WYOMING - It wasn’t exactly the start Springville boys basketball coach Nick Merritt was hoping for at Midland Friday, Dec. 13, but once his Orioles were able to get out and run in the open court, points began pouring in at an impressive rate.
“I thought we had moments of brilliance but some moments of head-scratching as we were very up and down throughout this game,” said Merritt, as his team rallied the from the slow start against the scrappy Eagles to pull away for an impressive 69-48 victory.
“Some foul trouble threw our rotations out of whack which hurt some of the continuity that works for us. In saying that, we were able to have a nice burst of defense and offense in the second quarter to pull away and really extended it in the third quarter to around 30 points.”
Springville (3-1) actually struggled scoring in the early going as the host Eagles led 13-10 before the Oriole offense really kicked into high gear keyed by a huge first quarter from Alex Koppes.
The junior point guard helped Springville through its offensive struggles scoring 12 of the team’s 18 total points in the frame hitting shots from all over the floor, which included a pair of 3-pointers.
Springville led 28-22 mid-way through the second quarter but once the Orioles were able to get out and attack, the offense really began to flow as the visitors ended the half going on a 15-3 run to lead 43-25 at the break.
The third quarter saw nothing change as far as the Springville offense was concerned, as the team stretched their advantage to as much as 29 points leading 54-25 using an 11-0 run to start the frame.
“I thought after getting that big lead, we got a little lackadaisical,” Merritt said. “We coasted too much down the stretch and I’d like to see that cleaned up. Nonetheless, we had another game with four double-digit scorers and balanced rebounding. I feel like we’re getting solid contributions from everyone we’re putting on the court.”
Koppes finished with a game-high 22 points connecting on 10-of-14 shots from the field that also included eight rebounds. Rhenden Wagaman added 15 points and two more treys and eight boards while Kyle Koppes (12) and Luke Menster (11) also scored in double-figures.
The Orioles shot 50-percent from the field (29-of-58) and 38-percet from the 3-point line (6-of-16) while controlling the glass with 45 rebounds.
Menster added team-high numbers with five assists and four steals.
Springville started their week using a big 30-point fourth quarter to defeat visiting Calamus-Wheatland Tuesday, Dec. 10.
“We came out strong and had a nice first quarter, but got pretty complacent in quarters two and three,” Merritt said. “I didn’t think we rotated very well on defense and allowed Calamus-Wheatland to get a lot of pretty uncontested shots, which they did a good job of knocking down.”
The Orioles caught fire early pouring in 24 first quarter points and quickly built a double-digit lead (24-14) before the Warriors began to gradually work their way back into the game.
Springville led 33-29 at the half after Calamus-Wheatland went on a 15-9 second quarter run then the visitors got to within two after three frames (46-44).
Coming out to begin the final frame however, the hosts were on a mission.
“We came back to life in the fourth quarter and were able to get our first home win of the season,” said Merritt, as his team went on a huge 30-19 run to take control right when they needed to.
“I really like the fact that we are continuing to get four guys in double-figures and getting solid contributions across the board. We need to cut back on the turnovers and clean up our rebounding issues, but those are things that are fixable with the right mindset.”
Wagaman had another huge game leading the hosts with 23 points while adding eight rebounds. Alex Koppes and Bryce Wilson each added 15 points and seven rebounds. Kyle Koppes tallied 10 points, eight boards, seven assists and three steals. Tommy Hagensick was a spark off the bench with six points and six rebounds.