RUSHVILLE — The Clyde-Savannah Golden Eagles dominated the offensive glass, which allowed them to defeat the Yellowjackets 51-40 in the Far West regional qualifier game Wednesday night.
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It was clear that the Yellowjackets gameplan was to come out and shoot three-pointers early. Clyde-Savannah had a considerable size advantage in the paint, with three starters 6’2″ or taller. They were able to limit the effectiveness of Perry’s bigs and made the Yellowjackets take jump shots. But in the first quarter Perry countered efficiently, with guards Cory Dillon and Mitch Cicero each hitting a three-pointer against the Clyde-Savannah zone defense.
But the hot shooting from outside did not continue in the second quarter, when the Yellowjackets scored just four points during the entire eight minutes. The cold shooting, combined with the Eagles’ ability to get offensive rebounds and second-chance looks at the basket, led to Clyde-Savannah taking a 27-16 lead into halftime.
“We didn’t make the shots that we had been making,” Dave Gillett said after his last game as Perry head coach. “Between Saturday, Monday, and tonight, that’s a lot of wear-and-tear on legs, but you wouldn’t know it with the way we showed up and performed.”
The Yellowjackets clearly put more of an emphasis on getting the ball to senior center Tyler Elliot in the second half. The 6’5″ senior had just two points in the first half and limited opportunities to score, but seemed to be the focal point of the offense in the final 16 minutes. His 11 points after halftime were a major reason why Clyde-Savannah did not win by more than 11.
But Elliot’s efforts were not enough to match those of Eagles senior forwards Kam DiSanto and Joemaine Bogan, along with junior forward Mike Turner. The three combined for 30 points, but it was their domination of the boards that truly won the game for them.
Despite the loss, this was still one of the most successful seasons in Perry basketball history. The Yellowjackets won 21 games and a sectional title.
“Indescribable,” Gillett said about the season. “This team will always be in the conversation as one of the best in Perry history. We have so much to be proud of, and one game here won’t define our season.”
Photo: Cory Dillon shoots vs. Clyde-Savanna
Photos courtesy of Michael R. Carney. For more of his work, go to www.mrcarneyphotography.smugmug.com