North Daviess basketball coach Brent Dalrymple can remember his teams being held without field goals during single quarters.
It's winning games while doing so that had Dalrymple puzzled.
"Not that I know of," Dalrymple said of not scoring a field goal in a quarter and still winning. "We didn't get down, we kept playing defense and held Orleans to eight points. That's what won us this game, playing defense in that third quarter." Class A No. 7 North Daviess scored one point in the third quarter against Orleans in the third game of the second round of the Graber Post Saturday, but still came away with a 47-38 win against Class A No. 6 Orleans.
"Games like this get me excited," Dalrymple said. "It was what we had been looking for out of our team. We won last night and I was a little down on the team. We took some plays off, but we didn¹t take any plays off tonight. That's what the season is for, to learn what it takes to win big ball games." The Cougars are in an unusual situation with players missing practice due to injuries. Dalrymple has said the team actually improves in games, because that is the only time they all get to play together.
"It's the first time I've really seen us a team," Dalrymple said. "We get better in games, we don't get better in practices. We don't have everyone in practice. We really get better in games. It takes time. We came out with a lot of effort." The Cougars (8-1) opened a 17-8 first quarter lead against the Bulldogs and led 29-19 at the half before the offensive drought took hold in the third. Kelby Byrer got North Daviess¹ only point on a free throw at the 4:50 mark of the quarter.
Orleans (7-2) cut the gap to 30-27 at the end of the third, and would later narrow the margin to 31-29 with 6:13 left to play.
But Dusten Cook made a 3-pointer, and the Cougars outscored Orleans, 13-9, the remainder of the way to secure the win and a ticket into this afternoon¹s 4:30 p.m. championship contest against Class A. No. 2 Barr-Reeve.
Byrer scored six points and Nick Crays five in a first quarter that seemed to suggest the Cougars may be on their way to an unexpected easy day, holding the 17-8 lead after eight minutes.
Orleans led early, 4-2, before Adam Wagler hit a 3-point shot. Trey Bradley responded with a two-pointer for a 6-5 Orleans lead, but that was before the Cougars finished the quarter with the next 12 points in the final four minutes.
The Cougars opened a 25-12 lead with 3:30 left in the half, but that was before the Bulldogs narrowed the gap back to 10 at the half.
Neither team started well offensively in the third quarter, with Byrer's free throw giving North Daviess a 30-21 lead.
But Orleans scored the final six points to narrow the lead to 30-27.
"We had talked about coming out in the third quarter and having a really good start," Dalrymple said. "We had good shots. We didn't take anything that was a bad shot. They were open shots, they just didn't go in. I told the kids that we didn't make any shots, but we were still in the lead. I told them we were ahead because we were playing as a team, we were talking to each other, we were playing good defense." Cook made one of two free throws in the fourth for a 31-27 North Daviess lead before Bradley's field goal got Orleans as close as it would get at 31-29.
Crays took matters into his hands from there, scoring eight of North Daviess' 17 fourth-quarter points. While Crays helped put matters to rest, Byrer was the Cougar cement in the opening 16 minutes.
"We didn't think Kelby was posting as hard as he could, and it was our fault," Dalrymple said. "The offense we were running wasn't designed to get him in there. We decided he would be our post player and teams will have to deal with it. He flat stepped up. He scored 16 in our game against Tecumseh. He's really starting to get his feel about what¹s good for the team." Byrer scored six points in the first quarter and added six more in the second while finishing with team honors with Crays at 13 points each. He also added 11 rebounds and five assists. Orleans was paced by 12 from Bradley, 11 from Jarrett Jones and 10 from Cale Hall.
ORLEANS 8 11 8 11 - 38
NORTH DAVIESS 17 12 1 17 - 47
Orleans (38) - Tommy Mitchell 1 1-1 2 3, Jarrett Jones 5 0-0 3 11, Trey Bradley 4 4-4 4 12, Murphy Wheeler 0 1-2 0 1, Cale Hall 5 0-0 3 10, Burton Gerkin 0 0-0 0 0, Taylor Tritle 0 1-2 0 1, Steven Phillips 0 0-0 0 0, Jacob Brinkley 0 0-0 1 0. Totals 15 7-9 13 38.
North Daviess (47) - Scott Woodruff 0 0-0 0 0. Nick Crays 4 4-5 0 13, Brady Helms 0 0-0 1 0, Dusten Cook 1 1-2 1 4, Nick Woodruff 1 2-2 2 5, Wes Lengacher 3 0-0 1 6, Lane Heshelman 3 0-00 1 6, Tyler Hostetter 0 0-0 1 0, Adam Wagler 1 0-0 2 3, Kelby Byrer 5 3-4 2 13, Drew Lengacher 0 0-0 0 0, Austin Buehler 1 1-2 0 3. Totals 16 11-15 10 47.
3-point goals: Orleans 1 (Jones), North Daviess 4 (Crays, Cook, N. Woodruff, Wagler).