Vandals romp past Crab Orchard
Vandalia never lets up, cruises to 93-55 win; 18-2 run removes doubt early

CRAB ORCHARD – One could break out all of the superlatives for Vandalia after their win over Crab Orchard on Saturday afternoon.

All of them would work as the Vandals made the long trek south to Williamson County and came away with an easy 93-55 triumph over the host Trojans.

In a dominating performance, Coach Brian Buscher's club took the lead in the opening minute and never trailed in improving to 16-11 on the season.

The Vandals got everyone involved in the win, as 10 different players wearing Red and White scored while five of them hit for double-figures in scoring.

Senior forward Nick Casey led the charge with 23-points while senior guard Garrett McNary added 15.

McNary scored all of his points on five made 3-pointers while Casey tossed in four long range shots from beyond the arc.

Junior guard Blake Morrison (12) and sophomore Matthew Wells (11) added to the totals, as did junior Devon Little (10) in the win that was never in doubt.

“We got the tempo going because we picked up and guarded them and caused some turnovers. It's at the part of the season that we can get more guys in and they (younger kids) are ready to play that style of up tempo,” said Coach Buscher. “We've been working on it and we feel comfortable playing full-court now.”

Unfortunately for Coach Jon Brown, his Trojans were no match for the visiting Vandals on this afternoon.

Crab Orchard was led in scoring by senior guard Levi Vinson and freshman Quentin Meyers, as both scored 12-points in the loss.

No one else reached double-digits in scoring as the Trojans fell to 16-10 overall.

“The one thing that we couldn't afford to do it to get down to them early but they (Vandalia) just have too much firepower and athleticism. They have some good ball players and we really struggled trying to get anything going,” said Coach Brown. “We struggled guarding them and rebounding against them. Pretty much about every aspect of the game we got out played in.”

While Vandalia put up a lot of points on the day, it was the Vandals' defense that “stole” the show in this romp.

Vandalia forced nine Crab Orchard turnovers in the first quarter, 17 overall, as they blasted out to a double-digit lead.

In the first 3:45 of play, Crab Orchard was 1-of-10 from the field and had committed five of their turnovers.

In that same period of time, Vandalia canned four of their 11 3-pointers with McNary hitting three of them.

His back-to-back trifectas closed an 18-2 run to open the game.

“We tried to key on Casey early but their other kids had the mindset that they would have to score and they did, that's to their credit,” said Coach Brown. “Then we had to try to guard all of them more honestly.”

Vandalia closed the first quarter with another run, with Casey nailing a 3-pointer and freshman Markus Isaiah, Morrison and Garrett Austin all scoring to end the quarter at 30-9 Vandals.

“We run some action for him (Casey) and he was getting some open looks. He was in rhythm and shooting well today,” said Coach Buscher. “We have other kids, too, that feel like they are open from even from deeper. They felt like they were good looks.”

If you were to nit pick the Vandalia performance, you could mention Vandalia sending the Trojans to the foul line too often.

Crab Orchard hit 10-of-15 free throws in the second quarter and they added field goals by Vinson and Meyers.

But the Trojans couldn't keep the Vandals from scoring on the other end of the floor.

Seven different players scored in the second frame for Vandalia.

Casey hit another 3-point bomb and the club combined to hit 6-of-8 free throws as they cruised into intermission up 54-27.

A 12-2 scoring binge to open the second half removed any doubt in the outcome for Vandalia.

Casey drained another 3-pointer as did Morrison in the run, which gave Vandalia a 68-30 advantage.

“We didn't let up defensively but I don't think it's right to keep going full-court. We looked at ourselves in the third quarter and we can't be full-court in that point of the game with the score the way it was,” said Coach Buscher. “But I wanted us to still guard. I thought we did a pretty good job guarding them in the half-court and pressuring them.”

Crab Orchard, to its credit, never quit playing as they made a 7-0 run to close out the third quarter.

Sophomore Hunter Throgmorton, senior Cameron Stephens and Elders all scored on consecutive trips to close the quarter at 74-42.

However, as they had accomplished in the first three quarters, the Vandals made another run to open the final frame.

Casey and McNary each scored from well past the arc and Morrison scored on a fast break chance.

Wells added a lay in on a back door cut on a nice assist from Isaiah and McNary ended his scoring afternoon with his fifth 3-pointer to make it 87-43 with 6:18 left.

“I thought we kept battling on the boards, even when we have the big lead. I told the kids it doesn't matter, just keep battling and boxing out,” said Coach Buscher. “It is nice to see our kids respond like that, by answering any runs that they (Crab Orchard) had.”

The numbers for the contest put the Vandals' dominance into focus.

Coach Buscher saw his club shoot very well from the floor.

Vandalia ended up 35-of-63 overall (55.5 percent) with exactly 50 percent of its 3-point shots finding the mark (11-of-22).

The visitors “cleaned the glass” while they were in town, winning the rebounding war 36-21 while committing just 12-turnovers, with just four coming in the first half when they removed the drama.

Crab Orchard ended up just 19-of-57 overall (33.3 percent) and just 4-of-24 from the arc (16.6 percent).

“We have played enough 1A teams over the years that are every bit as good as 2A teams are so we didn't come in here thinking this would be an easy game because they are a smaller school. I still think like to old two-class system,” said Coach Buscher.

Both teams head back into action to close out the regular season.

The Vandals head to Roxana on Tuesday night before hosting Carlinville on Friday.

Vandalia is the host of a 2A regional and they will open play in the postseason against Shelbyville on Tuesday night.

Crab Orchard closes out their regular season slate with a home game against Greater Egyptian Conference rival Hardin County on Friday.

Then the two teams get to turn around and play each other again at the 1A Gallatin County Regional on Monday night.

“They (Vandalia) can really push the ball up the floor, kind of like the team we had here four of five years ago with Johnson and Kissing. We just didn't do a very good job containing their fast breaks,” said Coach Brown.

Crab Orchard
Vandalia (93) – Austin 2 0 0-0 4, Wallis 2 0 0-0 0, N. Casey 3 4 5-6 23, M. Casey 1 0 1-2 3, Dunn 0 0 0-0 0, Wells 5 0 1-2 11, Morrison 3 2 0-0 12, McNary 0 5 0-0 15, Little 4 0 2-3 10, Shulman 2 0 0-0 4, Isaiah 2 0 0-0 4. 2FG-24, 3FG-11, FT-9-13, PF-16.
Crab Orchard (55) – Bailey 0 0 0-0 0, Throgmorton 1 1 1-2 6, Vinson 4 0 4-6 12, Rix 1 0 0-0 2, Killman 0 0 0-0 0, Powell 0 0 0-0 0, Stephens 1 0 0-0 2, Meyers 3 0 6-9 12, Watts 0 0 0-0 0, Lakotich 0 2 0-0 6, Hodge 1 0 0-0 2, Elders 4 1 2-4 13.
2FG-15, 3FG-4, FT-13-21, PF-10.

Fouled Out – None.
Technical Fouls – None.