Dwayne Sutton (12, HSU) scored 27 points and dunked three times as Manual cruised to a 66-44 victory against the Moore Mustangs, trailing only twice the entire game, both times early in the first quarter.
The win advances the Crimsons to 17-3 on the season, while Moore drops to 3-14.
The game was also one of the first this season in which the entire bench played.
“Basketball is a team sport; so when the whole team plays, it’s just better for the team,” said Steven Gordon (11, HSU).
The game started slowly for Manual with several missed shots, but they ended the first quarter on a 15-4 run to take a 17-8 lead.
The team struggled with shots again at the beginning of the second quarter, with their only points in the first three minutes coming from a jumper by Jake Chilton (12, HSU). The team soon got back into rhythm after a 3-point shot by Ja’Kory Freeman (12, HSU) and closed the half with a 32-20 lead.
Manual had a much hotter start to the second half, with Dwayne Sutton scoring the team’s first five points of the half, and 12 of the first 14. However, Moore had an answer for every shot, keeping even with Manual until two dunks by Sutton helped to widen the gap. At the end of the quarter, Manual led 53-37.
Sutton dunked for the third time early in the fourth quarter as Manual continued to expand its lead and gradually pulled its starters from the game.
Although Manual won by a large margin, the team struggled with foul trouble as both Eric Niemann (11, HSU) and Jake Chilton fouled out in the fourth quarter. Manual tends to have one of the lowest foul rates in the state, but they allowed Moore into the double bonus for one of the first times this season.
Head coach Jimmy Just (Math) had little concern with the performance outside of the fouls.
“We have to come in to every game with the right mentality, the same mentality,” he said. “We just didn’t seem to be completely in sync, it was just one of those, and hopefully we don’t see many of those going forward.”
Meanwhile, Sutton’s 27 point game was his highest tally of the season.
“I just like to play aggressive, attack the rim and see what happens,” said Sutton.
The Crimsons’ next opponent will be the Jeffersontown Chargers. They will face off on Jan. 30 at 7:30 p.m. at Manual. The Chargers are 4-14 this season.