Springfield's Marquan Hodges (4) battles with Northview's John Wendt (34) for the ball during Tuesday's game. Hodges had seven points in the Blue Devils' win.
The Blade/Jeremy Wadsworth
Stan Joplin's first season coaching at Springfield resulted in a total of four wins last year for the Blue Devils.
Springfield doubled that mark Tuesday night when the Blue Devils routed Northview 50-31 in a Northern Lakes League tilt in Springfield.
Curtis Hassell scored 11 of his game-high 14 points in the decisive first half to lead surging Springfield, which improved to 8-4 overall and 4-3 in league. The Blue Devils entered the game riding momentum from a 54-52 double-overtime victory against league rival Anthony Wayne on Friday.
Springfield, which jumping out to a 7-0 lead Tuesday, didn't want the recent good times to end.
"We knew we just beat the No. 1 team in the NLL, so there really was nowhere to go but up," said Hassell, who swished four of Springfield's seven 3-pointers against Northview (6-7, 2-5 NLL).
Hassell, a 5-foot-10 senior, made three 3-pointers during the second quarter to account for all of Springfield's points that quarter. Hassell’s final 3, which came with a second left in the first half, gave the Blue Devils a 23-12 lead at halftime.
"I was just looking for my shots," Hassell said. "After the AW win, we're all coming together as a team."
Marquan Hodges added seven points, while Dilyn Good and Logan Weimer finished with six points apiece. Three other Blue Devils added five in a balanced scoring attack.
Joplin, the former University of Toledo coach, said it's been a process making the adjustment coaching at the college level to the high school ranks. The Blue Devils' win total is the most obvious sign there's been a change from a year ago.
"I think I'm a better coach, and I think I know a little more about high school players," Joplin said. "It's completely different than coaching in college. I've learned, and the players have learned, and I think they've bought into it. I think it shows on the basketball court."
Northview struggled early against Springfield's defense, committing five turnovers in the opening quarter as the Blue Devils jumped to a 14-4 advantage. The Wildcats never recovered.
Conner Hartnett led Northview with 10 points. Adam Downing added seven points in a game where the Wildcats trailed by as much as 21 late in the contest.
"They played hard and we didn't answer them," Northview coach Terry Shadle said. "That's been our [reputation] that we've played hard all year, but today, I don't know.
"We didn't come out with the same intensity that we've been playing with. We were flat."
Springfield opened the second half right where they left off, knocking down 3-point baskets.
Good and Russell started the third quarter by nailing back-to-back threes to extend Springfield's lead to 29-12. Chad Roy’s three-point play made it 32-12 with 5 minutes, 45 seconds remaining in the quarter, and Springfield never looked back.
Contact Donald Emmons at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 419-724-6302 or on Twitter @DemmonsBlade.