January 10, 2010

Gauna lifts Eaton Rapids to 3-0 start in league play

IONIA, Mich. - Containing Michigan State signee Alex Gauna was the primary focus for Ionia coach Scott Pischea and his basketball team. The Bulldogs held the 6-foot-9 future Spartan to 12 points, but Gauna's ability to deliver timely scoring as well as punish Ionia double teams with precision passes to open teammates on the perimeter was the difference for Eaton Rapids in a 49-37 conference victory on the road last Friday.

"I think we did about as good a job as we could defensively against a big-time player like Alex Gauna," Pischea said. "Our whole focus was keeping the ball out of the post. We double teamed him whenever he touched the ball. He did a nice job of finding teammates. I don't know how many points he ended up with, but when they needed him to score he came up with some big shots."

Gauna was at his best during a second-quarter run that proved the difference between the two teams. Both teams played a sloppy first quarter at a slow pace that was to the benefit of home team Ionia. Ionia and Eaton Rapids ended the first quarter tied 5-5.

The pace quickened a bit during the first four minutes of the second quarter. Ionia and Eaton Rapids traded baskets with Gauna getting his first field goal early in the quarter. The Spartan signee went to the bench at the 4:33 mark of the second quarter. Ionia went on a 6-0 run before Gauna was reinserted into the game.

Gauna immediately went to work. He beat a double team for a tough basket inside. He also fought his way to the free-throw line where he split. Gauna knocked down a 3-pointer in transition to tie the game 15-15 before Eaton Rapids got its perimeter game in sync with timely shooting from 6-foot-4 senior wing Alex Archambeau.

Eaton Rapids closed out the half with an 11-1 run and took a 26-19 lead into the third quarter.

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