WHEATFIELD | Andrean displayed a suffocating defense Wednesday in the opening game of the Class 3A Kankakee Valley Sectional.
The Times No. 4 Niners (18-3) held the host Kougars to just 23 points in a 48-23 victory to advance to Friday’s semifinal game with Rensselaer. Calumet (6-15) also advanced with a well-deserved 64-50 victory over Knox (2-19).
“We really had a strong defensive effort all the way through, and I think they worked out a few tournament jitters and got a little offensive rhythm in the second half,” said Andrean coach Carson Cunningham.
The Niners led just 9-7 at the first stop and 18-12 at the break before breaking the game open in the second half. Andrean opened the third quarter with a 13-4 run to take a 31-16 advantage with 3 minutes and 9 seconds left in the period.
“Any run is good in our book, especially when you’re playing the home team in the tournament,” Cunningham said. “We’ll take any run we can get.”
Andrean was able to spread the wealth around the rest of way and pulled away in the fourth quarter.
“We started getting some turnovers and getting some layups and that kind of got into our offense, especially down low,” guard Nick Davidson said. “We either scored or we got guys cutting to the basket for easy layups.”
Davidson finished with a game-high 15 points and dished out four assists.
“Davidson made some fabulous passes because they were bringing so much attention to him, and our guys cut well,” Cunningham said.
Andrean was without the services of 6-foot-4 center Skyler Moss, who was day-to-day with a foot injury.
“I think he’ll be OK, we’ll see,” Cunningham said.
“We’re not looking anything past the sectionals,” Davidson said. “We’re just taking it one game at a time, and we got Rensselaer on Friday.”
Dustin Ketelaar led the Kougars (12-10) with eight points.
Calumet, which got 24 points from Anthony Harris, plays Hanover Central in Friday's second semifinal game.