ELMA — Elma put on a long-range shooting clinic on Friday night.
On the strength of their 3-point shooting and tough defense, the host Eagles remained undefeated in Evergreen 1A League boys basketball play by dominating Rochester, 67-28.
Elma connected on 12 treys in the game. Five different Eagles hit at least one shot from beyond the arc, led by six from Tyson Nauman. Nauman led all scorers with 25 points and nearly outscored the entire Warriors team all by himself.
“I think we played great team basketball,” Elma head coach Marvin Prince said. “They understood that Tyson was the guy that was warm and they got him the ball.”
Elma (5-0 in league, 7-3 overall) controlled the game from the beginning.
The Eagles opened the game on an 8-0 run and outscored the Warriors, 15-4, in the first quarter. In the opening period, Nauman and Ryan Collin scored four points apiece. Chance Bremer and Ray Stark each added three points during that stretch.
The Eagles’ defense made it difficult for the Warriors (1-4, 5-8) to even get a shot up early in the game. In the Warriors’ first six possessions, they turned the ball over four times, committed an offensive foul and missed a field goal attempt.
After the first quarter, Rochester was never able to cut the deficit into single digits and Elma led by 20 points or more for nearly the entire second half.
Elma had a significant advantage in the turnover category as well. The senior-laden Eagles squad forced 23 Warrior turnovers. Elma turned it over just 11 times.
“We’ve been preaching it all season about defense, and how it can make things happen for us,” Prince said. “I just believe in these kids. They’ve got good speed, good chemistry, they understand some rotations and that feeds into everything. Obviously it helps if you have senior leadership on the floor. We also bring a lot of seniors off the bench. It helps a bunch. We’ve been running this system for three years with these kids and they just understand it. Any time you can keep your turnovers down, that’s more possessions and more shots.”
Nauman was cited by Prince for his defensive play against Rochester’s best player, Tyler Gedney.
Gedney was the only Warriors player to crack double-digit scoring — 10 points.
On Tuesday night, Elma will stay home to greet Hoquiam in a battle of undefeated league teams.
Rochester (28) – McLemore 2, Rigsbee, Yarber 2, Larson, Gedney 10, Ranger 4, Wilson, Nelson 8, Blanchard 2. FG – 11-42 (.262). FT – 6-9.
Elma (67) – Collin 6, Nauman 25, Stark 11, Lorton 2, Osgood, Gilman 6, Emerson, Bremer 12, Hamilton 2, Davis, Neary 3. FG – 23-51 (.451). FT – 9-13.