After five losses to start this season, the Springfield boys basketball team needed a win.
And the Blue Devils got more than a win yesterday: They put together a strong effort to blow out Emmanuel Christian 58-34 in the Warriors' home gym.
With the victory Springfield will get a chance to defend its title in the Warrior Classic when it plays Bedford tonight starting at 7:30 p.m.
"We've got young guys because we lost eight seniors from last year," Springfield coach Tim Reiser said. "We needed to get a win badly. But over the last three days our guys have gone hard in practice, and that's hard to do when you're coming in 0-5. Hopefully as the year goes on our guys will build on this."
Emmanuel Christian, which fell to 2-5, will host Whiteford in the consolation game tonight beginning at 5:30 p.m.
The Blue Devils started quickly, scoring the game's first eight points and quickly building an 18-5 lead after one quarter.
"In our first five games we started out slow and got behind quick," said Springfield's Austin Koback, who had eight of his team-high 17 points in that opening period. "We thought we should pick up the intensity, and it helped us out a lot."
Things didn't get much better for Emmanuel Christian in the second quarter as the Devils made 7 of 11 3-point shots to climb to a 29-9 advantage with
3:09 left in the first half.
"I thought we defended them OK, but there were a couple [times] we didn't get out and defend very well," Emmanuel coach Dave Regnier said. "And they got a little confidence."
What made Springfield's
3-point barrage tougher to defend was that the seven treys were made by five Blue Devils.
"We have some decent 3-point shooters, but we haven't been able to capitalize on that this year," Reiser said. "Luckily we hit some, and that took some pressure off our inside game."
Zack Culbertson made three 3-pointers while Koback and
Tyler Liber added a pair each.
"Coach Reiser helped me out a little bit with my shot," Koback said. "It was a mechanical thing, and I needed a little more arc on my shot."
Springfield continued its
efficient play in the third quarter, making 9 of 11 from the field in that period to extend its lead to 49-23.
Nine different players scored for Springfield, with Culbertson joining Koback in double figures with 10 points.
"This win pumps us up big-
time because we were 0-5 heading into this game," Koback said. "This lifts our spirits up, and it pumps us up to win this tournament [tonight]."
While Springfield made 23 of 44 shots from the floor in the game, Emmanuel Christian connected on just 13 of 39 field goals. Sophomore Stephen Behan led the Warriors with 18 points, while his older brother, Walker, added nine.
"I think we're better than what we played, but I'm not sure how good we are," Regnier said. "We kind of fell into some bad habits, but giving up 54 points isn't too bad of a defensive effort.
"The problem is we were really bad offensively.''