By WILL CLARK
NEW ALBANY —
One good run can make or break a game.
When that run involves nearly shutting out an opponent for a quarter, a victory is inevitable. That was the case Saturday as host Christian Academy rolled over New Washington 79-49.
“I feel like we got back to what we do well,” Warriors coach Steve Kerberg said.
What Kerberg focused on was defense. What he saw was an equally strong offensive showing to compliment the improved defense.
The Warriors exchanged baskets with New Washington through the first frame coming out with a 14-10 lead.
The second quarter was a display of offensive firepower, fitting for Armed Forces Night at CAI. The quarter was all Warriors as they posted a quarter-long 22-5 run to take a 36-15 halftime lead.
Of the 22 Warrior points in the quarter, seven belonged to senior Aaron Hayes.
“He’s a great player and I really feel like he is getting better,” Kerberg said. “I believe he will have a great senior year.”
Hayes was modest in his reflections on his team’s showing, saying: “We played pretty good.”
The defensive showing of Christian Academy could also be credited with an assist in the run. The Warriors defense held New Washington to only one scorer, Devin Herron, for five points, which all came in the final two minutes of the quarter.
“The kids did a good job of doing what we asked them to do,” Kerberg said, referring to the emphasis on defense he has stressed to his squad this season.
“We hadn’t been playing good defense the last couple of games, but we went back to what we were doing last year,” Hayes added.
With a dominating second quarter performance in the books, the Warriors didn’t let up, posting 23 points in the third frame to widen their lead to 59-32.
“We got a lot of scoring from our role players,” Hayes said.
Twenty more points in the fourth quarter sealed the deal for the Warriors, who limited New Washington to 17 points in each of the final two quarters.
“We try to tell our guys to play the same way against any team at any time,” Kerberg said.
The Warriors were led in scoring by Hayes with 22 points. Aaron Eldridge posted 17 with James Martin adding 14 and DeVonta King contributing with 10 in the winning effort.
New Washington was led by Herron’s 16 points. He was the only Mustang to break double figure.
The Warriors return to action on Tuesday as they hit the road to face West Washington. The Mustangs host Southwestern on Friday in their next outing.