Not needing to play starters in the fourth quarter because of the first-half lead those starters built over 16 minutes of play is a great thing, according to Head Coach Jon Young.
“They played really well tonight,” he said. “I was really happy.”
The Bruins built a first half lead of 18 points as they went into halftime leading 40-22.
“We talked about putting it away early,” Young said of the 66-40 road victory over the Douglas Trojans on Friday night.
Young was able to play all the players sitting the bench in this game, getting valuable experience and playing time for his younger players.
“We were able to watch kids who don’t play much,” he said, “and cheer them on.”
Many teams take huge first-half leads into the locker room and then put the rest of the game on cruise control and drift to a victory; but not the Bruins.
The third quarter saw almost as many points scored as in the previous two, but the Bruin defense cut the Trojans ability to score in half, only allowing 7 points.
Senior Nick Corpening had two dunks in the third resulting from increased defensive pressure.
“The team feeds off of that energy,” Young said. “And of course the effort that the team goes to get that steal for him to break into the open court is great.”
Team rebounding was another area that was Young was especially proud of, citing the hard work of big men Chandler Gotfried and Alex Pate.
“Gotfried and Pate did a great job on the boards, cleaning up our messes and getting second and third shots,” he said. “It was really physical down there and the refs were letting them play so they really had to battle.”
The Bruins had a 56-29 lead at the end of the third quarter, and only one starter scored in the fourth when Ronnie Manley hit 1 of two free throws for one of the Bruins 10 fourth-quarter points.
Calvin Watwood, 4 points, Jake Vaughn, 4, and Dexter Vaugn, 3, had the other 9 for the final score of 66-40.
The Bruins were led in scoring by Gotfried, who had 18, and Corpening who had 15.
Pate had 7, while Tyler Wood, 6, Thomas Spratt, 2, Justin Murray, 2, and Manley, 5, also contributed to the final score.
The Bruins have one week to prepare for the round-of-32 play-in game against one of two Skyline League teams, and await the results of this weekend’s contest between Phoenix and North Valley High Schools.
“There are no slouches over there,” Young said on the prospect of facing one team over the other. “Phoenix is very well coached and they have two players who can shoot from just about anywhere, but North Valley beat them twice this season.
“Either team will be a quality opponent.”
The Bruins will travel to face one of the two teams on Saturday, Feb. 25 with the time yet to be announced, but most likely to begin at 7 p.m.
Thanks to Kevin Bane and the staff at KURY radio for their broadcast of the game.