By RICHIE HALL
Reporter Sports Editor
Fishers boys basketball coach Matt Moore made an interesting point after his Tigers team beat Arsenal Tech on Tuesday night.
“It’s not what you talk about, it’s what you emphasize,” said the coach.
In its past two practices, Fishers worked on its offense, taking “a lot of reps offensively,” said Moore. The Tigers got a chance to put that preparation into a game situation, and it paid off in the form of a 69-54 win over the Titans. With the victory, Fishers is back to .500 for the season at 6-6.
Moore said some of the things the Tigers were working on included trying to get good shots and making sure the team understood its timing and spacing.
“It’s good to see that that’s paying off now in a game situation because I thought we took good shots, I thought our ball movement was really good in that first quarter,” said Moore. “And it just goes to show that if you do the right work, outcomes will eventually happen the way they’re supposed to.”
The first quarter was fantastic for Fishers, as it ended with the Tigers leading 25-14. The game was tied at 14-all late in the period, but Fishers scored the last 11 points of the quarter. Jeremy Szilagyi scored five of those points, including a 3-pointer; he had a total of three in the first period. Jordan Jones added four points and Josiah Matthews had two.
“I thought our guys did a good job of being aggressive,” said Moore.
After their fast start, Fishers kept its lead at or above 10 points for most of the game. Consecutive rebound baskets by Tech in the second quarter got the Titans within 31-23, but the Tigers answered with a layin by Brendhan Russom and a three-point play by Craig Yoho. That pushed Fishers’ lead to 36-23, and it never dropped below 10 points again.
The Tigers had remarkable balance, with five players reaching double figures. Jones came off the bench to wind up Fishers’ leading scorer with 13 points. Matthews and Jeremy Szilagyi both added 11 points, while Willie Jackson and Terry Hicks both scored 10. Five other players scored at least two points.
“I think the fans enjoyed, probably, the tempo more than the last few games for us,” said Moore. “I think still, we’ve got areas that we can improve and we’ve got to get back to work tomorrow, knowing that we can’t be satisfied with showing up and winning. We need to win in the right fashion and dominantly in a lot of different areas.”
Fishers has a quick turnaround, as it will host Brownsburg on Friday. The game is a Hoosier Crossroads Conference girl-boy doubleheader, with the girls playing at 6 p.m. and the boys at 7:30 p.m.
The Bulldogs will come into the Tiger Den with a 10-2 record. Brownsburg has lost only to prep school powerhouse La Porte LaLumiere and defending Class 4A state champion Ben Davis. In the HCC, the Bulldogs are 1-0, having beat Avon 63-33 on Dec. 15.
“They’re really good,” said Moore. “They’re 10-2 for a reason and up there on a lot of boards and rankings. They’ve played in the regional three of the last four years. They got a lot of players that understand what these Friday night games can be. Most of our guys are in it for the first time. It’ll be a good challenge for us. We just got to go back and understand that there’s areas that we can get better at defensively and we got to do that this week.”
By RICHIE HALL