Quick start fuels Mount Union victory
Trojans hot from 3-point range early
MOUNT UNION — Mount Union rode the hot hand early, cruising to a 71-42 win over Claysburg-Kimmel in Inter-County Conference boys basketball Monday.
The Trojans (6-4) managed seven 3-pointers throughout the contest with five of those dropping in the first eight minutes.
Quinton Posey got the party started by sinking the first two shots of the game from behind the arc and later adding a third to help Mount Union eventually take control of the game, 15-2, before the first horn sounded.
Posey finished with 15 points.
Trojans’ coach Scott McClain felt the hot start is exactly what the team needed with it struggling to establish anything inside the paint, often rushing to make something happen.
“We hit early and that usually helps our defense because our guys feed off the offense,” he said. “But tonight, I’d say our offense looked confused early. Thank God we did hit those 3-pointers, especially Quinton who helped carry us early because they kind of bailed us out of any potential tough situations later in the game.”
Those tough scenarios never came for Mount Union as the team became more patient with the ball and establish a passing game. The Bulldogs were also considerate of the Trojans’ ability to make the deep shots so more lanes started opening up, allowing Mount Union to drive to the basket for some easier points.
That allowed River Terry and Mykell Smith to have a high scoring night. Terry finished with 16 points with half of those coming in the second quarter.
Smith finished with 17 points, and had his best performance for after halftime. He scored 10 of his points in the third quarter.
Though all of those numbers are impressive, McClain is most pleased with the team’s ability to never take its foot off the gas pedal. The Trojans scored at least 15 points in every quarter, saving the best offensive performance for last, finishing with 21 points.
“I liked the number of mismatches we had and the guys are starting to see that,” he said. “They’re starting to play better together and these last two games we seemed to have pumped it up in the fourth quarter. Now I don’t know if that’s a mindset or a stamina thing, but I think it might be they get a little looser towards the end as the other team presses because of the time and being down.”
The only semi-tough times for Mount Union came at the start of the second and third quarters in which the Bulldogs went on runs of four and five points, respectively.
The Trojans called a timeout both times not because they feared the lead would diminish — Mount Union once held a 21-point lead in the first half alone — but because the team needed a quick refresher of what their duties were and to relax with the basketball.
“Defensively, we’re getting better at moving our feet and winning the turnover battle and I’m really happy about that,” McClain said. “But in the start of the second and third quarters, they started taking advantage of what they were seeing from us and we had to turn up the pressure a little bit there and just relax when we had the ball in our hands.”
Mount Union also won the JV game, 51-30.
The Trojans host West Branch Friday.
Notes: Mount Union was awarded four And-1s, converting three of them. … There was not a foul called in the games first seven minutes. … The Trojans went 12-for-16 at the free-throw line. Claysburg-Kimmel went 13-for-16 from the charity strip.
Mount Union 71, Claysburg-Kimmel 42
Alex Kulick 4 1-2 11, Evan Ritchey 1 2-2 5, Nic Maslanik 2 0-0 4, Kyle Glass 2 2-2 6, Landon Bowman 2 6-6 10, Ty Hagen 1 1-2 3, Spencer Monk 1 1-2 3. Totals: 13 13-16 42.
3-point goals: Kulick 2, Ritchey.
Did not score: Hayden Foor, Ben Weiland, Sam Dodson, Dom Francona.
Quinton Posey 5 1-2 15, River Terry 6 3-4 16, Peyton McClain 1 0-0 3, Trey Heffelfinger 1 0-0 3, Dylan Gearhart 3 3-3 9, Kobe Hand 1 2-2 4, Mykell Smith 6 3-4 17, Daunte Martin 2 0-1 4. Totals: 25 12-16 71.
3-point goals: Posey 4, Terry, McClain, Heffelfinger.
Did not score: Brayden Smith, Stevie Brumbaugh, Seth Smith.
Score by quarters
Claysburg-Kimmel 2-13-20-7 — 42
Mount Union 17-15-18-21 — 71
Kevin Dare Invitational
UNIVERSITY PARK — Juniata sophomore Garrett Baublitz placed second in the boys 1,600-meter run at the Kevin Dare Track and Field Invitational Saturday at Penn State University.
Baublitz posted a time of 4:24.21, within the qualifying standard for the Pennsylvania Track and Field Coaches Association indoor championships to be held at Penn State Next month.
¯ Huntington Christian 38, Belleville Mennonite 28. High scorer, Chloe Renno, 12 points.