High speed, fast-break basketball was a key piece of the Powder Valley boys basketball team’s run to the Class 1A state championship game a season ago.
While there are several new faces on this iteration of the Badgers, the philosophy remains the same.
The result? A blowout.
Hunter Davis and Tanner Eubanks both scored 20 points as Powder Valley ran roughshod over Country Christian Thursday night, 80-31, in the season opener for both teams.
“We like to run,” Davis said. “We don’t like to run a set offense. We like to get the ball up the court and push it. We feel like that’s our best option.”
The Badgers got up and down the floor in a hurry most of the night, hounding the Cougars offense with their pressure and flying to the rim for uncontested layups on several occasions or kicking out on the break for 3-point shots.
Unlike the girls game earlier in the evening, this one got out of hand quickly. Davis connected on a 3-pointer to start a 20-2 run to end the first quarter. Steal and layups by both Dawson Smith and Davis capped the run, with Davis’ ending the first and giving Powder Valley a 22-5 lead.
It’s pretty much what we like to do. We want to go,” Badgers assistant coach Victor Benites said. “We do really good on fast breaks. We try to keep doing that.”
Powder Valley never let up. The lead reached 20 midway through the second quarter and sat at 43-14 at halftime. The Badgers shot just under 50 percent (17-for-36) in the first half while limiting the Cougars to just 5-for-18 shooting and forcing 19 first-half turnovers.
“Our man-to-man seems to be our strongest defense,” Benites said. “We’ve got some really quick guys.”
Then it got worse for the visitors.
Dawson opened the third with a 3-pointer to trigger a 19-0 run. Eubanks added two 3s during the streak which was finally stopped by a Drew Halverson layup. That, however, made it just 62-16.
The Badgers, who shot 10-for-17 in the third and finished the game shooting 43 percent to the Cougars’ 27 percent, went on to lead by as much as 55 points en route to the easy victory.
All 11 players who saw the court for Powder Valley scored. Moziss Nesser followed Davis and Eubanks with eight points, and both Roper Bingham and Smith added seven.
The Badgers also forced 29 turnovers and took care of the ball most of the night, committing just 10. They also held a 36-25 rebounding advantage.
David Girrens had 10 points to lead the Cougars.
The outcome, though more lopsided than what the team expected, gave the Badgers (1-0 overall) a look at their offensive potential ahead of a state semifinal rematch today against Jordan Valley.
“We got a really good feel. (Friday) is going to be even tougher, though,” Davis said. “We weren’t expecting this. We came out firing.”
Enterprise topples Wallowa: Jimmy Wells scored 16 points to lead 10 Enterprise players in scoring as the Outlaws opened the 2017-18 season with a 54-40 road victory over Wallowa Wednesday.
Trent Walker added nine points in the victory for
Enterprise, and Chris Bathke scored seven.
The Outlaws distanced themselves primarily in the first and third quarters. Enterprise was up 15-6 after one, but held just a 28-20 lead at halftime before gaining a little more separation. They went into the fourth with a 12-point lead at 36-24, and held on from there.
Chris Nobles scored 21 points in a losing effort for Wallowa. Sam Hilliard added 13.
The Outlaws (1-0 overall) travel to the Ione Basketball Bonanza today and Saturday, while Wallowa (0-1) heads to the Elgin Lions Tournament this weekend.