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ZANESVILLE John Glenn High moved a step closer to another Division II Sectional boys basketball title on Thursday evening, turning in its second straight smothering defensive effort en route to a 57-26 thrashing of River View at Zanesville High School.
The win came on the heels of last weeks 59-8 thumping of Morgan and means that the Muskies defense has surrendered just 34 points in 48 minutes of tourney play so far.
Thursdays contest was close for a half and River View actually forged a tie at 16-16 late in the second period before Collin Linnabary and Heath Dodson combined for the frames final five points to send the Muskies to intermission ahead 21-16.
I actually thought we had a great start and led 12-5 after one, commented JG coach Greg Woodard, but their zone defense gave us fits for a while in the second quarter. We didnt attack it very well in the first half and didnt have good ball movement.
I didnt rant and rave in the locker room at halftime, Woodard continued. We just talked about better execution and playing better defense. We also talked about slowing down their good guard, senior Jason Hammond.
River Views Hammond tallied half of his teams first half points, including a pair of treys. For much of the second half, JGs Tre Blevins drew the defensive assignment on Hammond and held him to just four points following the intermission.
While Blevins was putting the clamps on Hammond, the John Glenn offense got into gear, putting 17 points on the board in the third period and adding another 19 in the final stanza.
Zack Atkins did the most damage with three buckets in the third round while teammates Dodson and Jared Larson each added five tallies. The scoring and stifling defense combined to send John Glenn (19-3) to the final quarter with a comfortable 38-20 lead.
The fourth opened with a 12-3 John Glenn run to send the contest into clear-the-bench mode for each squad.
The winners shot slightly better than 50 percent for the game with a 21-of-40 floor effort, but struggled at the line by connecting on just 12-of-22 there. JG owned the glass with a whopping 34-17 edge, including 12 off the offensive boards. Dodson and Atkins combined for 13 caroms.
Atkins finished with a dozen points and was the only Muskie in double figures. Dodson added nine; Blake Atkins had seven and Linnabary finished with seven.
For River View (3-18), Hammonds dozen led the scoring with teammate Michael Adams adding 10. The Bears made just 10-of-38 from the floor and 2-of-4 from the stripe. JG pressure resulted in 19 River View turnovers, while the winners were ticketed with just 12 miscues.
The John Glenn win sets the stage for another potentially titanic clash with Dover this Saturday evening at 7 p.m., again at Zanesville High School. The Tornadoes won Thursdays early game in similar fashion as John Glenn, dismantling Indian Valley, 69-38. Dover also got the measure of John Glenn in the regular season encounter between the two rivals.
They have great tradition and theyre a great program, Woodard said of Dover. It will be a great game.