route to a 71-56 win over Galion.
The Whippets built a halftime lead of 46-22, outrebounded Galion 16 to 2 in the first half and had missed only six shots the entire first half. They had only four turnovers in the first half.
But Galion returned to the court after intermission revitalized, playing more up-tempo, sharing the basketball and actually out-scored Shelby, 34-25, in the second half.
“We just didn’t play at all in the first half,” Galion coach Ed Rich said. “It was disappointing. We’ve been playing pretty good, winning four games in a row against some pretty good teams. We knew Shelby is a good team and we needed to come out and play right out of the gate and we did not. We were flat, probably as flat as I’ve ever seen us. We played scared, you could see it in our eyes.
“The second half, I have to give our guys credit. Austin Prosser said there’s no way he’s going to let this happen and he took it upon himself,” Rich added.
Prosser scored 16 points to lead Galion including his team’s first 9-points of the third quarter. Galion cut a 28-point deficit in the third quarter down to the final 15-point margin.
“The sad thing is, we ran the same stuff in the first half, we were just afraid to attack,” Rich said. “We’ll learn from this.”
Shelby built an early 22-8 lead in the first quarter when it made those first 8-shots. Austin Rohde hit two 3-pointers and had 11 points in the first half and wound up with 17 for the game. The Whippets received big contributions from Kristan Kehres and Andrew Baird. Kehres had 12 first-half points and finished with a game-high 18. He also hauled down six offensive rebounds. Baird had eight points in the first half and finished with 16. Season leading-scorer Grant Fenner had ten points at the half and added two in the third quarter for 12 to give Shelby four players in double-figures. Tyler Young scored six for the Whippets.
“Our first two-quarters were great,” Shelby coach Troy Schwemley said. “We had good ball movement and good shot selection. We only had four turnovers and we had multiple people scoring. Those first two quarters, we played pretty good basketball.
“The disappointing thing was the last two quarters. We had turnovers, we got sloppy and that’s why we’re 10 and 6. We can play that good at times and we also showed we get sloppy and lose that focus.That’s something we’ve beem working on since the first game of the year. Galion was a lot more aggressive in the second half. We looked at Galion and knew they were hot coming in having won four in a row. They were a team with a lot of confidence coming in. We respected them as an opponent, but we did a good job of being the initiater in the first half,” Schwemley added. “Credit to Galion, they weren’t going to go away and we knew they were going to come back and battle. I was just a little disappointed in how we seemed to break down a little bit when Galion was attacking us.”
Tony Kirk and Houston Blair backed Prosser’s 17 points with 12 points apiece. All of Blair’s points were in the second half. Jordan Valentine came off the bench and added two 3-point baskets for galion in the fourth quarter.
The win improves Shelby’s record to 10-6 while galion drops to 8-10. Shelby will entertain Sandusky on Friday night and Galion travels to Ontario on Saturday night.