Photo Gallery | St. Joe vs. Wahconah basketball
PITTSFIELD — The Wahconah boys basketball team dominated on both sides of the floor, using its smothering defense and efficient offense to beat St. Joseph 80-26 on Friday.
The Warriors started the game in an aggressive full-court press and the Crusaders struggled to solve it. The visitors forced 11 first-quarter turnovers, jumping out to a 12-0 lead. Jamal Beda's jumper with 4 minutes and 25 seconds left in first netted St. Joe's first points, but Wahconah closed on a 16-0 run.
"The [full-court press] was something we put in this week," Wahconah coach Dustin Belcher said. "It benefits us and we try to use our length in the press. I was happy with the way we looked in the press early on."
Wahconah turned St. Joe's miscues into quick points in transition. The Warriors threw crisp lead passes, hitting players in rhythm for lay-ups.
On defense, Wahconah's length shut down St. Joe's passing lanes, cutting off the possible entry pass into post player Joey Maynard. With Maynard unable to get touches and struggling with foul trouble, the Crusaders could not find their offense. Cole Morrison played a key role in Wahconah's post defense. He added 17 points as well.
"It kills us," St. Joe coach Joe Bennett said of the inability to get Maynard touches in the post. "We had a hard time getting the ball into him and that eliminated our inside game.
"We're a small team. If we can't get Joey off to a good start, it's going to make it difficult for us. We'll have to rely more on our guards to make outside shots."
When Wahconah wasn't scoring in transition, the Warriors relied on strong chemistry and timing in the half court. Luke Steinman showed range from deep, making four 3-pointers. Their bench helped extend their lead also, as Matt Schneider scored 14 and Brandon Roughley had nine.
Cody Tynan led St. Joe with 12 points. Beda had seven. Maynard had four points and five blocks.
"Considering how we have a lot of new guys on the floor, and our timing and spacing was as good as it was — that's definitely something that I'm very excited about," Belcher said of his team's offensive performance.
Schneider 3-8-14, Morrison 7-3-17, Sinopoli 3-2-8, Steinman 6-1-17, Lavinio 2-3-7, Washburn 2-1-5, Moynihan 0-3-3, Roughley 3-3-9. Totals: 26-24-80
ST. JOE (26)
Maynard 2-0-4, Fox 1-0-3, Beda 3-1-7, Tynan 5-0-12. Totals 11-1-20.
3-point goals — W 4 (Steinman 4). SJ 3 (Tynan 2, Fox 1).