Mt. Pleasant uses strong transition game to beat Highlands
TribLIVE Sports Videos
One of the things that Mt. Pleasant boys basketball coach Tony Splendore is trying to impress upon his team is that a quick transition game will lead to success.
On Monday, Splendore's point was validated as the Vikings converted numerous turnovers by visiting Highlands into fast and easy breakaway layups on their way to a dominating, 60-43 nonsection victory.
“That's what we're trying to do this year,” Splendore said, noting that when his team pulls down a defensive rebound, he doesn't want them to walk the ball up the court. “We're trying to push it up and make the other team try to get back. We're looking to run, and that's a change from what it was in the past.”
Splendore, who is in his first year of his second stint as Mt. Pleasant's coach, certainly was pleased with the way the team executed against the Golden Rams (0-3).
“I was happy at times with how we played,” Splendore said. “We had some fouls we didn't need to commit, but I'm pleased with the effort.”
The Vikings (1-2) spotted Highlands an early 4-0 lead, then took control. Luke Liprando, who finished with 11 points, hit a couple of shots early to get Mt. Pleasant going. Then, in the second quarter, Cody Monroe buried a pair of 3-pointers. Marcus Malara (nine points) and Ryan Gumbita (eight points) were tough inside, and each scored points in the paint to help the Vikings build a 33-17 lead at the half.
The Vikings began to pull away in the second half by forcing turnovers and running the floor. Monroe and Tyler Mellors (six points) each got up and down the court in transition.
Eight Mt. Pleasant players scored, with Monroe's 14-point effort leading the way.
“I think Cody was a big spark for us, and he shot the ball better than I've seen him shoot since he was in seventh or eighth grade,” Splendore said.
For the Golden Rams, the game represented a chance for a young team to gain some experience. Allan Cratsenberg led Highlands with 13 points, and Kaison Branch was next with eight points.
“We have an extremely inexperienced team,” Highlands coach Tyler Stoczynski said. “We have to try to get better every game, but I'm glad I have a team that plays hard. We turned the ball over a little too much, but that will get better with game experience.”
The Vikings hope to use the game as a springboard.
“Hopefully, we can build on this and get on a roll,” Splendore said. “It's nice to get that first win.”
Jason Black is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-626-3534.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.