January 18, 2014

Turnovers, missed FTs cost Warriors in OT loss to Jays

WINAMAC — Riding a three-game winning streak, Winamac played host to the North Judson Bluejays Friday night with hopes of making it four.

Unfortunately for the Warriors untimely turnovers and missed opportunities from the foul line kept that from becoming a reality as the Warriors fell in overtime 63-58. Winamac ended the night with 19 miscues.

Winamac (3-4) started the game clicking on both ends of the court. With in your face pressure on defense and running on offense the Warriors quickly opened up a 11-2 lead forcing North Judson (6-3) into a timeout at the 5:06 mark. Seven Winamac turnovers prevented it from gaining a bigger lead during that time. Following the timeout it was Judson going on a 12-4 run to end the quarter with Winamac up 15-14.

Colin McGee had a nice opening quarter for the Warriors but was fairly quiet until late in the second when he hit his eighth point of the half. Not only did turnovers continue for the Warriors but when they started going to the free throw line it wasn’t pretty. On the night when they shot just 8 of 19 from the stripe, Judson hit on 21 on 27. Just before halftime the Bluejays took the lead for the first time in the game and led 22-21 at the break.

The teams exchanged leads on a few occasions in the third quarter and Winamac led by three before Judson’s Jake Shabi hit from long distance to tie it at 34 with 2:16 left. From that point on it was Winamac as the Warriors went on a 7-0 run to end the quarter and take a 41-34 lead going into the final frame.

In the fourth quarter Winamac’s Dalton Button let the visitors know he was there to win. The 6-2 big man in the middle became a force on both ends of the court pulling down rebound after rebound and getting himself open for easy baskets inside. When it was all said and done Button had finished with his first double-double by collecting 13 rebounds and 10 points.

However, North Judson’s shooters found themselves open in the fourth and made the Warriors pay dearly. Winamac was holding a nine-point lead at the 4:51 mark when the Jays got dialed in. They came back and took a 55-52 lead on a pair of free throws by Dalton Bailey with :12 to go.

Winamac’s J.T. Garnett  found himself with an open shot from about 23 feet out with time winding down and nailed the shot sending the game into overtime.

But the overtime period was all North Judson as turnovers and missed free throws again sealed the Warriors’ fate on the night as the Bluejays went on to the 63-58 win.

“I’m really proud of my guys but we didn’t do a good job of protecting a nine-point lead there in the fourth quarter,” Winamac coach Kyle Johnson said. “They made 21 free throws to our nine so they got to the line a lot more than we did and we didn’t shoot them well. We just gave up too many points in that fourth quarter and we have to a better job of eliminating the turnovers. We’re not going back to the drawing board by any means, but we do have to learn from this game and build from it.”

Winamac was led by Parker Fox with 13 points on the night. McGee finished with 12 while Button had 10. Garnett chipped in nine of his own.

Winamac hosts Argos tonight.

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