Boys Varsity Basketball · Bruins run past Stars in 2020 opener

Jan 2, 2020

DOVER – It didn’t take long for the Tri-West boys basketball team to get rolling on Thursday night against Western Boone.

And once they did, there was little the Stars could do to stop it. The Bruins scored the game’s first eight points and Western Boone never got closer than four the rest of the way in Tri-West’s 80-60 Sagamore Conference victory.

“Early we just didn’t their effort level – they were just playing harder than us,” Western Boone head coach Josh Burkett said. “It took us a while to wake up. We kept on clawing our way back, and then they would push it right back out. We missed a lot of layups tonight, and they don’t miss those. We were already out-matched size wise, and then you add in missed lay-up and not matching their intensity, it’s a bad combo.”

After trailing 8-0 to start, Western Boone closed to within 18-14 on a basket by Cortez Stoudemire late in the first quarter, but gave up five points in the final 14 seconds of the first quarter to trail by nine.

Western Boone twice got within four in the second quarter, the last time coming with 4:12 to go on a basket by Caleb Freeman, but the Bruins went on a 15-2 run to end the half, then extended the run to 24-2 to make it 54-28 midway through the third quarter.

“We have to get smarter,” Burkett said. “Our basketball IQ and our outstanding of time and score has to get better. Along with that, we have to give our best effort, every game, all the time. Hopefully we can do those things and continue to improve. We still have 16 games to go, so we have to figure it out.”

With the way Tri-West shot for most of the game, there was no hopes of a Western Boone comeback.

The Bruins shot 18 of 29 (62%) in the first half, and started the second half by hitting 14 of their first 18 shots before they missed their last six of the game.

With 3:45 left to go in the game, Tri-West was shooting 68.1 percent from the field.

Western Boone on the other hand shot just 35.4 percent from the field.

The positives for the Stars were they turned it over just 12 times, including just three times in the second half, and grabbed 13 offensive rebounds, but they just couldn’t convert it into more points.

“Our turnover numbers weren’t bad and we crashed the offensive glance, but they were just continuing to pull away because we didn’t make shots,” Burkett said. “We have to find a way to make those lay-ups and those close to the basket shots. Bad shots are like turnovers too, and we started to take some bad shots that turned into run outs for them and they got easy looks.”

Tri-West had four in double figures.

Taylor Gardner led all scorers with 22 points, with Mason Loviscek adding 15 points, Luke Robertson having 13 and Alex Covey having 12.

Connor Hole and Spencer Wright each had 11 points for the Stars, with Cortez Stoudemire adding eight.

The Stars will have another week off to prepare for the Sugar Creek Classic.

Western Boone opens with North Montgomery at 6 p.m. on Friday. The games will be at Crawfordsville.

“We have to approach practice every day in a better way,” Burkett said. “We have to approach it with the mentality that we have to learn because each team is a little different and within what we are trying to do, we have to get better in those areas. We will continue to work on finishing, but just bringing the same effort and intensity every day. We can still have a good season, we just have to continue to improve.”