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ZANESVILLE Having swept the regular season contests with Morgan by a combined 90 points, it figured to be a first round romp for John Glenn High in the Division II Sectional Tournament at Zanesville High School.
The top-seeded Muskies made it an easy threepeat against their Muskingum Valley League rivals, racking up a lopsided 59-8 victory over the outmanned Raiders on Thursday.
John Glenn (18-3) wasnt exactly on fire offensively in the first half, but a defensive effort that resembled a swarm of bees befuddled Morgan time and time again.
In fact, Morgan didnt score a field goal in the entire first half, managing just 10 shots at the basket while turning the ball over 12 times as John Glenn assumed command 9-2 after one quarter and then after a 16-0 second period run, it was 25-2 at the intermission.
Although the game was over for all intents and purposes at that point, the Muskies had managed just 33 percent shooting (9-of-27), but the defensive work had done the trick.
Sometimes when you play a team youve beaten easily twice during the season its a concern that youll have a letdown, said veteran John Glenn coach Greg Woodard, We got good looks in the first half; we just didnt shoot it very well. They wanted to make us beat them from the perimeter, and we didnt want our guys to just settle for jump shots but sometimes youve got to take them when thats what they give you.
Woodard agreed that his teams defensive work carried them through a less-than-stellar offensive showing in the first half.
Thats what we expect of our kids, he said. We hang our hat on guarding people because that can get you through stretches when you dont shoot it very well.
Morgan (2-19) finally got a shot to drop when Jared Keirns hit a 17-footer at the 6:11 mark of the third quarter, but senior Heath Dodson waxed hot for the Muskies and drained four triples in a 14-point round which led to a 20-2 dominance and a 45-4 score heading to the final round.
Woodard worked in his backups for most of the fourth period and the Muskies closed with a 14-4 edge for the 51-point conquest.
Its always good to get one under your belt, said the JG coach. You want to try to create some momentum and thats why we stayed with our regular rotation through the third quarter to get them in rhythm.
Dodson closed with 20 points to lead the Muskies, with seniors Zack Atkins and Tre Blevins adding double-digit support with 13 and 11, respectively.
The Muskies finished 23-of-54 from the field (43 percent) and 5-of-8 at the foul line with 30 rebounds and 10 turnovers.
Zack Atkins and Collin Linnabary each had seven rebounds for the winners while Dodson had four. Senior Jared Larson dished out six assists and had three steals while junior Grant Slack was also charted with a trio of thefts.
Sophomore Justin Head pulled down 11 rebounds for Morgan, which had four players finish with two points apiece.
The Raiders closed a sorry 2-of-23 on action shots (9 percent) with 21 caroms and 26 miscues.
During the regular season the Muskies won by 64-22 and 76-28 scores, meaning they outscored the Raiders by a combined 141 points.