KINGSLEY - The Kingsley-Pierson boys lit up the scoreboard for a 62-42 win over Whiting Tuesday -- thanks to a loaded first half.
"It went about as perfect as a ball game can go for the first two quarters," K-P coach Adam Rapp said.
Before halftime, the Panthers were shooting 60 percent from beyond the arc, making eight threes. They scored 24 in the first quarter alone.
"We had real good ball movement, played good defense, were real aggressive for that first half," Rapp said. "We played extraordinary, ran the offense well, played unselfish basketball. We were on fire."
The halftime scoreboard left no doubt -- the Panthers led 40-16.
In the second half, K-P slowed down the scoring momentum but still maintained a generous lead over the Warriors. The Panthers scored 10 in the third stanza and 12 in the fourth.
"We cooled off a little bit in that second half," Rapp said. "I think we showed our age a little bit."
The Panthers are a young team. They graduated six last year, and of the four seniors this year, only one is a returning starter with a lot of varsity experience, Rapp said. Six freshman join the varsity roster.
"The team has been practicing real hard and are starting to get a feel for each other," Rapp said.
All the K-P players saw time on the floor Tuesday, and scoring went deep, too.
Colin Henrich, the returning starter, led the Panthers with 23 points, including 19 in the first half. He went 4-for-4 on treys before halftime.
Sophomore Austin Neumann scored 11 points and Scottie Plendl, a freshman, scored 10.
Henrich also pulled down 15 boards, made seven assists and nabbed three steals against Whiting.
"He had a really big night, a complete ball game," Rapp said.
The Panthers went 12-for-15 at the free throw line.
"We come into our first game of the season, we're really young, and it almost looks like we've been practicing free throws all season already," Rapp said. "It was nice to see. I mean, ball games are won from the free throw line."
The Panthers' first game was fun to watch, the coach said.
"I was pleased for the first time out. Overall I was happy with the way they played," Rapp said. "It's always good to start out with a 'W'; it helps build momentum."
K-P next matches up with Spalding Catholic at home.