By Matthew Snyder
The Bay boys basketball team used a combination of steely defense, excellent rebounding and crisp offensive execution to coast to an 83-52 Bay Counties League Central victory over Leadership on Friday at School of the Arts.
Led by 19 points on 8-of-12 shooting from senior guard Lucas Knorr, four Bay (10-7, 4-0) players scored in double figures and nine of the 11 players who entered the game got on the scoresheet.
The Breakers shot 58 percent from the field and outrebounded Leadership (6-10, 2-2) 50-23. Many of those rebounds triggered fast breaks that ended in baskets.
“[Leadership] sort of forces you into a running-type game, which kind of goes well with the offense that we do run, so we’re fine with that,” said Bay head coach Pete Overfelt. “One of our goals every game is to be a strong rebounding team and we’re working on being more of a physical team. I think my kids showed that here tonight.”
Bay scored the first points of the game when junior guard Justice Skolnik took the opening tip off and went the length of the court for a layup, but the teams were neck-and-neck for most of the first quarter that had two ties and five lead changes.
Down 12-11, Bay reeled off 10 unanswered points in the final 2:17 of the quarter, capped by Knorr’s full-court driving lay up. The Breakers did not trail again.
Leadership had lapses defensively and those mistakes became heightened given the team’s run-and-gun style of play, which does not leave much room for error. The Griffins shot just 21 percent from the floor, including 6-of-35 from three-point range.
“We shoot a lot of threes, so there’s going to be peaks and there’s going to be valleys,” said Leadership head coach Terry Jones. “Today was a hard day, in terms of shooting, but we can’t have defensive collapses [and] we can’t have frustration levels, because we had a few frustrations due to the [referees’] calls, or what not, but it happens. Hats off to Bay. Credit to them for making us look so bad.”
After falling behind by 17 points at halftime, Leadership’s high-pressure, full-court defense found some traction in the third quarter. The Griffins forced a series of Bay turnovers and ripped off an 8-0 run in less than two minutes to cut their deficit to 49-39.
But Bay junior forward Jason Nemerovski scored the next four points of the game (he finished with 19 points and eight rebounds) and the Breakers poured in the first nine points of the fourth quarter to reassert command and put the game sufficiently out of reach.
“My boys just put the hammer down, and we never looked back,” Overfelt said.
Lucas Knorr – 19
Jason Nemerovski – 19
James Wasney – 14
Nik Inalsingh – 10
Justice Skolnik – 9
Derek Russell – 12
Jesse Quintanilla – 10
Gavin Li – 8
T.J. Smith – 6
Mateo Rosales-Cisneros – 6