Scoring 10 points in a half on 3-of-26 shooting isn’t really a winning formula for a high school basketball team. Yet those were stats after the first half for the West Delaware boys at Center Point-Urbana Dec. 7. The Hawks survived the half and rallied from a 10-point halftime deficit to defeat CPU, 36-29, at Center Point Dec. 7.
Key to the Hawks victory was a defensive effort that saw West Delaware limit the Stormin’ Pointers to nine second-half points.
On a night when CPU used a triangle-and-two defense to limit the Hawks Derek Krogmann and Kyle Kelley, Gavin Soppe stepped up and led West Delaware with 14 points, including three baskets from three-point range.
West Delaware trailed 20-10 at halftime. Coach Matt Uthoff said CPU’s defense was effective against his squad. “CPU did a good job of disrupting our offensive rhythm. I think we were a little shell-shocked at halftime with our poor shooting. We made the necessary adjustments as to how we wanted to attack the defense they were playing. We also came back out and really clamped down defensively, which is what we do.”
The Hawks cut the CPU lead to one with three minutes left in the third quarter, with Soppe hitting some big shots in the Hawks comeback.
“Gavin is such a competitor,” Uthoff explained. “He’s a senior and is going to do whatever it takes to win. He knew Friday night he needed to hit a couple of shots. He did that, just leading us and getting us where we needed to be.”
Uthoff credited Krogmann and Kelley on their response to CPU’s pressure. “Derek and Kyle did a good job keeping their composure and really finding some of the guys who were open. Defensively, I thought Logan Woellert and Jamison Smith gave us tremendous energy. It was a total team effort.”
West Delaware’s statistical leaders were: points — Krogmann 10, Kelley eight, Woellert and Smith two; rebounds — Krogmann and Woellert eight, Logan Winn seven, Kelley, Soppe and Smith two, Mitch Krogmann one; assists — Woellert and Soppe two, Kelley and Derek Krogmann one.