NORTH LEWISBURG – Triad opened up an early 18-0 lead and knocked off visiting Mechanicsburg, 69-40, in OHC boys basketball on Tuesday.
The Cardinals quickly instituted a full-court press, foiling the Indians’ offense with turnover after turnover and meddling with the visitors in the half court with superior size and length.
“Defensively, we can’t come out to start the game and be down 18-0,” MHS Coach Tyler Craig said. “You take that away, and it’s a decent game.”
Triad finished the first quarter with a 20-2 lead and took a 34-15 lead into halftime. Thomas O’Neal had himself a block party in the first half, rejecting a handful of shots when M’burg broke the press.
“They’re a little bit undersized and they’re one of the few teams where we might have – especially with Thomas – a size advantage,” THS Coach Jason Malone said.
The Indians made a few adjustments during the intermission, electing to attack the baseline more against Triad’s zone and getting better looks as a result.
But many of the attempts still didn’t find the hoop, and Triad’s superior offensive talent continued to show itself, making the score going to the fourth a lopsided 53-25.
“It’s a combination of things. Rebounding is definitely one of them,” Craig said. “We’ve also got to learn offensively what a good shot is and what a bad shot is. A lot of that has to do with them being big and blocking shots, but a lot of it is also us being freshmen and sophomores.”
Triad grabbed a bunch of offensive rebounds and finished the game off the same way it began – way ahead.
“That’s something we haven’t had a whole lot of this year. That was nice to see,” Malone said. “We got some things out of our press and we scored in spurts.”
For Triad (8-10), Hadley LeVan had 17 points and Alec Ober had 10. O’Neal finished with 12 points, 20 rebounds and 5 blocks.
For Mechanicsburg (1-17), Joey Mascadri had 12 points, Logan Hurst added 11 and Chris Taylor scored 10.
In the jayvee game, Triad won, 36-20. Jordan Fyffe had 9 points to lead the Cardinals in that contest.
Triad plays at Fairbanks on Friday before hosting Fort Recovery on Saturday, while Mechanicsburg (1-17) plays West Liberty-Salem on Friday.
Reach Justin Miller at 652-1331 (ext. 1776) or on Twitter @UDC_Miller.