The Summit Country Day Silver Knights were more than up to the task of solving Miami East’s stingy zone, and used a strong defense of their own to end the Vikings season.

Dayton – For years, Miami East has built its winning tradition on a stingy zone defense.

Tuesday night, the Vikings were out-defensed by the Summit Country Day Silver Knights, and it cost the crew from Casstown a district championship.

Senior Ryan Haney gives all he has for what he didn't know was going to be the last game of his high school career.

Senior Ryan Haney gave his all for what would be his last game as a Viking.

The Knights clamped down on Vikings’ leading scorer Damien Mackesy in the second half, and slowly pulled away for a 57-37 win at UD Arena, Summit’s 18th consecutive win.

“It’s great for the kids,” said second-year Knights head coach Pat Cosgrove. “We sort of took our lumps together last year, me as a first-year head coach, so this feels real good.”

“They were very quick, very athletic, and difficult to guard in space,” said Miami East coach Allen Mack. “We were not very effective offensively, at least not like we usually are. We had almost twice our season average in turnovers and that hurt us all night. Summit was quick to the passing lanes and overplayed a lot and disrupted our offensive flow.”

Sam Martin hit a trey on the Knights’ first possession of the game, and Summit never trailed. The Knights used an 11-0 run to build a 22-8 lead, before the Vikings finally got the offense in top gear.

After scoring just 8 points in the first 12 minutes, the Vikings closed the half on 12-3 run to get to within 25-20 at the break. Mackesy had 7 points during that run and finished the half with 13.

Miami East trailed by just 2 and had the ball midway through the third quarter, but a turnover led to a three by Summit’s Alex Dahling, an inside score by Andrew Bissmeyer, and another three by Dahling surrounding a three by the Vikings Brandon Mack to make it 37-30 after three.

The Vikings’ offense completely fell apart in the final 8 minutes, as the Vikings went 2 of 9 from the floor and 2 of 6 from the foul line. The final margin was Summit’s largest margin of the night.

Mackesy wrapped up his fine career with 15 points, but managed just 2 free throws after intermission because of the Knights’ increased scrutiny. Mack finished with 11 and Logan West added 9.

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“Mackesy is a good player, good athlete,” explained Cosgrove. “We told the kids what he would do, and he did it anyway in the first half. We reminded the kids at halftime, and they did a much better job defending him in the second half.”

Handshake of appreciation as Coach Allen Mack takes Mackesy out of the game in the last 45 seconds.

A handshake of appreciation as Coach Allen Mack takes Mackesy out of the game for the last time.

“They gave some help on Damien in the second half,” acknowledged Mack. “Sometimes our attack started farther out than we needed. They made it tough for him to get to the basket. Sometimes when you are behind and having to play catch-up, its’ hard to be patient and get the shots you need. That’s what happened in the fourth quarter, The more we tried to shoot quick and attack on defense, the more it opened things up for them.”

“Defensive pressure is important, but offensive pressure in a killer,” Cosgrove continued. “We hit a three, get a steal, hit a layup, now every time they shoot the ball becomes more important. We have the ability to get out and run, but we can also be patient in the half-court and be effective there.”

Dahling was 6 of 10 from behind the arc and finished with a game-high 18 points. After his game opening score, Martin didn’t score again until the fourth quarter when he went 8 for 8 at the foul line to finish with 11 points.

“Dahling has no conscience,” praised his coach. “Doesn’t matter what the score is, if he is open, he’s shooting. I actually get more upset when he doesn’t shoot, because that’s what he does. He’s the guy that comes in before practice and shoots, stays after and shoots, comes in on Sunday and shoots. Believe me, it’s no accident.”

“We knew Dahling was a good shooter” Mack said with a nod of his head. “He was 6 of 10 the night we scouted them, and he matched that tonight. But they moved the ball well too. Two or three of his treys were in transition and that’s very difficult to guard. That is a big part of what they do and they were very effective with it tonight.”

Senior Brandon Mack looking somber after being pulled out of his last high school game.

Senior Brandon Mack looking somber after being pulled from his last high school game.

Miami East was a chilly 14 of 43 from the floor for 32% to Summit’s 18 of 39 for 46%. Summit was 8-18 from the arc for 44%, the Vikings just 3 of 14 for 21%. East also struggled at the line making just 6 of 12, while Summit was 13 of 21, with most of the misses early, for 62%.

East was out-rebounded 30-28, and had 17 turnovers to Summit’s 13. Three other stats also favored the winners: 20-11 in points off turnovers, 15-2 in fast-break points, and 12-0 in bench scoring.

“Summit is very talented,” Mack praised. “Athletic, obviously, but very disciplined and very skilled. Max Preps had them ranked fourth in the state and they certainly don’t get an argument from me. Once we got behind, they made it very difficult for us to catch up.

Joe_inset“I’m really proud of all six seniors,” Mack concluded. “With a son in this class, I have been coaching them since the third grade. Kley Karadak and Braxton Donaldson made big contributions for us off the bench, and the four starters, Brandon(Mack), Ryan (Haney),Damien (Mackesy) and Michael (Werling) have contributed in a lot of different ways. I love ‘em all and they will definitely be missed. It’s just tough to see it end this way.”

The Summit Country Day Silver Knights were more than up to the task of solving Miami East’s stingy zone, and used a strong defense of their own to end the Vikings season.

(Edited By Julie McMaken Wright)

Bittersweet moment for the seniors of their last time playing an official high school basketball game with their underclassmen and for Coach Allen Mack.

Bittersweet moment for the seniors…their last effort a losing one for Coach Allen Mack.

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