The boys basketball team beat Christian Academy of Louisville 80-52 in their first regular season outing.
The Crimsons began the game strong, out-scoring CAL 23-13 in the first quarter and leading them 46-23 at the half after a strong 21-6 run.
“One thing I told these guys was that, all year long, I want to make sure we’re playing harder than any team we play,” coach Jimmy Just said. “Tonight we played harder. We executed pretty well, we were patient, and we shared the ball most of the time.”
Manual’s offense was patient tonight, using ball movement and strong passing to set up open shots and get players open. This, coupled with their ability to attack the basket and get to the free throw line, allowed Manual to convert on many easy opportunities.
“We try to get into people to force turnovers and get quick shots,” shooting guard Dwayne Sutton (12, #22) said. “Our defense leads to offense most of the time, and that helps get easy buckets. They were a little bit undersized, and coach wanted me to be aggressive and attack the basket as much as possible.”
Sutton was also a huge contributor, chipping in double-digit points and a handful of offensive and defensive rebounds.
“I expect a lot out of Dwayne, and he came out and played within the team,” Just said. “He did a great job, and that’s what we expect out of him as a player and as a leader.”
And one can not mention Manual’s defensive rebounds without also mentioning the defense itself. The Crimson’s were a force to be reckoned with. They played physical, energetic, and disruptive basketball. They blocked shots, allowed very few easy baskets for Christian Academy, and constantly stepped into passing lanes for steals that led to a multitude of fast-break and transition points.
The only concern Just had about his team was their depth. While playing mostly juniors in the fourth quarter, Manual was out-scored 17-10.
“We just need to make sure that we continue to work our depth, and make sure our guys coming off the bench don’t drop down or drop off,” Just said.
All of these factors combined led to the 80-52 win over Christian Academy for a 1-0 record to start the season, and the Crimson’s are already looking towards the future. The Crimsons take on the Shawnee Golden Eagles at home on Friday, Dec. 5 at six p.m.