SHERIDAN — Sheridan College men’s basketball team defeated Miles Community College Saturday 79-62. With the win, the Generals enter holiday break 11-4 and winning the final two games of 2019.
Head coach Cody Ball said the win allows the Generals to go into the break on a high note. The team returns to action Jan. 4 against Williston State College. In the most recent game, the Generals showed Ball how far the team has come from the beginning of the year. Ball said in a tournament played at the start of the season, the team looked like freshmen that had never played together before.
In Saturday’s game against Miles, the Generals showed they know how to play well together, ending the game with 16 assists. SC had 30 field goals in the game, meaning more than half of their points came from sharing the ball across the floor.
Ball said the team is showing camaraderie with one another and he believes team chemistry is helping with the success of the Generals.
The passing by the Generals led to another game full of great shot selection. The Generals finished the game 49.2% from the field and 9-17 from deep.
Four of those 3-pointers came from Markel Aune, who ended the game with 18 points and shooting seven for 10 from the field.
Most of the points came in the second half when Miles switched from a man-to-man defense to a zone defense.
Ball said Aune’s shooting, along with the other Generals players, forced Miles back into a man defense, giving the Generals the advantage. SC has many quick guards at its disposal, making it hard for other teams to stay in front of them on defense.
Leading the Generals against Miles was sophomore Marcus Stephens with 23 points on nine of 15 shooting. When Aune was hurting Miles’ zone defense from deep, Stephens was scoring from the high post and taking the defense on from the middle of the zone.
Ball said playing high post in a 2-3 zone is a difficult task. Stephens had to deal with the opponent’s post player putting a hand in his face while the guards pressured from behind. Stephens is comfortable against the defensive pressure and does not panic, Ball said.
Stephens was effective because he could shoot the 15 foot jump shot, create his own shot and pass the ball to an open man, usually leading to a good shot. Stephens had five assists in the game.
SC and Miles were tied at 39-39 entering halftime but SC outscored Miles 40-24 in the second half.
Ball said the Generals focused on defense in the second half and made sure the other team’s top scorers did not have a strong second half. Miles was led by Favour Chukwukelu and Gedeon Buzangu.
Chukwukelu ended the game with 13 points on five of seven shots and went three for three from 3-point range. Buzangu had 15 points and 11 rebounds in the game. Both players were the main threat in the first half and SC was able to hold them to a few points in the second half, Ball said.
Ball kept the Generals main post player Abdul Shanunu in the paint in the second half with Buzangu not being a 3-point threat. Shanunu was ready to take on the big post whenever he decided to enter the paint.
While the rest of the Miles team had 3-pointer capabilities, a focused defensive effort held Miles to 25% shooting from 3-point range in the second half. Miles shot 46.7% from deep in the first half.
SC returns to the Bruce Hoffman Golden Dome at 6 p.m. Jan 4 to face Williston State College.