SYRACUSE – Wawasee boys basketball head coach Jon Everingham has been searching high and low for ways to get his team to score. That search will continue after Friday night’s 44-28 loss to Elkhart Memorial.
Wawasee scored a paltry 11 points in the first half, and while it held Memorial to just 16 after as many minutes, the Chargers’ ability to get inside and score with ease, along with Wawasee’s inability to fill it up, proved a huge problem yet again.
Memorial would double up Wawasee, 26-13, in the third quarter in an open invitation to score at will at the rack. Without a presence in the paint, Iyan Jennings and Trey Gallope converted on easy tries to put the Chargers up big. Both Jennings and Gallope hit shots from short range to open the fourth quarter, and any hope of Wawasee rallying at that point were gone with Memorial up 18.
“We go into halftime and really have a disastrous first half offensively, and we’re only down five points,” said Everingham, whose team scored under 30 points for the fourth time this season. “I thought our defense allowed us to hang in there for a little while. We just have to get better offensively.”
Wawasee, looking to refresh itself a little knowing its weaknesses, tried to mix up its look by starting 6-3 Zak Linnemeier alongside 6-2 Trevon Coleman to discourage a free run to the hoop. But Memorial’s ability to work around the size with kick-outs that were quickly zipped back inside neutralized the move. Gallope was a perfect 6-6 from the floor and finished with 12 points and Javon Forrester also ended with 12 points. Jennings had six points as did Hank Smith.
The Warriors went 9-32 from the floor, and needing every bit of its long-range game to work given the circumstances, were a frigid 2-17 from three-point range. Everingham’s attempt to get Coleman plenty of looks against the guard-oriented Chargers did have the forward finish with a season-high 17 points and seven boards. No other Warrior, however, took more than six shots and had more than three points.
“About half the times he caught the ball, some efficient moves have gotten him more points than he’s scored this season,” Everingham said of Coleman. “But when they start double and triple teaming him, and we kick the ball out, we really need to find somebody who is going to step up and hit shots.”
Wawasee falls to 3-9 overall and 1-2 in the Northern Lakes Conference, Memorial improves to 6-5 and 3-0, now in the driver’s seat after NorthWood was upset by Northridge. Wawasee has a week off before visiting Plymouth next Friday night.
Below is a gallery from Friday night’s halftime entertainment, members of the Kosciusko County Special Olympics basketball teams.