The Park View High School boys basketball team got a taste of its own medicine Tuesday night and found it hard to swallow.
The Patriots ran into a Handley team that was quicker up and down the court and more accurate from outside than they are and were handed an 85-68 loss on the Judges' home court in a game that clearly separated the top two teams in the AA Northwestern District.
"We knew this was the game we had to be ready for, and we weren't," Park View senior guard Matt Brownlee said. "We didn't get a chance to set up. They were all over us."
It was evident right away this was not going to be a typical game for Park View (4-1 Northwestern District, 8-2 overall), which has grown accustomed to pressing its opponents into submission early on and blowing the game open before halftime. Handley (6-0, 8-0) scored the game's first eight points and used an 11-1 run to start the second quarter to extend the lead to 19 midway through the quarter.
"We came out tentative, and we haven't played tentative all year," Park View Coach Ken Edwards said. "We didn't come out to attack. We were very concerned with what they were doing to us rather than what we could do to them. They're a great fast-breaking team. They go from the glass to the other end better than any team we've seen in a long time."
But in all fairness to the Patriots, it was hard not to be in awe of the Judges' magnificent first-half shooting and their superior perimeter defense. No matter how quickly Park View moved the ball around the arc, the Patriots could not get open looks at the basket. Every missed shot meant one less opportunity for the Patriots to use their meal ticket--the full-court press.
Meanwhile, Handley fired crisp, powerful passes through Park View defenders and made shots from every spot on the court. Junior guard Adam Dutton was unstoppable. Despite a slight build (6 feet, 165 pounds), Dutton was the best player on the court, scoring a game-high 34 points, keyed by five three-pointers. The Judges hit 20 field goals before halftime, and the Patriots sank only eight, and took a 49-28 lead into intermission.
"I think it was one of the best halves we've played all year," Handley Coach Tom Dixon said. "We were hitting our shots so well, at times we didn't need [a half-court offense]. We've got a very good passing team. There's not a lot of selfishness, and they play well together."
Handley extended its lead to 58-32 with five minutes to play in the third quarter before the Patriots put together a furious run that sent a packed gym into bedlam. The Patriots were able to find holes in the Handley interior defense and drove the lane for layups. That allowed the Patriots to press, which led to turnovers and more Park View baskets.
Nick Smith's three-pointer with 16 seconds left in the quarter capped a 26-6 run, which made the score 66-58. But from there on, the Judges matched the Patriots shot for shot and turnover for turnover. In the first two minutes of the fourth quarter, Park View's Derrick Chew had two chances at the free throw line to slice the lead to seven but missed each time.
Park View (4-1, 8-2)--Brownlee 3 1-2 8, Ramey 1 3-4 5, Schwalm 7 11-18 25, Chew 4 1-3 9, N. Smith 7 4-7 21, Petrie 0 0-2 0. Totals: 22 21-36 68.
Handley (6-0, 8-0)--Cartwright 6 2-2 15, M. Leonard 1 0-0 2, Warren 4 0-0 8, Dutton 10 9-13 34, Campbell 7 0-0 16, Rose 2 0-0 4, Thomas 0 0-2 0, Stewart 0 1-2 1, Fowler 0 1-2 1, Hahn 2 0-0 4. Totals: 32 13-21 85.
Halftime: Handley, 49-28.
Three-point goals: Park View 4 (Smith 3, Brownlee). Handley 8 (Dutton 5, Campbell 2, Cartwright).
CAPTION: Park View's Jeffrey Schwalm, right, looks to take ball from Tony Cartwright of Handley, which improved to 8-0, 6-0 in Northwestern.
CAPTION: Lang Campbell tries to draw charging foul against Nick Smith, who had 21 points for Park View (8-2 overall, 4-1 in the district).
CAPTION: Judges junior guard Adam Dutton proves too much for Park View, scoring game-high 34 points that included five three-point goals and 9-for-13 performance from the foul line.