Clinton Township Chippewa Valley took care of a big problem Friday night in its MAC Red Division opener against visiting Utica Eisenhower.
That’s because Justin Greason, a 6-foot-10 senior manning the middle for the Eagles, didn’t get enough help from his teammates as the Big Reds prevailed, 56-47.
Greason led the Eagles with 20 points but wasn’t a focal point of the offense in the second half with only five.
“We were 6-for-27 from beyond the arc, and that’s way too many threes when you have a big guy like Justin,” Eisenhower coach Dave Schwesinger said. “We’ve been winning, but it’s been like that all year. We’ve got to do a better job of getting him the ball and creating angles. He’s not going to complain. He’s a great kid, but we need to shoot better around him. Kevin (Voss) had a great game plan.”
Eric Drewyour, a 6-4 senior, rose to the occasion, literally, having the play of the game in the fourth quarter.
He had a dunk tip with Greason in the area, giving Chippewa Valley a 46-39 lead. CV went on a 7-2 spurt from there to take a 53-41 lead.
“I wasn’t expecting it,” Drewyour said. “I wasn’t expecting the miss.”
The Big Reds are 7-0 overall; the Eagles are 5-1.
Drewyour, who didn’t start, and Steven Lloyd led the Big Reds with 14 points each, and Sean Bunting added 12.
“We just wanted to double-team him a lot and make sure he didn’t get the ball as much as he did against other teams,” Drewyour said. “He averaged 27 points, and we didn’t want him to get the ball. We played a 2-3 or man-to-man most of the game. We wanted lock him down.
“I was behind him most of the game, and whoever was on the wing would drop down and help me. We didn’t care if they shot threes. We knew they wouldn’t knock them down.”
Greason was the central figure for the Eagles in an early test for division supremacy.
Greason’s supporting cast wasn’t exactly sharp in the first half, and Chippewa Valley’s strategy was to double him once he put the ball on the floor in an effort to force a turnover.
Ike spent the first part of the first quarter missing uncontested three-pointers as the Big Reds took a 12-6 lead.
Once the ball went inside to Greason, Ike’s fortunes, offensively, improved.
Greason scored 10 points in the first quarter as Eisenhower regained the lead, 14-12.
Lloyd scored 10 of his 12 first-half points in the second quarter as the Big Reds took a 26-24 halftime lead despite 15 from Gleason.
The Big Reds took control in the third quarter, outscoring Ike, 12-7, to take a 38-31 lead with Bunting and Drewyour scoring six points each.
Jake Bradsher added 13 points and Logan Fredal 11 for Eisenhower.
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