CARSON CITY — The Carson City-Crystal boys basketball team got off to a quick start and never looked back.
The Eagles came out firing and set an early defensively tone in a 55-42 MSAC victory over rival Vestaburg on Thursday night at home.
“We came out like we wanted to. We wanted to force the tempo against them and put pressure on them to create turnovers,” Eagles coach Ryan Fritz said. “They are bigger than us, just as athletic if not more than we are. We thought if we forced tempo and got off to a good start at home we would have a good game.”
The Eagles (1-1, 1-0) opened the game with eight consecutive points, but the Wolverines responded with five of the next seven points to trail 10-5 late in the first quarter.
Carson City got hot and hit three three-pointers in the final minutes to close the quarter with a 19-8 lead. Rhett Pringle hit the final two triples, the last one as the clock expired.
“We have a good shooting team. We have been shooting the ball well in practice,” Fritz said. “We’ve shot well in both games. We are scoring more than the past and our shooting percentage is up.”
The scoring pace slowed in the second quarter as the Eagles outscored the Wolverines 10-9 for a 29-19 halftime advantage.
“Give Carson City credit. Their intensity was better than ours, their effort and they made the plays,” Vestaburg coach Todd Halcomb said. “We didn’t match their effort and they just killed us on some things we practiced for, like double teams. We just panicked when it came to executing.”
The Eagles defense kept the Wolverines (1-1, 0-1) out of sync in the second half, as well.
“We never got in sync,” Halcomb said. “We might play well for two minutes then we lapse right back. It was just an ugly game to watch as far as us. We always struggled to get something going.”
Eagles senior Arron Haines took over offensively in the third quarter with 10 of his game-high 19 points. Pringle was the only other Eagle to score in the quarter as he knocked down five of his 11 points.
Vestaburg, despite the lack of sync, kept the game within distance. After a pair of three-pointers by Keegan Scott midway through the fourth quarter, the Wolverines trailed 49-38.
Carson City’s defense stepped up and fought off the rally for the win.
“We are kind of annoying when it comes to pressure on defense,” Fritz said. “We get after each other and have some conflicts in practice. That is a great thing to have because kids that don’t see that, struggle against it. We still need to get better, especially against good guard teams.”
Scott led the Wolverines with 18 points. DeWayne McKinney added eight points.
Garrett Tabor had 10 points and Grant Gage nine points for the Eagles.
Vestaburg will travel to St. Louis for a game today, while the Eagles will travel to Durand on Tuesday. Both games are nonconference.