Shenandoah takes down Frontier, 54-35
NEW MATAMORAS — Christian Duniver and Tyce DeVolld carried the weight for Shenandoah in the first half of Tuesday night’s road game at Frontier High School while the second half belonged to teammates Cade Denius and Max McVicker.
All four ended up in double figures as the Zeps notched their 11th victory of the season with a 54-35 win over the Cougars.
Duniver and DeVolld tallied 12 and 11 points respectively, all coming in the first 16 minutes while McVicker scored all of his team high 16 points in the second.
Denius completed the Zep quartet in double-digits by scoring seven of his 10 points after the intermission while yanking down seven rebounds and leading his team in assists with three and steals with five.
Despite the big win, Shenandoah head coach Marc Smith felt his team did not play nearly as well as they are capable of playing.
“Defensively I didn’t think we came out focused and I thought we were lethargic early in the basketball game,” said Smith, whose team improved to 11-2 with the win. “Give Frontier credit they deserved a better outcome than they got in my opinion and they played focused and harder than we did early.”
The two former Pioneer Valley Conference rivals played to a 12-12 tie at the end of the first quarter before the visitors began to pull away in the second.
The Zeps quickly opened up a four-point lead thanks to a pair of freebies by DeVolld and a field goal by Denius before Frontier big man Walker Hendershot scored an inside bucket off of an assist from Jacob Gutberlet.
Shenandoah went into a full-court press and the Cougars struggled as they turned the ball over eight times in the second quarter alone as the Zeps went on a 9-0 run to open their first double-digit lead of the game.
“We seem to get off to slow starts every single night and that has been a problem for us,” said Smith. “When we play like we are capable of playing and play with effort and intensity and focus like we did in the second quarter we can be pretty darn good.”
A long triple by Frontier sophomore Tice Curtis ended the SHS run but the Zeps got a three-pointer from Duniver and an inside basket by Denius off of an offensive rebound to take a 30-18 lead at the break.
Duniver scored eight of his points in the first quarter while DeVolld did the bulk of his damage in the pivotal second as he tallied nine.
A bucket by senior Breckin Hoff got Frontier to within 10 to open the third quarter but Shenandoah answered with a three-pointer and a base-line drive for two by Denius sandwiching a Dayton Hill deuce to push the lead to 17.
Curtis countered with his second triple of the game and after McVicker answered with back-to-back field goals, Frontier junior Tanner Bills connected on a buzzer-beating three to send the Cougars to the final quarter trailing by 15.
Frontier made a bit of a run in the final period as they got four points from Hendershot and a pair from junior Caleb Reynolds to cut the lead to 11 but a 9-2 Zepplin run sparked by six points from McVicker put an exclamation point on the Shenandaoh win.
“We played our game for one quarter against a very good basketball team,” said Frontier head coach Roger Kirkpatrick, whose team slipped to 3-8 with the loss. “We just made too many turnovers and missed too many shots and you can’t expect to win when you do that against good teams.”
McVicker’s strong finish netted the Shenandaoh senior a double-double as he also led his team in rebounds with a dozen.
Hendershot narrowly missed a double-double of his own in his first action since December 8th as he led the Cougars with 8 points and 11 rebounds.
Bills and Hoff finished with 7 while Curtis added 6 for FHS.
Both teams return to action on Friday with the Cougars remaining home to host Shadyside and Shenandoah making the short trip to take on arch-rival Caldwell.