Boys basketball: Kouts cruises past Washington Twp.
By Terry Turner Post-Tribune correspondent January 11, 2013 11:40PM
Washington Twp's Alex Perez tries to save the ball from out of bounds with Kouts' Nick Taylor in the second quarter at Washington Twp. Friday night. | Jeffrey D. Nicholls~Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 13, 2013 6:12AM
VALPARAISO — Veteran Kouts coach Marty Gaff wants his talented team to build more balance going into the tournament. Friday night, the Mustangs shook off a much-improved Washington Township team, and they did that with the balance Gaff is looking for, in an 81-48 win over the Senators.
For much of the first half, the Senators stayed with the 10-1 Mustangs, but in the final minutes of the second quarter, Gaff’s squad turned on the defense and ran off 17 straight points to take a 45-28 advantage into the locker room.
From that point, the Mustangs kept up the tempo and the pressure, and the Senators just ran out of gas.
“I think our defense turned into offense,” Gaff said. “We were getting steals, and turning them into fast breaks, and we were getting baskets.
“We got a lot out of Cody (Nelson) and Andrew (Birky) tonight.”
Birky scored 19 points and pulled down 10 rebounds, and Nelson finished with 18 points, but more importantly, they set the tone, creating offense with their defense.
“We need that balance going into the last part of the season,” Gaff said. “This was one our best efforts of the year, we can build on that. Washington has a nice basketball team.”
The Mustangs’ Matt Stewart dominates inside. His presence is imposing at 6-8, and whether on the break or in the half court, the rest of the team can find him inside with nice, high feeds that are hard to defend. Stewart finished with nine points.
Scott Bowersock’s Senators are now 6-5, but even in the loss to the Mustangs, they were impressive early, and Bowersock has the team working towards the future for the Senators.
Washington Township was paced by Ryan Geberin with 12 points, Brandon Adkins netted eight and Bobby Ross led the team with 10 rebounds.