Reversing the ball around the horn versus the zone defense allowed some splendid open shots for Jonah Wolters and his Wichita Defenders Friday night at Chanute High School.
In the 48th annual Ralph Miller Classic, Wolters’ hot shooting propelled the first-time Ralph Miller Classic Defenders 49-34 over Goddard High School. Wolters stroked four 3s and had 14 points overall, while his compatriot Kip Ammons scored 10.
Overall, Wichita’s intensity on defense turned into fast break points, which ultimately made Goddard sag off in the paint. Diving down too much opened up shots, and that just opened the flood gates for the rest of the team.
Wolters, an All-NCHBC (a Christian homeschool league) senior, said it was very important to have an aggressive mindset.
“I think it’s really important because the aggressiveness and the attacking creates openings, it makes defenses shift, and I think that getting defenses uncomfortable gets you open shots,” he said.
From the get-go, Wichita employed a sense of urgency to play defense, and this turned into instant offense. All-NCHBC selection David Brown and sophomore Micah Cooley had two 3s apiece, while junior Kojo Colecraft-Anderson and Ammons each had one 3.
First-year Wichita head coach Curtis Cooley said the key was his team’s hot shooting streak.
“We shot lights-out. I mean my five guys Jonah, David, Kip, Micah, Josh (Joshua Martin) just shot really well,” Cooley said. “You add the intensity on the defensive end, it’s really hard to beat a team that is playing like that. We had a really good game.”
What went well for Wichita was protecting the paint, contesting the majority of shots. The rotations of the Defenders were paramount, not allowing wide-open 3s in crucial spots.
Glimpses of last season transpired in this tournament game, as last year Wichita was doing much of the same on the defensive end in a season when they were ranked fifth in the nation among 300-plus homeschool teams.
Wichita will next play today at 3:45 pm in the fifth place game against Olathe North. Goddard and Chanute will meet at 2 pm for seventh.