Hot-shooting start sends A-W past MMCRU
AKRON — Akron-Westfield’s first four baskets all came on shots from beyond the arc as the Westerners jumped ahead of MMCRU early and didn’t look back, winning 76-63.
“We got off to a good start the first half, shot the ball extremely well and were able to hang on towards the end,” A-W Head Coach Jon Harris said. “We got a little bit complacent toward the end of the game. I told them we need to learn how to expand and win with a lead rather than playing not to lose. I was pleased. They played hard and it’s good to get that first one out of the way.”
Nick Jacobs hit back-to-back threes to start the game and Conner Anderson added the third before Jacobs drained his third of the game. The duo combined for all the team’s first quarter points as Anderson scored nine straight as the Westerners led 21-11 after a quarter.
“Nick had seven and Conner had five,” Harris said of the 3-point makes. “It would have been nice to have gotten Nick one more as seven is what he’s had before so he needs eight to break the record.”
The 3-pointers kept coming in the second quarter as the team had 12 in the first half to take a 49-30 lead into the locker room at the break. A-W didn’t make a 3-pointer in the second half as each team changed its strategy on the floor.
“I thought our effort second half was much better,” MMCRU Head Coach Toby Young said. “We locked down much better in the second half defensively, but it was a little bit too much. We were in a 3-2 zone first half and second half we were in man-to-man the whole way and we just locked down and communicated a little bit more.”
For the Westerners, the offense tried to get things going underneath the basket in the second half.
“They took our transition away a little bit the second half,” Harris said. “We tried to get some good motion. We had some good passing and got some cutters and hit the open man and then actually got some old, conventional three-point plays.”
While Jacobs scored 33 and Anderson 30 for the Westerners, MMCRU’s Chris Schmid ended with 29 points. Young was pleased with the play he saw from Schmid after he sat out part of the game with foul trouble.
“I thought he had a good night and did a good job of sharing the basketball,” Young said. “He did a good job of taking it to the basket. It’s one of those things where he has to be on the floor for us because he really helps our team go.”
Harris said he would like to see his defense improve even though he knows his team lacks much height underneath the hoop.
“We got in some foul trouble,” Harris said. “Our big man got in foul trouble early on. That hurt us a little bit. There’s a couple things we need to work on defensively we’ve been working on that we just didn’t follow through on from practice into the game. We’ll work on that again.”
Aaron Hartman added six points for the Westerners while Hunter Tentinger and Andrew Prescott each scored in double figures for the Royals with 14 and 10 points, respectively.
MMCRU drops to 0-1 and will face Gehlen Catholic on Friday, December 1.