Great Valley coach notches career 200th win at the expense of Indians
By Dave Conard Sports Editor, UnionvilleTimes.com
MALVERN — To be a successful coach in any high school sport you have to have a short memory, the ability to not dwell on a loss or a win for that matter, is something every coach that wishes to achieve any level of success, needs in his mental toolbox.
More over, the ability to employ selective amnesia is even more paramount when it comes to basketball as sometimes a squad will play up to five games in a week.
By the time Unionville head coach Anthony DiNicola and his young Indians boarded the bus and were preparing to navigate the traffic backed up on Rt. 1 to admire the lights at Longwood Gardens, there 50-25 loss at the hands of a very good Great Valley team was a distant memory.
“We have already moved on to Oxford,” said DiNicola. “We came in with a great game plan and executed it pretty well in the first period. We actually had a chance to go up ten early on but turned the ball over 5 or 6 times.”
The Indians jumped on the hosts early on as they snagged an 8-4 lead, before three consecutive turnovers prevented them for grabbing a strangle hold on the game form the outset.
After one stanza, Unionville (2-3 overall, 1-2 league), despite missed opportunities, led 8-7 and had forced the Pats to commit five personal fouls, nearly reaching the bonus in the opening quarter.
Great Valley (3-1), on a night where coach Jim Nolan would claim his 200th career win behind the Patriots bench, utilized great ball movement to find open shooters which led to a 16-0 run including four three pointers from 6-foot, 4-inch sophomore Mikal Bridges. Who had slipped under the radar of the pre game scouting report, to swipe the momentum from Unionville as the teams headed to the locker room with the visitors trailing by a 24-12 count.
“We were right there and I really felt like we could hang with them,” added Dinicola. “They are a very good team and spread the ball around pretty well, Number 25 hit four threes in that one stretch, which really took us out of the game, he was the fifth or sixth guys we had planned on covering.
The second half was about as dismal as the weather outside the gym as Great Valley outscored Unionville 26 –13 in the second half fueled by a 16-of-39 shooting performance form the field including 6-15 from beyond the arc, as the Indian had no answer for the team speed of the Pats.
“We knew coming in that they played solid defense and could shoot a bit,” said Great Valley coach Jim Nolan. “We were hopeful that we could use our speed, as we thought we would be a little quicker, and we got some good looks. Our entire game plan was to get the ball in the hands of the guys that were having a good game and letting the use their strengths.”
Unionville will return home to take on Oxford Thursday after splitting the two road games this week with a League win at Bishop Shanahan.
Unionville 8 4 7 6 -25
Great Valley 7 17 13 13 -50
Ott 2, 2-2, 4; Rusinque 6, 0-2, 6; Fries 0, 0-0, 0; Sampson 8, 1-3, 9; Tuvesson 2, 1-2, 3;
Pechin 3, 0-0, 3; Totals 21, 4-9, 25. Three point FG- Rusinque (2), Pechin.
Great Valley (50)
Shackleton 0, 2-2, 2; Aker 4, 1-2, 5; Sherry 6, 0-0, 6; Cohen 2, 0-0, 2; Geiss 10, 3-4, 13;
Gregory 8, 0-1, 8; Bridges 12, 0-0, 12; Ames 0, 0-1, 0; Dickinson 2, 0-0, 2; Rembert 0, 0-2, 0. Totals 44, 6-11, 50. Three point FG- Geiss (2), Gregory (2), Bridges (4).