Fifth-ranked Indian Hills figured to get a much tougher test in their second game of the Reed Overhead Doors Classic.
After beating Mid-Michigan by an impressive 118-65 final on Friday, the Warriors were prepared for a closer contest on Saturday against Paris.
In the end, Saturday’s game with the Dragons was closer. But not by much.
Those looking for late-game drama were looking in the wrong place this weekend at the Hellyer Student Life Center. IHCC turned their second in-season home tournament of the year into a perfect exhibition of the successful up-tempo basketball system coached Barret Peery and played by the Warriors in a 115-80 runaway victory.
Full-court pressing defense, relentless attacking of the basket and unselfish distribution of the basketball. It all led a very impressive weekend of action for 4-0 Indian Hills.
“I thought our guys effort was tremendous,” Peery said. “The really came ready to play this team. I think they were excited about playing this team because they knew they could be a real threat to us. I thought we really showed up and played well.”
One consistent factor in both wins this weekend for Indian Hills was their ability to force both teams into several ballhandling mistakes. One night after forcing Mid-Michigan in 33 turnovers, the Warriors forced Paris into 27 with several leading to easy baskets on the other end.
“I thought the biggest thing was our length. It really seemed to bother (Paris),” Peery said. “They have really talented kids, but there was a difference in the length that helped change some shots and get some breakouts in the middle of the game that really helped us.”
Jameel McKay, perhaps the Warrior with the biggest wingspan, also set a very early tone for the night against Paris. Going up against the Dragons’ 7-0 freshman Lamar Walker, the 6-8 McKay spun past Walker on the baseline for a jam while being fouled for a three-point play on the game’s first possession.
“I knew that he was big, so I knew I wasn’t going to get a lot of layups,” McKay said of his matchup with Walker. “I thought that if I went strong to the basket, good things would happen for me all day.”
McKay was right. The one-on-one matchup was just as one-sided as the game as McKay put in his third double-double of the season with 21 points and 11 rebounds while Walker had just one rebounds, two turnovers and never even attempted a shot.
McKay was also right in the middle of the Warriors’ disruptive defensive length throughout the weekend. While only coming up with two steals, McKay helped force several turnovers by coming out to meet Paris and Mid-Michigan’s much smaller guards out on the perimeter.
“It feels real good knowing I can use my long arms to affect passes,” McKay said of his defense. “It’s not just about steals. It’s about affecting the tempo.”
“It gives me a lot of confidence that coach entrusts me to go out and guard out on the perimeter and that I can have the same kind of effect as guard would have out there.”
McKay aggressive attitude on the offensive end was matched by teammate Jalen Kendrick, who had a career night in his fourth game as a Warrior. The Mississippi transfer led all scores with 25 points as the Atlanta, Georgia native displayed several different shots from pull-up jumpers to finger rolls all while constantly attacking the rim.
Kendrick, a 6-6 point guard, was quick to distribute the credit for a big scoring night around equally to his teammates.
“I couldn’t do anything without having great guys to be playing with out there on the floor,” Kendrick said. “Whether it’s Jameel rebounding, Frank (Williams) or Ronald (Ross) shooting it or having a great post-up wing like Dustin Hogue.”
“Those guys help open the floor for me, then it’s all about the work I’ve put in at practice and the confidence coach has in me to go out there and lead this team to victory.”
Aside from Paris tying the game twice in the opening minutes, IHCC spent the entire weekend ahead on the scoreboard. An early 12-2 run helped the Warriors open a 20-10 lead, which stayed over double figures throughout the first half as Indian Hills took a 55-38 lead into the half, then put the game away with the first nine points in the second half.
Mike Harmon and Eddie Leal each led Paris with 14 points apiece for the 2-2 Dragons. No. 5 IHCC will be off until Thursday, when the Warriors welcome in Kennedy King before heading on a road trip to Utah and Idaho during the week of Thanksgiving.
“Kennedy King gave us two great tests last year. We’ve got to be ready for them and be ready for the big road trip that follows,” Peery said.
REED OVERHEAD DOORS CLASSIC
No. 5 Indian Hills 115, Paris 80
Paris (80) — Mike Harmon 14, Eddie Leal 14, Devin Dickerson 12, Morris Mitchell 8, Anthony Adams 7, Chris Jones 6, Will Ransom 6, Marcus Holt 5, David Tucker 4, Sheldon Yearwood 4. Totals 26-64 22-35 80.
3-point goals — 6-21 (Leal 3-5, Harmon 2-10, Tucker 1-1, Adams 0-2, Dickerson 0-3). Rebounds — 46 (Ransom 9, Leal 7, Mitchell 7, Yearwood 7, Adams 5, Holt 3, Dickerson 2, Harmon 2, Jones 2, Courtney Austin, Lamar Walker). Assists — 21 (Jones 5, Adams 3, Harmon 3, Ransom 3, Dickerson 2, Leal 2, Yearwood 2, Mitchell). Steals — 4 (Adams 2, Dickerson, Jones). Blocks — 4 (Ransom 2, Dickerson, Leal). Total fouls — 22. Turnovers — 27.
IHCC (115) — Jelan Kendrick 25, Jameel McKay 21, Justin Moss 14, Frank Williams 14, Ronald Ross 10, Richard Amardi 7, Gary Williams, Jr. 7, Trinson White 6, Gary Ross 4, Ronnie Stevens 4, Martin Dixon-Green 3. Totals 46-93 15-29 118.
3-point goals — 8-22 (Williams, Jr. 2-2, R. Ross 2-3, Williams 2-5, Dixon-Green 1-3, White 1-4, Majok Deng 0-1, Kendrick 0-4). Fouled out — Amardi. Rebounds — 54 (McKay 14, Amardi 8, Moss 7, R. Ross 7, Kendrick 6, Deng 3, Hogue 2, Stevens 2, White 2, G. Ross, Williams, Williams, Jr.). Assists — 34 (Hogue 7, Williams, Jr. 6, Kendrick 4, McKay 4, Moss 4, R. Ross 3, Williams 3, White 2, Amardi). Steals — 12 (Amardi 3, Kendrick 2, Hogue, McKay, Moss, G. Ross, White, Williams, Williams, Jr.). Blocks — 4 (Amardi, Kendrick, Stevens, Williams). Total fouls — 27. Turnovers — 15.
Half: Indian Hills 55, Paris 38