ADNA — Holding Oakville to a meager 37% shooting from the floor, the Adna boys basketball team looked like a different squad in a 71-44 win over 1B Oakville Tuesday afternoon after a tough defensive outing against King’s Way Christian last week.
After a few days off for the holidays, the Pirates had one practice Monday, and not a word was spoken about offense.
“We didn’t do any shooting yesterday,” Pirates coach Luke Salme said. “We didn’t work on offense at all. I didn’t talk about offense at all in our pregame. You better be good, solid, defensively in this league to get wins in January and February. We were reminded of that against King’s Way, and we were damn good at it today.”
The Pirates allowed a season-high 82 points to the Knights last Wednesday in their first loss of the season, after previously surrendering well-under 60 points per game to that point in the season.
Against a team that can fill it up from most positions, Salme said the Acorns were the perfect opponent to scout for in the Pirates’ quest to reinvigorate their defense.
“It was honestly the perfect opponent for what we wanted to do,” Salme said. “It was a great opponent because guys individually had to keep players in front of them and make life difficult. We had good help too, other guys didn’t stand and watch, they were engaged defensively.”
The Acorns couldn’t get anything moving against a stout Adna defense after the first quarter, with star guard Eddie Klatush held mostly in check while the Adna help defense limited the production of post players Courtney Price Jr. and Ashton Boyd.
Price got going early to keep Oakville in the game after one, but after a second quarter barrage from the Pirates — a quarter where Adna took advantage of Oakville mistakes and turned them into easy points — the Acorns simply couldn’t find an answer for the Pirate defense.
“Little things are big things,” Salme said. “We got back to focusing on doing the little things right. We got back to competing hard on the defensive end for the whole game. They have some guys that can score. We didn’t want to make life easy for Klatush, and that’s a good guard in this area. Boyd’s a good forward and Price had his way with us early, but you want to play teams like King’s Way to grow, the commitment to growing defensively is going to be huge.”
Offensively, the Pirates were led by a balanced attack. Seth Meister had a game-high 16 points, and Eli Smith and Braeden Salme poured in 15 and 14 points, respectively, as well.
Salme also nabbed 10 rebounds for a double-double, and Lane Johnson had nine points and seven boards.
“If we can get stops we’ll be able to get baskets in transition,” Luke Salme said. “We have to get stops. I was really proud today. That’s a scary offensive team and we held them down.”
The Acorns were led by Klatush’s 16 points, and Price dropped 14. Boyd added another nine points for Oakville.
Next up, Adna heads to Menlo for a pair of battles against Ilwaco on Thursday and Willapa Valley on Friday. Oakville will play Lake Quinault on January 3.