Tillsonburg Glendale HS Gemini junior boys basketball team took care of business Thursday afternoon outgunning St. Thomas Parkside 73-50 to win their TVRA South East semifinal.
"They have some really good shooters on their team," said Glendale's Ben Demaree, noting two players accounted for 75 per cent of Parkside's points. "No. 32 (O. Henderson) and 42 (A. Robertson) were really good shooting."
Parkside's Henderson had 23 points, including four three-pointers, while Robertson had 14 points, with a pair of three-pointers.
"Their 2-3 zone gave us a bit of trouble," added Demaree. "It makes us shoot more because we can't get into the paint as easily."
"It was tough to get it into the middle of the paint," agreed teammate Steven Gilvesy. "They were tall and they packed it in – a combinaton of both, I think. They really left the three point open."
The solution, Demaree and Gilvesy agreed, was good shooting.
"Jack (Demaree) and Steven (Gilvesy) shot well," Ben Demaree nodded, who added 11 points including one three-pointer. "We had a few moments where you go transition (offence), but mostly it was pass it around, set it up."
Gilvesy, a shooting point guard, had a team-high 29-point game, while Jack Demaree hit for 16 points.
"That's fairly high," Gilvesy smiled.
Having the option to shoot – and shoot well – or play more of a high-low game and drive the lane gives the Gemini opportunity to score whatever defence an opponent plays.
"It depends what kind of shooting night we're having," said Demaree. "If we're having a poor shooting night we can always go to the paint to get points. We have a lot of players who can take the contact and finish in there."
Defensively, Gilvesy said they need to react a bit better, citing some trouble he was having early in the game.
"Just finding out which guys we've got to cover, so I guess a little bit better focus. I think it's just coming out more ready..."
"They were man-to-man to begin with," noted Gemini coach Mike Demaree. "They switched to a 2-3 zone and it seemed like initially we were trying to work it inside and we weren't having a lot of success the first few possessions. Once they started taking those 'elbow' shots, the corner shots from the wings, we started hitting them. They were wide open shots, too, they weren't even really contested. Once we did that, we got going."
Coach Demaree, happy with the team's defence overall, had suggested some early defensive changes.
"I wasn't really happy with the way we were playing man-to-man, we were getting screened off easily. I didn't think we were fighting through the screens very well. So we made the switch to 1-3-1 and seemed to be getting some turnovers off it, some easier baskets, so we went 1-3-1 primarily for the second and third quarters. Back to man-to-man in the fourth quarter, and they looked a lot better.
"When every game is intense, you're just dialed in better," said Demaree. "When you're coming off a stretch of not having tough games, it's almost like it takes some time to get your intensity. Once we did, we did fine."
Glendale's junior boys play the winner of the WCI-East Elgin semifinal in the TVRA South East championship Wednesday. Site of that game is to be determined, likely at the home of the No. 1 East senior boys.
"Probably East Elgin," said Gilvesy, excited to be playing his first WOSSAA next Friday.
"They're the favourites against WCI," Ben Demaree nodded.
Glendale 73, Parkside 50
Glendale scoring: Steven Gilvesy 29, Jack Demaree 16, Trent Sinden 5, Ben Demaree 11, Wes Hopper 2, Henry Vandenbroek 4, Kieran Rangel 4.