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Rebounding Huge For Oak Harbor

It’s Oak Harbor against Carey in the division district semifinals on Thursday night at Norwalk High School.

The Rockets (19-4) were runners-up to Vermilion in the Bay Division of the Sandusky Bay Conference. They beat Willard (65-35) in a sectional final last Friday.

Coach Eric Sweet says they have had good scoring balance and have played hard and well on defense all year long. “I think we have been a very well balanced team throughout the season so far. We have three guys that are averaging double figures. I have two starters that can get in double figures at any time in the course of the game if the other guys are being shutdown. We have a great rotation going. We have a great group of kids. I think the biggest thing offensively is our balance. This team has really bought into the defense that we play. We are playing tremendous defense all year. Those are the two main things,” he said.

Carey (18-6) beat Western Reserve (66-46) last Friday at Hopewell-Loudon. They finished in fourth in the Northern 10 Athletic Conference that was very good at the top. They were the only team to beat Upper Sandusky in a league game this year.

Sweet says they have good floor balance. “I think they have a nice inside, outside balance. I think they have two really nice guards. They bring some other guards off the bench that can do some things as well, but they do have a great post player. You know, 6’7”, you can’t teach that height. He does have great skill inside, the Stone kid. I think they have a nice balance with the inside, outside attack. The “N10” is a tremendous conference. Upper Sandusky and Colonel Crawford had a great year, Mohawk was up there and Carey was too. All of those teams in that league were very good teams and well respected. I think they have a great team and I am looking forward to the matchup,” said Sweet.

When it comes to keys to a win, Sweet says they must rebound the basketball and continue to be unselfish then they have the ball. “I think we have to limit their offensive opportunities. They do shoot the ball well and they do have the big kid inside and at the same respect they do have some length inside. Their four man has good length to him. Obviously, the big kid inside has good length. If you can limit teams to one opportunity and not give them multiple shots. Offensive rebounding is going to be big for us. The first thing we have been preaching this week is we have to get defensive rebounds. We have to make them shoot with a hand in their face and we have to finish the possession with a rebound,” he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, “You can force the big kid out as far you want, you can challenge shooters, but if you don’t get that defensive rebound to end the possession those things don’t matter. Offensively, we want to stay who we are. We want to be aggressive. We want to share the basketball. We would love to have another game like we did against Willard in the sectional finals where we had multiple guys in double figures. We had multiple kids give us great opportunities all game long. Those are two things we have been stressing to our kids all week.”

Published 3/07/18

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