Prep boys' basketball: East romps past rival West
East coach Skip Lowe made it a point of emphasis to run Thursday afternoon's practice as wacky as possible before Friday night's showdown versus West.
"We were just running back and forth and back and forth," East senior guard Connor Pardoe said. "Every time we got an open look, the coaching staff told us to put it up."
Lowe and his staff put their players through a vigorous practice session to prepare for the full-court, four-quarter press implemented by the Class 5A West Panthers.
The 4A Leopards proved they were more than up to the task in a 90-53 romp over their west-side rivals Friday night at East High School.
"I've never been in a game like this as a player or as a coach," Lowe said while shaking his head.
Twelve East players got onto the score sheet in the blowout.
The team was led by seniors Parker Van Dyke and Joe Hallman, who each scored a game-high 18 points.
Four East players scored in double figures as Mitch Grant and Preston Curtis added 11 and 10 points, respectively.
West, which is coached by Mike Matheson, sent in as many players as possible in hopes of stifling the East offensive attack. The Panthers completely changed their lineup, sending all five players to the bench and deploying a fresh five to press during some dead balls or between free throws.
"It's tough to prepare for, but it's good to go through games like this because you never know what teams are going to throw at you," Pardoe said.
The Leopards jumped out to an 18-1 lead in the first quarter as the Panthers couldn't finish shots at the rim, and the rout was on from there.
"It's really exciting to see our whole team get in because they work so hard to get a chance to go in and play some varsity minutes," Van Dyke said.
The game was not short on shots, nor was it short on free-throw attempts. The rivals combined to score 51 field goals and attempted a total of 62 free throws in the contest.
Sunday Owda led the Panthers with 13 points.
The victory was East's third straight over West, and the Leopards improved to 5-1 this season. The loss drops the Panthers to 1-6.
Van Dyke, who will leave East having beaten the Panthers in three out of four tries, summed up the night as he took a deep breath and searched for the appropriate words.
"That game," he said, "was crazy."
East 90, West 53
R East successfully beats back West's constant pressing defense in the victory
• The 4Leopards have beaten the Panthers three consecutive times.