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.
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.
Springfield's Curtis Hassell goes up for 3 of his game-high 14 points.
"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.
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