In another early-season test, Southview gave itself clear signs of encouragement with a wire-to-wire victory in a meeting of league favorites Tuesday.
Behind 27 points from guard Ryan Fries, Southview ran past visiting Waite 70-55.
The Cougars never trailed in the game and led by as many as 28 points in the third quarter. Southview found its shooters, shared the ball, and used its defense to protect the lead, all things first-year coach Stan Joplin had hoped to see.
“We had some guys turn down a good shot for a better-looking shot, and we swung the ball, so that was good,” Joplin said. “If we do that, that really helps us tremendously.”
The Cougars, who defeated St. Francis de Sales in their first game, are now 2-0 to start the season.
Against City League favorite Waite (0-1), Southview’s offense took control of the game right away. The Cougars scored 25 points in the first quarter and made six 3-pointers in the first 12 minutes of the game
Waite kept pace for a quarter, but the Indians fell behind by double digits early in the second quarter and trailed by no fewer than 10 the rest of the game.
Fries, who is also a standout golfer at Southview, did a large portion of the damage. He made all nine of his free-throw attempts in the first half and went into halftime with 17 points.
“I’m a little rusty from golf season, but I’m getting back into the flow of things now,” Fries said. “I felt pretty good tonight.”
After the offensive barrage of the first quarter – Waite and Southview combined for 41 points in eight minutes – the Cougars’ defense doubled the lead in the second quarter. Southview held Waite to three second-quarter field goals and took a 41-23 lead into the intermission.
“When we got the lead, we made shots, and we got some energy from our defense, which we’re trying to preach,” Joplin said.
Southview ended any hopes of a Waite comeback in the beginning of the second half.
Christian Wagenhauser scored twice around the rim and converted two free throws, and Tehree Horn added a layup and a made jumper for a 10-0 run to start the third quarter.
Southview created the pace it wanted, and the Cougars led 51-23 at one point.
“We wanted to push the ball up the floor because we knew we could get out them,” Fries said. “We were able to accomplish that.”
Despite runs of 11-2 and 9-0 in the second half, Waite could not fight its way back into contention.
Even in the span of a few weeks, Joplin said his team has taken steps forward.
“I thought we shared the basketball, and against St. Francis we didn’t. I thought we were hunting shots. We want to share it and make the extra pass,” Joplin said. “There’s no doubt that we’ve grown and that we’re better, and I want to continue to get better.”
Aside from Fries’ 27 points, Zech Miller and Tyson King had 10 points each, Wagenhauser scored 9, and Horn added 6 for the Cougars.
Carl Banks led the Indians with 18 points.
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