By Justin Whitaker
PLAINFIELD — After an inspired first half of play on senior night, the Plainfield Quakers lost some steam as the game went forward.
Zionsville downed Plainfield 70-48 after a close contest through two quarters.
“They obviously run their stuff very well and we got caught up in some screens and they made some shots,” Plainfield coach Andy Weaver said. “I think we ended up with a series of quick possessions and quick turnovers.”
The Quakers (5-14) trailed 27-22 at halftime and cut the deficit to three after a Will Williams layup to open the second half.
The Eagles (10-9) scored nine consecutive points to stretch their lead to 37-24 and effectively take control of the game.
In the third quarter, Zionsville scored 25 points, almost single-handedly matching its entire first half output.
Plainfield turned the ball over nine times and scored 10 points in the third quarter.
“It went from about three to eight or nine quick. Then it went from nine to 17, 18 awfully quick,” Weaver said of the Quaker deficit.
Contributing to the Eagles solid second half play was their ability to hit from beyond the arc. Zionsville made four of its nine 3-pointers in the third quarter and shot 53 percent for the game.
“They are a good shooting team first of all,” Weaver said. “Second of all, we were a little slow on closeouts, slow on when to switch out of screens and they moved the ball awfully well.”
Senior point guard Andrew Dakich scored a game-high 19 points on 7 of 9 shooting for the Eagles. He was able to create shots for others, as well as make his own.
“You are not going to turn him over,” Weaver said. “He handles it so well and he shoots it so well. That’s a pretty good combination.”
To open the contest, Plainfield showed no signs of being intimidated by the Hoosier Crossroads Conference school. The Quakers led 4-0 and were tied at 10-10 in the first quarter.
Plainfield trailed by seven after one but cut the lead to two points after a Max Kurkowski 3-pointer and Jon Aldridge layup.
Both baskets came from long possessions where the Quakers were patient, waiting for open shots.
“In the second quarter we played really well,” Weaver said. “We gave up only seven points. Offensively we had some quality possessions and I thought we played smart basketball in the first half. Give Zionsville credit, we didn’t play real smart there in the third quarter.”
Williams led Plainfield with 13 points and Kurkowski added 11 points, both off of the bench.
The Quakers started all five of their seniors on senior night. Jake Jay, Luke Jones, Josh Courtney, Tim Baute and Aldridge opened the game for Plainfield.
First-year coach Weaver understands and appreciates the situation that a new coach puts on the team’s seniors.
“That first year it is just tough coming in, no matter who it is, you’re just going to have different language and different things that you run,” Weaver said. “Our seniors haven’t quit on us. They have stayed with it and there are some quality guys there that are going to be very successful in life.”