McMURRAY – Coming off of their first section loss of the season Tuesday against Moon, the Peters Township boys basketball team came out Friday night and made a big statement against Trinity.
The Indians controlled the game from the opening tip, converting plenty of Hillers mistakes into easy baskets, as PT cruised to a dominant 66-29 Section 4-AAAA victory.
“I was proud of the way the kids responded,” said PT head coach Gary Goga. “We wanted to be aggressive at both ends of the floor. We have been struggling a bit to start the season, and sometimes the easiest way to correct mistakes is to speed the game up. The kids bought into that and we had a great performance.”
Peters Township turned up the pressure defensively from the outset as it regularly forced the Hillers to turn the ball over against the press.
Twelve of Trinity’s 20 first-half turnovers came in the first quarter as PT jumped out to a quick 17-3 lead.
When the Hillers did hold onto the basketball, they had major problems scoring as the Indians (2-1, 3-3) held Trinity (0-3, 2-5) to less than 20 percent shooting in the first half. The Indians led 33-16 at halftime.
“We wanted to pressure their guards,” said Goga. “They have some good ball-handlers and we wanted to get after them, force mistakes and get some baskets in transition.”
Peters Township also won all the hustle plays as they dominated the offensive glass and got to almost every loose ball.
Much of that was because the Indians having a major advantage when it came to depth. Goga was able to employ hockey-style changes, ensuring he would always have fresh bodies on the floor, while the Hillers only were able to play seven players for most of the night.
Thirteen different Indians players found their way into the scoring column.
The Indians’ bench was led by Kelson Marisa, who led all reserves with nine points.
“We are young but we have great depth,” said Goga. “It’s probably my fault that I haven’t taken advantage of that fact until tonight, but we thought we could wear them down some tonight and everyone just got after it.”
Part of the reason the Indians jumped out to a big lead was the aggressive play of J.C. Brush. The senior guard scored nine of his game-high 20 points in the first quarter as he had success taking the ball to the basket.
“J.C. is a great player and can score,” added Goga. “We haven’t been shooting it well as a team and we wanted to be aggressive attacking the rim. J.C. has that ability to get to the basket.”
Trinity, which has lost four consecutive games, was led by senior Avery King with nine points.
“You aren’t going to win many games when you allow 13 offensive rebounds in the first quarter and turn the ball over the way we did,” said Trinity head coach Tim Tessmer. “The good news is that all of our mistakes are correctable. We better get them fixed in a hurry.”