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High School Sports

High School Sports

Freer approach on offense helps Veritas boys win

January 22, 2014

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Box score

Manhattan CHIEF (40)

Matthias Brouk 0-1 0-0 0, David Roberson 3-7 1-2 7, Kirk Stewart 4-8 1-2 10, Lincoln Casada 0-0 0-0 0, Anthony Schrader 4-19 4-6 13, Derek Bowman 2-7 4-4 8, Timothy Zachary 0-1 0-0 0, Andrew Seeley 0-2 2-2 2, Barnabas Hawkinson 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 13-45 12-16 40.

Veritas (62)

Drake Napier 3-10 0-0 6, Winston Wiebe 0-4 1-4 1, Michael Rask 1-2 0-0 3, Micah Edmondson 5-14 2-2 14, Chad Stieben 11-18 1-2 24, Mark Weinhold 3-6 1-2 7, Miles Dressler 1-4 0-0 3, Isaiah Garrett 0-0 0-0 0, Peyton Donohoe 0-1 0-0 0, Seth Hale 2-3 0-0 4. Totals 26-62 5-10 62.

Manhattan 10 7 13 10 — 40

Veritas 12 16 23 11 — 62

Three-point goals: Manhattan 2-10 (Stewart, Schrader); Veritas 5-15 (Edmondson 2, Rask, Stieben, Dressler). Fouled out: None. Turnovers: Manhattan 21, Veritas 11.

— A lot could be said for the value of playing basketball with a free mind. And the Veritas boys team could tell you all about it.

Earlier this season, Eagles coach Blake Mudd realized the constraints of the team’s offense also were impeding its development.

“We used to be real strict on our stuff,” Mudd said, “and our kids were thinking too much.”

So he took the reins off and liberated the Eagles, an approach that served them well Tuesday night in a 62-40 triumph over Manhattan CHIEF at Eudora Community Center.

Multiple times in the first half, Mudd yelled at one of his players, “Look to shoot!”

It’s a style that any player would respond to, and Veritas’ Chad Stieben fully embraced it on his way to 24 points, five rebounds and four assists.

“It’s really awesome to play like that, because it kind of gives us more freedom,” the hard-working guard said, “and we can just play basketball.

“But, with that being said,” Stieben continued, “on the defensive side now, we’ve really got to buckle down and play hard ball. He gives us freedom on offense, but he’s not gonna give us freedom on defense.”

That showed at halftime, with Veritas (7-8) ahead, 28-17. Mudd got after Stieben for allowing his man to score too easily in the first half. By the time the ball went into play in the third quarter, Stieben had taken on a different mentality, and scored 16 of his team’s 23 third-quarter points during a stretch that put Manhattan away.

“I think our defense sparked everything,” Stieben said.

The sophomore made all seven of his field-goal attempts (including a three-pointer) in the third, as well as a free throw to finish an and-one. Junior Micah Edmondson, who hit two threes on his way to 14 points in the victory, set Stieben up for two of his third-quarter buckets.

Mudd knew Stieben, a captain and team leader, would respond to his challenge.

“When he started to play hard, man, that’s a beautiful thing to watch,” the coach said.

And, of course, a loose approach never hurts. Just ask Stieben, who didn’t realize he went 7-for-7 in the third.

“Really?” he asked. “I was just playing.”

Veritas plays host to Topeka Cair Paravel at 5:15 p.m. on Saturday.

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