Droughts can only last so long.
Ada-Borup is feeling good knowing one of its starters’ scoring drought is over after he found his way to the hole multiple times Tuesday.
Joel Merkens is the Ada-Borup player whose scoring ability was limited in the previous two games to just a combined 8 points, but his thirst for scoring prevailed against Bagley (4-8) as he scored a game high 24 points to lead the Cougars to a 74-54 win in Ada.
The 6-foot-5 senior captain did what he’s best at to produce points: physically driving the lane and baseline, going coast to coast for a score and surging through a packed lane to elevate for offensive rebounds and put back points; all of which he executed to perfection against the Flyers’ 2-3 zone which usually stifles any opponent’s offensive efforts.
“Joel stepped up well tonight after being limited in the previous two games,” Ada-Borup coach Trevor Stewart said. “We talked before the game about getting him to shoot more and step up his game. The numbers show it – he successfully did both.”
Giving Merkens many scoring opportunities was JD Kappes, who scored 38 points in the two games Merkens failed to amass major point totals. Kappes not only supported Merkens’ performance with 13 points of his own, but he also dished out 7 assists, with many of the assists he received resulted from Merkens’ buckets. Kappes also connected multiple times with Lance Ruebke who finished with the team’s second most points at 16.
Ada-Borup’s guards freely moved the ball up the court without any full-court pressure from Bagley.
It was only last season when the Flyers’ defense was well known for its troublesome full-court trap which transitioned into a pass-intercepting zone, but neither of the two facets was strongly featured this go-round with Ada-Borup (8-2), and it was to much pleasure of Stewart.
“Bagley didn’t show the press we always have to prepare for in practice,” Stewart said. “When they did come at us with their defensive 2-3 zone, we showed patience and moved the ball around well to create the scoring chances we capitalized on to win this game.”
To view more photos from this game, please visit nickwagnerphotos.com