The Batesville High School boys varsity basketball team opened the season with an 84-56 win over the Jac-Cen-Del Eagles.
“It was good to get a chance to play a game,” BHS head coach Aaron Garrett commented. “These guys have worked hard this preseason and were ready to play against someone else.
“I was happy with the offensive output, but there is still plenty for us to improve. Still, it is good to get a win against a quality opponent to open the season,” he added.
It might have been easy for the Bulldogs to look past the Eagles in the season opener. Not because the Eagles are not a worthy opponent, but the defending state champions loom in week two.
If the start was any indication, the Bulldogs were not looking too far ahead.
Batesville senior Nathan Longstreth got a steal and scored on a breakaway dunk to open the game. The Bulldogs followed with 3-pointers by Wes McKinney and Bryan Hoeing.
The Bulldogs later went up 20-2 on four consecutive baskets by McKinney.
To their credit, the Eagles did not fold. They went on to score seven unanswered points to close the quarter and trim the deficit to 11 points.
Both teams settled in and the second quarter did not have such drastic momentum swings. The Bulldogs were able to gradually build on their lead and entered halftime with a 43-25 advantage.
The third quarter lead grew to 24 points on back-to-back field goals by Hoeing and Longstreth. Later, it reached a high of 26 points when Longstreth put them on top 60-34.
The Batesville grew to 30 points in the fourth quarter on a field goal by Blake Walsman.
The Bulldogs, who intend to play an up-tempo style this season, had four players score in double figures and a total of eight reach the scoring column.
McKinney scored 21 points in the first half and went on to lead the Bulldogs with 26. Hoeing was second on the team with 17 points followed by Walsman with 13 and Longstreth with 12.
The Eagles were led by Alex Pilz with 10 points. Trey Brown and Evan Borgman each had nine.
The Batesville junior varsity began the night with a 53-32 victory over the visiting Eagles.
Freshman Garrett Burkhart gave the Bulldogs a lift early. The freshman guard scored 21 first half points to help five coach Jay Gerkin’s crew a 31-13 lead at the break.
The Batesville lead grew to 44-22 by the end of the third quarter.
Burkhart, who only played the first two quarters, led the Bulldogs in scoring. Jacob Vogelsang was second on the team with 10 points followed by Wyatt Schebler with eight.
Maverick Dwenger set the pace offensively for the Eagles with 13 points.