Red Devils romp past JC
Bates, Gunter, Kirk pace S-V in 45-25 conquest
SESSER-VALIER – It seems like every year the Sesser-Valier Red Devils have someone who can take on a scoring role for the team.

So far in 2019-20, the spot has been filled by 6-foot-1 senior veteran Peyton Bates.

Bates on Tuesday night, in a non-league home contest against Johnston City, led the Red Devils with 19 points in his teams' 45-25 win.

Junior forward Garrett Gunter tossed in 12 for S-V as Coach Shane Garner's squad evened the season mark at 3-3 with the home victory.

Senior Logan Kirk added nine points for a team that has now faced four 2A clubs and a perennial 1A powerhouse Okawville in the young season and are now back to .500.

“He (Bates) has worked hard at it (scoring role) and he knew that that was the role he was going to have to step into this year. He has gotten a taste of it in these early games. He has stepped up his work in practice and he is seeing the benefits of the work now in games,” said Coach Garner. “In the last couple of games he has hit some big shots for us. I think us working the ball more efficiently has opened up some shot for him.”

After giving up an early basket to the Indians, the hosts scored the games next 11 points never trailed again in the victory.

Head coach Scott Burzynski is still looking for answers as his Johnston City team dropped it's eighth consecutive game to begin the campaign.

None of the Indians hit for double-figures in the game.

Six-foot junior guard Braden Watts ended up with eight points while Coach B got six points from sophomore Austin Brown.

The other numbers in the game weren't any better for Johnston City.

They ended up just 11-of-28 from the floor (39.2 percent) and committed 15 turnovers.

Unfortunately for the Indians, seven of the mistakes were made in the first eight minutes which put this Tribe in a hole.

After a basket by junior guard Jordan Wininger opened the scoring, JC didn't score again until :53 left in the quarter.

S-V, behind Bates, Kirk and Gunter, Sesser-Valier took early control.

After buckets by Bates and Kirk, Gunter scored twice in succession.

Once on a nice assist by Kirk and again by delivering a 3-point bomb from the left wing.

When Bates closed the first quarter scoring with a 3-point, also from the left side of the floor, the Red Devils led 14-4.

Of their 13 first quarter possessions, Johnston City had just two field goals to show for it.

“We have been plagued by that (turnovers) all season, But sometimes the disappointing thing is we turn the ball over and it is unforced,” said Coach Burzynski. “As a coach that is what you are trying to work against. A turnover against light pressure is an unforced error. That is something we can't do.”

The best stretch of the matchup for the Indians came briefly in the second quarter.

With Brown adding an early basket and Watts providing three straight buckets for his team, JC got to within 21-12 with just under four minutes left before the half.

However Bates added seven more points to his totals and Gunter added another basket on a fast break lay in.

A rebound basket by Johnston City junior guard Samuel Harris closed the scoring as the Indians went to halftime down 27-14.

Most Shane Garner teams are going to do a lot of great work in the halfcourt offensively and in the third quarter they made Johnston City pay on some nice cuts to the basket.

Kirk, Gunter and Bates all got to the rim on drives with Kirk scoring six of his points (three field goals) in the frame.

In what epitomized the kind of night the Indians were having, they failed to stop Sesser-Valier in the Red Devils' final possession of the third.

Three different missed shots by S-V were also rebounded by the Devils.

The last rebound ended up with Kirk, who beat the third quarter horn with a score which gave the hosts a 39-15 lead heading to the fourth.

“We struggle scoring but in the eight games we have played we have played some pretty good defense. And our guys really try to execute our scouting reports but I thought tonight our energy level was low,” said Coach Burzynski. “I was kind of discouraged about the way we competed tonight. In the first seven games we did, but tonight we let down a little bit. And you can't do that. They are very good at home, especially with them getting Gunter back. Getting him back and them getting healthy, they (Sesser-Valier) are a really good ball-club.”

Sesser-Valier milked some possessions in the fourth quarter as they led by as many as 23 points in securing the home win.

The Red Devils were 18-of-37 overall from the field (48.6 percent) and 5-of-13 from the 3-point line.

Coach Garner's squad held a 17-14 rebounding edge and, after committing six early turnovers themselves, ended up with just nine turnovers.

They will head to Christopher on Friday night for a key Black Diamond West Division battle.

The Bearcats were supposed to play Waltonville on Tuesday night but that confrontation was postponed due to the Spartans' school policy of “no school, no play.”

“We have five guys on the floor that can handle the ball and we are going to try and take advantage of that, maybe wear some people down,” said Coach Garner. “This is a style of play that we are more efficient at. We want to 'grind' people out in the halfcourt. Defensively we were very active tonight, especially off the ball. I think we were locked in and ready to play.”

Johnston City will also get back to action this weekend with consecutive road games at Black Diamond East Division rivals Eldorado (Friday) and Vienna (Saturday).

“We are finally piecing some stuff together. With Garrett (Gunter) coming back it elevates everything we do. He missed the early games but he has played the last three. Clearly we have been significantly better since we got him back.” said Coach Garner. “We are hoping to get Gavin Woodland back soon, also.”

Johnston City

Johnston City (25)
– Winninger 1 0 0-0 4, Hickey 0 0 0-0 0, Watts 3 0 2-2 8, Newell 1 0 0-1 2, Harris 1 0 0-0 2, Mowery 0 0 0-0 0, Hutchinson 0 0 0-0 0, Saylor 0 0 0-0 0, Krmpotich 0 0 0-0 0, Brown 3 0 0-0 6, Gass 0 0 0-0 0, DeJarnett 1 0 1-2 3, Hoxworth 1 0 1-2 3.
2FG-11, 3FG-0, FT-3-5, PF-11.

Sesser-Valier (45) – Snow 0 0 0-0 0, Garrett Gunter 4 1 1-4 12, Schoenbaechler 0 0 0-0 0, Kirk 4 0 1-2 9, Bates 4 3 2-2 19, Newbury 0 1 0-0 3, Stanley 0 0 0-0 0, Kiselewski 0 0 0-0 0, Eubanks 1 0 0-0 2.
2FG-13, 3FG-5, FT-4-8, PF-7.

Fouled Out – None.
Technical Fouls – None.