It was a battle of historic proportions last Friday night at Eastern Brown High School, one that conjured up images of the Old West as it was Indians invading Warriors when Peebles traveled to Eastern Brown for an early season boys basketball showdown in the Southern Hills Athletic Conference. The Indians came into the game undefeated while the Warriors were coming off a tough loss to an unbeaten Lynchburg squad.
Friday night would belong to the visiting Indians as they led at every stop after the first quarter on their way to their sixth consecutive win to open the 2015-16 season, downing the Warriors and spoiling the Eastern Brown Homecoming Night, 72-56.
The momentum was on the side of the Warriors in the opening stanza as they used seven points from Marcus Day plus a Blake Rigdon three-pointer to forge the early lead. Peebles got three buckets from Cameron Gordley in the opening period, but when that first eight minutes ended, it was the home team holding the 17-14 advantage.
The Indians would flip the scoreboard by the halftime break, mostly due to a big second quarter from sophomore guard Tanner Arey, who eventually posted a game-high 27 points. Arey scored 12 of those points in the second quarter, including a pair of three-point goals. Add a trey from Tucker Schmitz and by the intermission, it was the team from Peebles grabbing the advantage, now leading 32-28.
“Our ball movement in the second quarter was outstanding and we were able to get open looks,” said Peebles head coach Josh Arey. “Tanner heated up from the perimeter and we did a great job of finding him open.”
“Coach Smalley did a great job of switching up our defenses and not allowing Eastern to get real comfortable on offense.”
In the third period, it was junior guard Ethan Parrett doing the long distance damage for the Indians as he drilled a pair from beyond the arc to help Peebles stay in front. Scout Kremin got loose inside for a pair of baskets and Arey score two more from the field as the visitors outscored their hosts 19-13 to open up a 51-44 advantage heading into the final eight minutes of play.
In the final quarter and with the lead, the Indians spent a good chunk of time standing at the free throw line, getting 17 free tosses and converting 11 of those. Despite the efforts of Eastern’s Day who tallied 10 fourth quarter points, the free throws were enough to help the Indians outscore Eastern 21-14 over the eight minute span to pull away for the double digit win, final score 72-56.
In the win, the Indians (6-0, 4-0 SHAC) were led by Arey’s season-high of 27 points, which included a perfect 6 for 6 from the foul line. Two teammates joined Arey in double figures with Camron Gordley scoring 16 and Scout Kremin 11. Ethan Parrett added 8 as the Indians posted win number six. An unselfish Peebles team dished out 15 assists in the game, led by Parrett’s 4.
“Ethan played a great game, handling their pressure and hitting two big threes in the third quarter,” said Coach Arey. “Tyler Ryan, Camron, and Scout were huge on the glass. Tyler had several assists, finding guys open underneath when Eastern tried to trap out front. Tucker gave us great minutes off the bench.”
“It was a total team performance and our kids are improving, but we can still get a lot better.”
In their second consecutive loss, the Warriors were led by 21 points from Marcus Day, the only Eastern player to hit double figures.
Peebles now sets its sight on defending their McDonald’s Classic championship as they opened play in the 2015 Classic on Dec. 22, battling the young West Union Dragons. A win there will put the Indians in the Classic finals on Dec. 30. This year’s varsity McDonald’s Classic will be played at North Adams High School.