Fayette boys basketball evened its record at 1-1 on the young season with a 62-15 blowout win over North Central at home in Buckeye Border Conference action Thursday night.
The visiting Eagles managed to knot the score at 4-4 on Josh Bailey’s bucket, but Fayette would outscore them 14-2 in the final 6:40 of the first quarter.
They pushed it to 12-4 as Travis Wagner knocked down a triple, Trey Keefer scored off a steal, and Wagner added another three.
North Central broke the mini Fayette run with a basket on a backdoor cut by Keean Livensparger, however, Clayton Pheils of Fayette responded with back-to-back three-pointers to make it 18-6 after one.
“We made some big threes,” said Fayette coach Todd Mitchell, speaking to his team’s offensive effort on the night. “That kind of opened things up. So that they had to come out and guard us on the perimeter.
“I was very happy with both ends of the court.”
The hometown Eagles did not let up in the second quarter either.
First, Keefer converted a basket off a back cut to the rim, then Wagner hit a triple, Karrsen Schaffner split a pair from the foul line and on the miss of the second attempt, Keefer stuck it back in.
“That’s what we have to do,” said Mitchell of his team making more effort plays in the contest. “Because we are not 6’8”, 6’5” anymore. We are small but we’re scrappy. We got to do that. We gotta win the 50/50 ball battles. Just do all the hustle plays, and I thought tonight we did that.”
Fayette extended the lead on a basket inside from Grant Reinking, then a basket and two free throws for Keefer which made it 32-6 with under two minutes left in the half. The two squads would trade buckets to give Fayette a 26-point edge at the break.
North Central had just eight points in the first half and seven in the second, including being shut out in the fourth quarter, as Fayette showed their dominance on the defensive end.
“Every day in practice this week we talked about, we’ve got to get better,” explained Mitchell. “We can’t stay the same, we can’t go backwards. And we did. The kids are starting to buy in. They understand that, we don’t have one or two guys that can get it done. We have to play all five guys doing their job. When all five guys do their job, we’re pretty darn good defensively.”
In the second half the hometown Eagles were led by Schaffner who had nine points. He finished the contest with 13 points total.
Pheils also had 13 points, while Keefer led the way with 14 and Wagner chipped in with 9.
Fayette then picked up a 51-39 victory on the road at Antwerp Saturday. Pheils paced the Eagles with 16 points and Keefer 14.
Fayette (2-1, 1-1 BBC) is at Edon this Thursday and Fairview on Saturday.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010