[NEWARK,OH 12/18/21] Settling into their strides, Utica faced off against Newark Catholic on Green Wave Drive in a Saturday afternoon doozie. Coming into the contest Utica had just defeated Zanesville 60-44. Now, true Newark area hoops fans know that Zanesville always provides a strong basketball program. Apparently, Newark Catholic did not share the same awareness about their formidable opponent.
Whistle Happy Referees
On the first play of the game Newark Catholic’s Cole Canter drew a charge call on a drive to the rim by #1 on Utica Trenton Collins. It was difficult to tell whether or not this was a tie up or an offensive foul especially given a fresh-eyed perspective as per usual to the start of any basketball game.
Another soft charge call was made against Collins (℅ 2023) with 2:42 to go left in the 1st quarter (defender still moving) However, Utica Redskins Coach Brian Radabaugh showed confidence in his supremely poised star player by leaving him for the rest of the half with two fouls.
That decision paid off mightily as the Redskins facilitated their offense very efficiently through #1 Collins. On the flip side, Newark Catholic rushed their offensive sets, settled for shots early within the possession and did not receive many second chance opportunities on the glass.
Where Catholic Went Wrong
It would have benefitted Newark Catholic greatly to play a Wisconsin Badger type ball game and grind it out through long possessions and steady defense. Instead, they tried to begin the contest with a fast pace often forcing transition type movement and it clearly tired them out early.
For being the point guard, Newark Catholic #2 Cole Canter did not display much patience in this contest. He played hero ball for the majority of the outing, made cheap mistakes and did not get his teammates involved too often.
Strong Glue Guys to Compliment High Caliber Stars
An individual that really stood out during this ballgame was Utica #3 Seth Cooper. He started the game by sinking a deep contested three and took to the defensive end with bravado. Throughout the day he would continue to hit deep trey balls and spring quickly off his feet to rebound. His rapid second jump compliments his quick shot release very well.
As is always the case, this game came down to rebounding. Utica outrebounded Newark Catholic heavily. The role players of Newark Catholic were nonexistent while the Redskins role players had a major impact. Many Newark Catholic players did not appear ready for haphazard passes and were slow to react to 50/50 balls where anybody could have snatched the rock.
#13 on Utica Roman Gamble (℅ 2024) impressed scouts mightily with his hustle, bounce and tenacity on the defensive end.
The defining moment of this game came early in the 4th quarter. After a loose ball and multiple people diving on the floor Catholic came up with it on their own baseline. NC attempted to put up what seemed to be an easy layup and #1 disrespectfully swatted it into the wall padding. With authoritae!
For the majority of the second half, the game moved slowly as referees wished to be way too involved. Regardless, Utica scraped Newark Catholic by a score of 59-38.