After opening their season with a 30+ point loss, the DSLCC Roadrunners have now won three straight games following the teams 101-53 victory over Appalachian Bible Collage (ABC) on Thursday night in the teams home opener.
“We played well at times. When you look at the difference (48 points), some people are just reading that they blew them out, but we’re still searching for consistency because we had times when we didn’t play well and weren’t executing on offense. We had some good individual performances. I reminded out guys at halftime and after the game, that although we won and we won big that we’re still searching for that consistency of 40 minutes of really good basketball. It’s a work in progress and we’re going to keep working at it as that’s part of the game. If we can put 40 minutes together, I think we’ll be a really good team, but we still have work to do”, said head coach Brandon Garrett as his teams performance following their win Thursday night.
The team has won by double digits in each of the three games during the teams win streak.
Jaylon Hudson led the way for the Roadrunners in the win with a program record 31 points. Hudson also had a team high five steals.
“He (Jaylon) played really well, especially defensively with five steals. It wasn’t just on the offensive end. He was guarding their (ABC) best player. Sometimes, Jaylon makes things look easy. He’s been averaging about 14 (points) a game through the first three games. I’ve been waiting on a breakout game from him and we got it, but he sat the final 12 minutes of the game and I don’t know what he would of gotten had he played the whole game”, said coach Garrett on Hudson’s performance.
It wasn’t a pretty start to the game for the Roadrunners as the team trailed early 5-0, while committing turnovers on each of their first four offensive trips down the court.
After just a few minutes into the game, coach Garrett had seen enough and called a timeout to regroup his team.
“We just went back to what we talked about in the locker room about executing. I told them, I don’t know if it’s the first home game, if there’s a little bit of jitters. Some of the guys had some family, friends there. I don’t know if it was that. I think sometimes in sports, you get too much adrenaline. Sometimes you have to come back down and we just remind them of what we’re trying to do and what we’re trying to achieve and I think after that (the timeout), we took off a bit”, said coach Garrett on calling timeout just minutes into the game.
Shortly after the timeout called by coach Garrett, the team found their groove and flipped the game around and went on a 22-9 run to take a 24-19 lead midway through the first half.
The Roadrunners then ended the first half on a 24-5 run to take 48-24 lead into the second half.
Following the timeout, it was defense from the Roadrunners that completely changed the game as the team went into a full court press that ABC could not withstand.
The Roadrunners defense would trap the ABC players in the corners (which as most coaches would tell you is somewhere you don’t want to be with a basketball) and force their opponent to turn the ball over. For the game, the Roadrunners forced 35 turnovers by ABC.
It won’t be seen in any statistics sheet, but the defensive performance from Tre McCrary of the Roadrunners was sensational.
McCrary had a bunch of deflected passes, forced turnovers, a few steals, a couple of rebounds, his overall physical play was too much for ABC and it’s something you won’t see in any stats sheet.
“He’s (McCrary) consistent. He’s not a guy who’s going to go out and score 31 (points), but at the same time he’s going to play really hard defense. He’s fundamentally sound. He rebounds the ball well for his size. He does all the little things that coaches look for. He can definitely score, he can shoot the ball, but he’s Mr. Consistency throughout the game. He’s our rock. The thing about Tre is, he can step out and guard a guard on the wing, or he can also guard a guy who is 6’6. He can play at all positions”, said coach Garrett on McCrary’s performance.
Despite the victory for the Roadrunners, the team did have moments where they did not play well, the first few minutes (as previously mentioned) where the team committed four turnovers on their first four possessions on offense.
But despite the blowout victory, the team for the game had a total of 20 turnovers.
“It’s something we’re going to work on throughout the year. I think some of it, the last four, five, six turnovers, we had some guys who were inexperienced in. (the game) and weren’t making the best decisions. I think when you have a game like that, everyone’s trying to make a bucket or set someone up to make a bucket. I think some of those turnovers were contributed to that. It’s something we’ve got to get better at. We’ve been averaging 20 (turnovers) a game, so we definitely have to get better at that”, said coach Garrett on the turnovers.
With just over a minute into the second half, Noryen Lasley converted on the games only slam dunk that had the crowd buzzing with excitement.
The slam dunk set the tempo for the rest of the game for the Roadrunners who outscored ABC by 24 points in the second half and at one point had a 50+ point lead.
Lasley finished the game with seven points and 14 rebounds.
Tanner Rivenburg chipped in with 10 points while Aaron Plogger added eight points in the Roadrunners third straight victory. Both players also each had two steals.
Now the team heads into the Thanksgiving break with its season long twelve day layoff in between games. The Roadrunners hosts Washington and Lee University November 30th at 7:00 p.m.
“Our out of town guys, we’re communicating with them to make sure they’re getting their shots in. For our local guys who live close by, we’ll let them get in there a little bit over break and get opportunities for shots. For our out of town guys and this is part of community college basketball, they’re kind of on their own, but hopefully, they can stick to the program and stay in shape. I told them not to eat too much turkey and be ready because once we come back, we’re hitting it pretty hard as far schedule goes”, said coach Garrett on how he and the coaches will keep players for being in game ready during the holiday break.