The Oldenburg Academy boys’ basketball team started the season by setting the net afire with four three-pointers and went on to win over Switzerland County High School 53-38 Nov. 25.
OA’s Drew Kloepfer hit the first three long shots and Cory Schuman stepped up with the fourth as the Twisters took an early lead in the first quarter. The SCHS Pacers stayed in zone defense inside the arc, and the Twisters continued to shoot and hit long ones. At their end of the court, the Pacers fought back by feeding the ball inside to their two big middle men, Justin Green and Hunter Hayes, but the Twisters continued to lead at the end of the quarter 19-8.
In the second quarter, the OA team ran off time as they patiently waited outside the arc for the Pacers to come to them. (There is no shot clock in high school basketball.) The tactic worked to stretch out the Pacers’ zone defense, but the Pacers’ big men consistently controlled their defensive boards.
OA’s defense was a tight zone, which included Ted Geis rejecting a jumpshot in the lane by Green. However, SCHS started hitting three-pointers and gained ground by halftime 27-19.
As the second half began, OA soon went to its stand-and-wait offense, and SCHS began to extend its front players outside the arc. Steady play by the Pacers took them within two points of the Twisters with 2:57 left in the third quarter 35-33. With 13 seconds left, the Pacers went to a one-on-one half-court defense. The Twisters scrambled, drawing defenders out to the sides. Matt Moorman saw the opening and drove down the lane for a layup. Then Matty Hurm stole the Pacers’ inbound pass and scored again to put the Twisters ahead 39-33 as the quarter ended.
In the fourth quarter, SCHS immediately returned to the zone defense and intensified play on both ends. But then OA started hitting three-pointers again and pulled away for the win.
"The Pacers' people seem to love our kids," observed head coach Gary "Ace" Moorman. "They invite us back every year, and we are very grateful."
Twisters beat Cougars
OA also defeated South Decatur High School 54-38 Nov. 28 in Greensburg.
The Cougars held outside shooter Kloepfer to just two points. "We knew it would be a tough shooting environment, so we focused on getting to the basket," the coach noted. However, Kloepfer led the team in steals with five.
M. Moorman and Hurm picked up the slack with 23 and 11 points, respectively, and Hurm was there with six assists. Ted Geis pulled down 11 rebounds. "All 12 played considerable time and contributed to the victory," said the coach. "Also, this is the second straight game where we held the foe to 38 points.
Christopher Aune can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 812-934-4343, Ext. 112.
Meet the coach
Oldenburg Academy boys’ basketball
Head coach: Gary “Ace” Moorman
Coaching staff: Jerry Prickel, Tim Maple, Scott Vonderheide and Mike Kristoff
Record: Moorman is in his seventh year coaching at Oldenburg Academy. He previously coached basketball for 22 years at Ben Davis High School, where the team won back-to-back championships in 1995 and 1996. He started out playing basketball in Batesville and is a 1979 Batesville High School graduate. The Ripley County Basketball Hall of Fame inductee led the Twisters to win the sectional championship last year.
Vision: “Our goal is to repeat as sectional champions and to break the school record for wins this season,” Moorman stated. “Four of five starters are returning this year, which accounts for 85 percent of our scoring and rebounding.” The team was very young last year, and he expects it to be very good this year. “But winning sectionals this year will be tough,” he notes, “because at least three of the top teams in the state are in this section of the state tournament.”