The Royals opened their 2015 Channel League games with a hard fought 60-50 victory over Santa Barbara. Electrifying plays throughout the game kept the home crowd thoroughly engaged.
The Royals took advantage of a slow start from the Dons, building an 18-7 lead at the end the first quarter. Junior Scott Everman poured in three three-pointers in the first quarter, and finished the game with 20 points.
“I had a lot of confidence from the guys,” said Everman. “Everyone was trusting each other to shoot and shoot with confidence.”
In addition to hot shooting, the Royals passed well and converted on a number of fast break points. The ball movement created open threes from Everman as well as four more from junior Tyson Miller. Steals on defense were followed by easy baskets in transition from juniors Ryan McCarthy, who ended the game with 13, and Kele Mkpado who scored 10.
“They’re really unselfish,” said coach Landon Boucher. “When you’re that unselfish you’re going to naturally find guys open.”
The Royals backed up their good offensive play with tenacious defense. The Royals held the sharp shooting Santa Barbara offense to just 16 points in the first half. Scott Everman, Tyson Miller, and senior Connor Everman were very active on defense blocking numerous shots and passes. All five Royals on the court played tight defense and steals on defense led to points on the other end of the floor.
“When we get defensive stops, our offense just seems to come,” said coach Boucher.
The Royals came into the third quarter ahead 34-16 and increased their lead to 21 half way through the quarter. The Don’s shooters heated up in the fourth and cut the lead to 9. But the Royals kept their composure and kept the lead. After the buzzer, students stormed the court in celebration.
Image courtesy of Maddie Hoover