Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Eastview downs Apple Valley despite Jones’ career-high

Apple Valley freshman phenom Tyus Jones tied his career-high scoring mark last night, but it was rival Eastview who invaded his home court and claimed the victory.

“We’re very spoiled to have him here, he’s such a good point guard, he gets us organized and he had a great night,” said Zach Goring, Apple Valley’s head coach.

Goring’s floor general tallied 33 points and seven assists for the Eagles, but Eastview emerged the superior team, defeating Apple Valley 74-67.

Eastview’s win sealed the season sweep over Apple Valley - the Lightning defeated the Eagles 50-44 on Jan. 14.

Last night - much like the first game - it was the Eastview bigs that were the difference. Junior forward Joey King poured in 30 points and senior Frank Veldman pulled down a game-high eight rebounds.

“They’re strong post players,” Goring said of Eastview’s frontcourt. “I know over there (in the game at Easview) they had 18 offensive rebounds and tonight they were up 10 on the glass again. Against a team like that, that shoots that well, we need to secure those rebounds.”

Despite the rebounding disparity, Goring’s team had its chances tonight.

Forty-five seconds into the game, Tyus Jones had two baskets and it was 4-0 Eagles. But the Lightning immediately responded to Jones’ second hoop as forward Frank Veldman opened Eastview’s scoring with a thunderous dunk.

Oddly enough, nearly two hours later, Veldman finished Eastview’s scoring with another dunk.

In the game’s waning moments, three Eagles defenders had Eastview’s Ben Oberfeld pinned near the boundary line under his own basket, when Oberfeld somehow managed to squeak a pass through to a teammate, which quickly led to the game-sealing slam.

“He pitched it ahead, [another Eastview player] pitched it ahead, dunk,” Goring said, recalling how fast the play transpired.

“We’re not a great pressing team, we’re more of a half-court, get back and defend team,” he added. “When it gets to the end of the game, we’re taking chances, trying to make plays and we fouled guys.”

Goring was also speaking to the consecutive old-fashioned threes the Lightning accomplished prior to the dunk.

Apple Valley cut its deficit to four on a Jones’ lay-up with two minutes remaining; but King and Oberfeld both made hoops plus free throws, and suddenly Eastview’s lead balooned to 72-62 with 42 ticks to spare.

Tom Schalk, Apple Valley’s leading scorer - who had 18 points and six rebounds for the night - shared his postgame thoughts.

“It was just discouraging, really discouraging,” Schalk said. “They killed us on the boards down the stretch, made plays when they needed to and took over down the stretch.”

Jones acknowledged his high-scoring night and that he tried his best to help his team win, but also expressed his disappointment with the loss.

“I was just trying to get the team a W, whatever it took to get the win,” Jones said. “If I had to get scoring, I was going to score, if I had to get other people in position to score, I would to do that. I was just taking what was open, which [tonight] was scoring.”

“It was a tough battle, we played a tough Eastview team,” he added. “In the second half we just couldn’t buckle down and get the stops we needed, and they went on their run.”

Another key part of the game, which Goring was particular upset with, was toward the end of the first half. His team was up 10 points with less than a minute remaining, when suddenly that lead evaporated to five in an instant.

“At one point, we were up 41-31 with a minute left” Goring said. “[Then], ten to five in the snap of a finger.”

Despite the disappointment, Goring said he told his team to stay positive and “hopefully we’ll see those guys a third time.”

The Eagles will hope to have get that chance as both teams prepare for sections and state, which start in less than three weeks.

**This was written for Sun Newspapers, to be posted as online content for the paper's website. There were some difficulties with my camera and taking game photos, thus not many of them did not turn out and the ones that did aren't nearly as satisfactory as I hoped. The first Tyus Jones picture was shot after the game. Descriptions of the photos in the story - from top to bottom - are as follows: Tyus Jones (post-game), Jones (21) in the Apple Valley huddle, Tom Schalk (30) preparing for an in-bounds play, Apple Valley Eagles basketball team (pre-game)

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