Points are no problem for Blackhawks, Jaguars
Score quickly and score often. At least, that's the look the Sanborn Central/Woonsocket and Corsica-Stickney boys basketball teams each have had three games into the season. SC/W -- off to a 3-0 start -- scored a season-high 89 points in its open...
Score quickly and score often.
At least, that’s the look the Sanborn Central/Woonsocket and Corsica-Stickney boys basketball teams each have had three games into the season.
SC/W - off to a 3-0 start - scored a season-high 89 points in its opener, and is averaging 77.6 points per game. Corsica-Stickney - with a 2-1 record - is scoring 76.7 points per game and posted a season-high 92 points in a win over Alcester-Hudson at the Parkston Classic.
Both rank at the top of the state for scoring offense in Class B basketball, which has 85 teams this season. SC/W is No. 2 in the class, only behind Marty Indian (3-1), which is averaging 78.8 points per game. Corsica-Stickney and White River each are averaging 76.7 points per game and are tied for third-best in Class B.
The pace of play almost makes one forget about the idea of a shot clock, which has been considered for Class B basketball in the future.
“I don’t think it matters whether there’s a shot clock or not for us,” SC/W co-head coach Troy Olson said. “We think we’re at our best playing an up-tempo game.”
Both teams have a common opponent, as the Blackhawks and Jaguars have already played Mount Vernon/Plankinton. While Corsica-Stickney fell to MV/P 58-52 in its lone loss of the season, the Blackhawks beat the Titans 64-56 on Dec. 21.
For SC/W, Olson said his team loves to get out and run, the Blackhawks’ game plan can change depending on their opponent’s strategy.
“It’s a lot about who we play,” Olson said. “The good news for us is we think we have the personnel to go any tempo. We’re aware there will be games where it’s not going to be that fast-paced. Our bigs give us the size inside to put points on the board in our halfcourt. We have an experienced ball club (starting four seniors and a junior). I trust them to make the in-game adjustments.”
With what Olson called “a strong core” of Tucker Kingsbury, Josh Feiner, Dillon Moore and Brady Tiede, among others, the Blackhawks hope they can find a way to advance to the state tournament.
“We sure hope we’re in the discussion at the end,” Olson said. “Our kids have played ball for a lot of years, and have strong expectations for themselves. The good news is they’re not afraid to work to get those expectations.”
The Jaguars have had a balanced attack throughout their first three games and can also credit hot shooting for the high scoring so far this season. They have shot no worse than 47 percent in a game and hit 58 percent of their shots in the 30-point win earlier this week against Alcester-Hudson.
“Overall, I’m pleased with our offensive effort and we have been getting a lot of different guys to contribute,” said Corsica-Stickney coach Mike Tuschen. “It certainly keeps you in games.”
Senior Eli Van Roekel is averaging 23.3 points per game with a strong group of players - including Clayton Menning, Hunter Johnson, Cordel Menning and Landon Bruinsma - helping Corsica-Stickney score.
“This year, we’ve been doing pretty good with scoring points,” Tuschen said. “That hasn’t been a problem. I know that our defense is going to have to improve because we’re not always doing the fundamental things that we need to be doing and that we’re going to have to be better at if we’re going to be successful.”
Tuschen said his team of Jaguars has shown early on an ability to score and create opportunities on offense, a valuable trait that can be carried into March.
“They know that they can drive to the basket and that can create a kick out chance for a teammate or allow for a little pull up jump shot,” he said. “They’re unselfish and they’re willing to share the ball.”
-- The Daily Republic’s Marcus Traxler contributed to this report.