By Robert Edmonds - firstname.lastname@example.org
STEPHENS CITY--Trailing just once the entire night, the Sherando Warriors used solid defense and a consistent offense to coast to victory in their home opener against Jefferson County, 73-49.
"Our guys did a good job tonight and took advantage inside," Warriors coach Garland Williams said. "Jefferson was shorthanded and struggled shooting from the field. They had an off night and we played exceptionally well tonight."
Tied at 4-4 early in the game, Sherando's Brady Cook scored seven consecutive points, including a 3-pointer to give Sherando control. While the Warriors found their stroke on offense, Jefferson struggled from the field as they shot a dismal 30 percent on the night.
Despite the Cougars' struggles, the Warriors didn't manage to pull away until the late in the first half. Aaron Miller scored on an assist from Tanner Ruths. Miller then drained another basket, taking a jump shot off the dribble and Cook added a free throw to extend the Warriors lead to 28-17 when the two teams broke for intermission.
Picking up where they left off, the Warriors opened the second half on a 9-2 to take a 17-point advantage. The Cougars responded with a 3-pointer from Michael King, and then quickly went to full-court pressure on defense in hopes of slowing the Warriors attack.
Sherando, however, found little difficulty in breaking the press, getting several players into the mix on the offensive end with 11 players scoring points on the night for the team.
Trailing by 21 points entering the final period, the Cougars looked behind the arc in hopes of finding some offense to shrink the deficit. King and Billy Kontos each knocked down a pair of 3-pointers in the quarter, but it simply wasn't enough as Sherando continued to respond, clearing the bench and getting everyone in the act.
"I thought the guys did a good job on defense tonight," Williams said. "They are a quick team, but we hung right with them and were in their face contesting shots most of the night."
Miller led the team with 12 points on the night, while Cook and Gavin Lawrence-Bennett each added 11 points for the Warriors. Starter Terry Wood contributed nine points, while Nathaniel Culp had nine points off the bench.
"It was a great win for us tonight," Williams said. "It was a great way to open up at home and it is definitely something we can build off of. We are going to celebrate tonight and then it's right back at it with another game tomorrow night."