The Albia Blue Demons made the short trip to Eddyville Friday night for SCC boys’ basketball action. The visitors finally took control in the fourth quarter to pull out the 52-40 win over Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont, in front of a standing room only crowd.
When a team doesn’t have size, it has to rely on the other parts of the game. Albia used all the things that travel well, all revolving around their team speed. Defense, dribble penetration, and transition play keyed the fourth quarter dominance.
Two quick baskets by Christian Bambrook and a Trevor Leffler score gave the Rockets a 6-0 lead just three minutes into the game. The visitors then used the three ball to tie it. Matt Baker and Mason Cox scored back to back behind the arc. Bambrook had three more points to help the Rockets lead 11-9 after one.
Baker’s second 3, to open the second, gave Albia a 12-11 lead. The lead would change hands over the next couple of minutes and after Bambrook scored his final points of the game, E-B-F led 19-16. The Blue Demons used a 7-0 run to grab the lead at 23-19 with just over a minute left in the half. The Rockets’ Trevor Swartz hit two free throws to close out the scoring and Albia took the two point lead to the break.
Bambrook led all scorers at the half with 11 points but he would be held scoreless in the second half. He would have 10 rebounds to complete his double-double.
“TK (Tanner Kellogg) did a good job on him,” said Albia coach Kevin Archer. “We did a good job of having backside help as well.”
“They also did a really good job of pressuring the ball and didn’t give many good looks,” added E-B-F coach Travis Stout.
Mason Cox hit the second of his four 3s to start the third for a five point Albia lead. Swartz hit back to back 3s and the Rockets grabbed the lead at 28-26. Cox answered again for the Blue Demons to put his team up 29-28.
“We really worked hard at trying to limit Baker and Kellogg,” said Stout. “Cox really hurt us with some big shots.”
The visitors used three consecutive drives, finished with soft floaters by Baker, to hold a 39-35 lead after three.
Baker, the Albia starting point guard, talked about how scoring and handling the ball are both parts of his role.
“I know that it’s what I have to do for us. Coach makes me work in practice on finding shots for other guys.”
Kellogg, Albia’s leading scorer, spent most of the first three quarters limiting Bambrook and working the boards. He gave the visitors a quick 42-35 lead to open the fourth with a 3. He would have a 10-point, 13-rebound double-double on the night.
“When I’m not getting shots, I need to find ways to help our team,” said Kellogg.
Baker’s last score kept Albia up six but after Tanner Wynn took a defensive rebound the length of the floor and found Cox for another 3, the score was 49-40. Kellogg’s last basket closed out the 52-40 final.
“We’re really trying to get out in transition and get a good look,” said Archer “Our speed should allow us to do that.”
E-B-F (4-4, 0-4) is back in action tonight when they host Iowa City Regina. Albia (5-3, 2-1) will be off until next Tuesday when they host Oskaloosa.
Albia 52, Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont
Albia 9 14 16 13 — 52
EBF 11 10 14 5 — 40
Albia (52) — Baker 17, Cox 12, Austin Luse 2, Kellogg 10, Luke Sarver 4, Ryan Sarver 7 . Totals 21-44 2-5 52.
3-point goals — 8-17 (Baker 2, Cox 4, Kellogg 2). Fouled out —none . Rebounds — 30 (Kellogg 13). Assists — 12 (Baker 4). Steals — 6 (Kellogg 2). Blocks — none. Total fouls — 15. Turnovers — 17.
EBF (40) —Jevin Jensen 2, Leffler 14, swartz 13, Bambrook 11 . Totals 14-48 9-11 40.
3-point goals — 3-15 (Swartz 3). Fouled out —none . Rebounds — 21 (Bambrook 10). Assists — 8 (Bambrook 3). Steals — 5 (Swartz 4). Blocks — 1 (Dakota Sheperd). Total fouls — 11. Turnovers — 10.