Vent, Rams run past Tornadoes
Upper Sandusky sophomore scores 25 in lopsided victory
Upper Sandusky ran the ball up the court. It ran side-to-side defensively, causing 20 Columbian turnovers with its pressure.
As a result, the Rams ran the Tornadoes out of the gym with a 67-35 victory Saturday night.
“Tonight we did a good job of going out playing 32 minutes of basketball. I think we had eight team fouls. That was it,” Rams coach Jeff Winslow said. “We got eight guys and they are pretty even, there isn’t a drop off, so we want to keep the pace up and try to wear teams down and push the basketball.
“I thought we did a better job tonight not turning the ball over. We want to stay in that flow and keep the pace going.”
The eight guys are pretty even offensively, but it was Mason Vent who shined for the Rams (2-0).
Just a sophomore, Vent is somewhat similar to his older brother Wes, who was the Northern 10 Athletic Conference player of the year three times.
Vent scored a game-high 25 points and made the game look easy.
“He plays really well when he lets the game come to him and he did. We share the basketball well,” Winslow said. “He’s a tough guard because he can take you down low or dribble or shoot the 3. I thought he picked his spots well tonight to play within himself.
“Mason’s longer and he’s more athletic than Wes, believe it or not. He’s more explosive, whether it’s off the bounce or jumping and I think Mason has the potential to be a shutdown defender. He’s an overall player. He can assist, rebound and score. He might not end up scoring as much as Wes does on a consistent basis, but he does a lot of things to help the team win.”
Columbian (0-2) started well with a 5-4 advantage after a Braden Brown 3-pointer, but Vent hit three triples in the quarter. That was combined with Columbian scoring two points in the last 3:05 of the quarter.
The Rams led 20-11 after one period.
The Rams were just heating up.
In the second quarter, the Rams started the frame with a 15-5 run and upped the lead to 39-21 at the half.
“We were hoping for a little bit better tonight, but we just hit another spurt where we struggled to score and hit some shots,” TC coach Travis Kinn said. “We got a little careless with the basketball again in the first half. We just had too many turnovers in the beginning and that’s a credit to Upper Sandusky with their pressure and the way they guard the ball.
“They do a tremendous job of pushing the ball up the floor. There was a possession in the third or fourth quarter where they threw the ball down after we scored and they got a layup. We looked at each other and asked, ‘What just happened?’ Again, that’s a credit to them and their basketball IQ and their awareness and the ability to play to their strengths.”
In the second half, the Rams poured it on, outscoring the Tornadoes 30-14 to get the 32-point win.
The Rams were 17 of 22 from the free throw line, while the Tornadoes were 6 of 8. Also, the Rams were 22 of 49 (45 percent) from the floor, while TC was 13 of 45 (29 percent) from the field, which included a 3-of-19 effort from deep.
Jevon Dible had 11 points for the Rams, while Evan Young added nine points and Andrew Kurtz popped in seven. Jakob Amory led TC with eight points, while both Todd Simonds and Jared Akers had five.
The Tornadoes are 0-2 to start the season, but with multiple guys injured or not experienced on the varsity level, there are ways to turn things around.
“We have some new faces and a lot of returning faces have been hampered by injury early in the preseason, so the newer guys are just now getting to play with those guys that have played quite a bit of varsity and we are trying to integrate them into the offense,” Kinn said. “We want them to mesh, but as far as when that will happen, we hope it’s soon. Our guys will continue to work and we’ll show up Monday get better. We do have to solve some issues we’ve been having.
“Our message and our goal is to get better every single day and that could be shooting, or the game in general. We have a lot get better at and we will continue to work. It’s a long season and people don’t remember how you start, but they do remember how you finish, so that’s going to be our motto.”