ATTICA - Maybe he got the idea from how people had to drive in the blustery conditions along U.S. 224, or maybe he thought it was best way to stop a team averaging 77 points a game.
Either way, Seneca East coach Joe Beddingfield wanted to make Old Fort slow down.
The strategy seemed to work for one half as the Tigers hung with the unbeaten Stockaders through 16 minutes. However, Old Fort began to pick things up in the third quarter, and pulled away for a 50-37 win.
"We tried to control the tempo a little bit," Beddingfield said. "Early on, we wanted five or six passes before we ran something. We knew they came in averaging 76 points a game, and we're not really a full-court team. Our best asset is trying to get the ball inside. I thought by watching them play a little bit here and there, we might frustrate some of their shooters a little bit.
"Second half, we tried to keep the same tempo until about the fourth quarter and then it just got away from us a little bit. I thought our shooting inside, if we made some shots maybe the momentum goes a different way."
For Old Fort coach Eric Hoover, whose team improved to 6-0, 3-0 Midland Athletic League, said it may be something his team has to get used to as the season wears on.
"I knew they would slow it down a little bit. I didn't know to that extent," he said. "Not too surprised. We'll see it throughout the year. We've been scoring a lot of points and if people don't think they have a chance of scoring with us, then they might try it."
"We play high tempo; our game's high tempo," Stockader senior Dalton Perry added. "So them slowing it down, we got confused and stuff, but we came out with a win."
For a good portion of the game, Perry was locked in a matchup of two of the MAL's top post players, going against Seneca East's Ben Hahler. Each recorded double-doubles on the night, but Perry's 17 points and 12 rebounds was slightly better then Hahler's 13 points and 12 rebounds.
"We're friends. We know each other," Perry said. "He's a big kid, I'm a big kid, but in the post I'm a little undersized, though. But it was hard, we both battled.
"They'd run zone, then they'd run man. Against the man, I'm a quicker post, so I'd just use my quickness against bigger posts. Then if they double down on me, our shooters usually hit shots down."
"Dalton, he's really good," Hoover said. "He's got great footwork down there. He's got all kinds of moves. He knows how to finish around the basket even with bigger guys and use his body to get an open shot, and he can always get shots off down there. He's really good around the basket finishing. I'll take him against any big guy."
The was very little separation between the two teams in the opening quarter. After Seneca East opened the game with a basket, Old Fort's Cole Davidson was fouled attempting a 3-point shot. He hit all three free throws to put his team ahead. The two squads traded baskets for the rest of the quarter, until Old Fort held a 7-6 lead at the first stop.
Perry put up four points in the second and brother Hunter scored seven of his 15 to represent the only Stockader points of the quarter. But Old Fort's defense was strong enough to allow the Stockaders to increase their lead at the half, 18-13
When the teams came back out of the locker room, Old Fort began to hit the gas, more than doubling its point total.
Dalton Perry scored eight and Cole Davidson knocked down a pair of 3-pointers as the Stockaders tallied 19 in the frame to increase their lead to 37-23.
The Stockaders were able to pull Seneca East out of its slow down game. After shooting 6 of 12 in the first half, the Tigers shot 4 of 17 in the third quarter.
"We lost shooters," Beddingfield said. "Davidson ... we lost him at a critical moment. I'm not sure if he shot the ball really well as a whole, but at a critical moment, that really sparked their offense. They kind of feed of their tempo. They're a pretty good team if they come in and you let them run and gun."
Hoover said being able to put some separation between the teams was key to getting them game more into an Old Fort style.
"We built the lead over 10 points. If it would've been four to eight points or whatever, they would've stayed in it," Hoover said. "Once we got the lead above 10, and it got later in the game, they had to try to start scoring more and they had to come out and try to full-court press a little bit."
Hahler led a charge for Seneca East in the fourth quarter. After falling behind by as much as 17 points, the Tigers got as close as 11, but too many turnovers and missed shots inside proved to be their undoing.
"I would've liked to get the ball inside a little more than we did," Beddingfield said. "I thought we had the game plan in terms of that, but we missed a lot of layups and we turned the ball over a little bit too much."
Davidson tallied 10 points to join both Perrys as Stockaders scoring in double figures. For Seneca East (3-3, 1-2), Nate Phillips scored 10 to back up Hahler.