Chase Eye, Bert Jones spark bounce-back performance for Windham

Bert Jones of Windham was an All-Ohio selection in Division IV.
·4 min read

WINDHAM — Chase Eye provided a spark.

Bert Jones caught fire.

Just like that, the Bombers were dancing in the dark.

Behind sterling ball movement and torrid shooting, Windham bounced back from a pair of one-possession losses for a 76-69 victory over Fairport Harding Tuesday.

"It was big," Eye said. "We knew we had to bounce back."

The Bombers weren't just coming off close losses to Pymatuning Valley and Badger Friday and Saturday. They were also without star guard Miki Jones.

Eye, taking on more ball-handling responsibility, scored 12 of Windham's 17 first-quarter points. Bert Jones, taking on more of the scoring load, knocked down all four of his 3-point tries in the first half en route to an efficient 25-point performance.

The Bombers, as a whole, were brilliant, whipping the ball around en route to shooting 52 percent from the field and 45 percent from deep.

Windham was never better than the second quarter when it hit 69 percent (9-of-13) from the field and 83 percent (5-of-6) from deep.

"The ball movement tonight was much better," Bombers coach Marty Hill said. "The games we've lost, I thought sometimes we just tried to do too much individual stuff instead of just playing as a group, and I said you end up scoring more points when everybody just makes the right [read] and don't worry about it. Trust what we do. When it comes to you and you know it's your shot, you'll take it."

Chase Eye, Bert Jones spark Bombers

The first three possessions were as chilly as the weather as the Bombers and Skippers went scoreless through the game's first two minutes. It was actually a miss that got the home team going as Eye charged in on his own missed 3 for a putback.

With Fairport Harbor leading 5-4 midway through the first quarter, Eye, mired in a bit of a shooting slump, ripped a deep 3 to take the lead. Forty seconds later, Eye tore to the corner on a baseline inbound and drained a second trey for a 10-5 advantage.

Eye later added an impressive fast-break scoop against contact, his fourth bucket in a span of just over three minutes, to take a 12-7 lead at the 2:50 mark of the first.

Knotted at 12 late in the opening quarter, Bert Jones exploded. After scoring a single bucket in the opening seven minutes, the senior raced a defensive rebound down the court and drained a 3 from up top with six seconds remaining in the opening quarter.

With Windham leading by a single point minutes into the second stanza, Jones added a mid-range jumper off a baseline inbound. Lucas Churchill, who had 18 points on a crisp 8-of-12 from the field, followed with a steal, capping the ensuing two-on-one with a beautiful fake pass before finishing the break himself with a layup for a 24-19 edge. Jones added a 3-pointer to push the lead to eight (27-19).

"My teammates just kept finding me," Jones said. "I kept moving. They passed me the ball. I just kept feeling good so I kept taking it. I got the green light from my teammates and they just kept falling."

With the Skippers still within 37-26, thanks to their work on the offensive glass, Jones ended the half with a buzzer-beater, faking a 3 from the corner, then firing away.

The Bombers senior added his fifth and final 3-pointer midway through the third quarter when Cam Hoskin pulled down an offensive board and kicked up top to Jones, who fired away for a 50-33 lead.

Sam Honkala, Fairport Harbor rally late

The Skippers didn't go away easily.

Specifically, Sam Honkala didn't go away easily.

The Fairport Harbor star scored an impressive 20 points in the final quarter, helping the visiting team cut deeply into what had been a 20-point lead after three periods.

Honkala, who led all scorers with 32 points, started with a pair of free throws seconds into the fourth. He followed with a pair of short jumpers, one from the middle of the paint and another along the baseline, to draw within 13 (61-48) with 5:09 remaining.

Still trailing 65-48, the Skippers drained three straight 3-pointers, with Honkala treys sandwiching one from Joe Tanker (14 points, 7 rebounds).

Honkala then stole the ensuing inbound and laid the ball in to get the Skippers within six (65-59) with just under three minutes remaining.

That was as close as Fairport Harbor got.

Windham raced the ball right back down the court with Jones angling from the middle of the paint to the left side for a bank shot and Churchill pivoted his way to a scoop finish to push the lead back into double digits.

This article originally appeared on Record-Courier: Chase Eye, Bert Jones spark bounce-back performance for Windham

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