By MARK RUSCHAU
ROCKFORD — Going into Tuesday night’s nonleague
basketball matchup at Rockford, Fort Jennings boys basketball
coach John Von Sossan didn’t really know how his squad
was going to play against the winless Parkway Panthers.
In the back of the minds of Von Sossan and his boys was a heartbreaking
double-overtime loss on Saturday to Lincoln-view and in the
front of their minds was an assortment of injuries which left
them with a depleted backcourt.
Von Sossan’s boys quickly found the cure to all their
ills as they shot 60 percent from the field in the first half
and rolled to a 63-46 win over the Panthers.
Fort Jennings improves to 6-2 on the season while Parkway falls
to 0-7 with the loss.
“We were coming off a double-overtime loss and there was
a feeling in the lockerroom that let’s just go out and
get it done and that’s just what they did,” said
Von Sossan. “We played with decent intensity tonight.”
Fort Jennings opened the game shooting 9-of-16 from the floor
in the opening period but led just 21-17 as Parkway nearly matched
the Musketeers torrid shooting hitting 7-of-14 from the field.
In the second quarter, the Musketeers continued their blistering
pace from the floor as they canned 9-of-15 from the floor. Senior
captain Ryan Schroeder lead a balanced Jennings attack in the
first half with 12 points. In all, eight Musketeers dented the
scoring column in the first half.
“We have some good shooters on this team and that’s
one of our strong points,” said Von Sossan. “We
needed a good shooting night because we had trouble with our
post defense, something we have had trouble with all season.”
The difference in the second stanza was Fort Jennings picked
up the intensity on the defensive end as it held Parkway to
just 10 points on 4-of-15 shooting. Fort Jennings did a good
defensively job on Parkways two leading scorers, Jordan Heckler
and Mark Snyder in the second period holding them to just two
points after they combined for 11 points in the opening period.
“We went to some fullcourt-trapping defense in the second
quarter and it got them out of sync a little bit,” said
Von Sossan. “We were really harping on our kids to defend,
something we have been doing all year, and they responded some.”
“I really wasn’t unhappy with our shot selection
tonight,” said Parkway coach Rusty Allen. “They
came out and put pressure on us but the big thing was that we
became frustrated when we missed shots. If we would of shot
with a little bit of confindence we would of been alright.
“A big part of shooting with confidence stemmed from the
fact that we really didn’t play any defense tonight,”
continued Allen. “They would come down and hit a couple
of shots and then we would come back and we would start pressing
our shots and things started to snowball.”
Trailing by 17 to start the second half, Parkway did a great
job shutting down Fort Jennings in the third period as they
held them to just 2-of-12 shooting and six points, yet they
lost a point to their deficit as they shot just as bad as the
Musketeers, hitting on 2-of-11.
Parkway won the fourth quarter scoring 14-13, but the deficit
was too large and Fort Jennings walked away with the win.
Schroeder led the way for Fort Jennings with a game-high 16
points. Kevin Bullinger added 14 and Tyler Warnecke chipped
Ryan Berry led the Panthers with 15. Snyder added 13.
Parkway returns to action on Friday, hosting Marion Local in
a Midwest Athletic Conference contest.