BETHALTO — David Lane likes the look of the Civic Memorial boys’ basketball team.
No wonder. The Eagles looked sharp Tuesday when they torched Triad, 58-33, in the week-long Stove Top Stuffing Thanksgiving Tournament. The game also served as the Mississippi Valley Conference opener for both teams. CM improved to 2-0 overall. Triad fell to 0-2.
“I like the way we are running on offense and we want to play suffocating defense,” said Lane, a 6-foot-1 junior guard. “We really played good defense tonight.”
The Eagles burned the Knights with 10 treys from seven players, yet it was their sticky defense that made the difference. They limited Triad to 11 first-half points and 13-for-42 shooting, or 31 percent, for the game.
“We really did a good job defensively, especially the three different guys we had guarding (Noah) Moss,” CM coach Doug Carey said of the Knights’ top gun.
Moss, a 5-10 junior guard and Triad’s leading scorer last season, didn’t get a point.
“I don’t remember a game when Noah didn't score,” said Triad coach Sam Drake, a 1993 Edwardsville High graduate. “He had 18 points Monday in our first game against Granite City.”
The Knights dropped that one, 61-56 in overtime, but couldn’t keep it close against the Eagles. A four-point opening quarter put Triad in a troubling catch-up mode.
“We were absolutely dysfunctional and they took us to the woodshed,” Drake said. “We weren’t physically and mentally ready to play. We couldn’t do anything right. I’ve never seen anything like that and I have no clue what happened.
“We just have to turn the page.”
Whatever the Eagles tried against the Knights, it amounted to turning and churning out something right — page by page.
“We took care of the ball, shot well and hit the boards pretty well,” Carey said. “We had only one turnover in the first half.”
CM made 21 of 41 shots, with Lane, Geoff Withers and Caden Clark all connecting on a pair of treys. Lane logged the highest scoring night of his varsity career. He made 5 of 8 shots. Teammate Brandon Hampton connected on 4 of 7 shots, including a trey, and finished with 11 points.
All figured, eight Eagles got in on the scoring fun.
“I was really pleased with the way we played,” Carey said. “Our help-side defense was outstanding. We have 9 or 10 guys that can get after it on defense. They are quick and versatile.”
Lane said the Eagles had ample incentive to be at their best. In addition to their Valley debut, it marked their home opener.
“We were more excited because it was a conference game,” said Lane, who ignited the Eagles’ 23-point third quarter with a 9-point outburst. CM edged host Nokomis, 58-56, on Monday in its tournament opener.
He said they are also energized about striving for another successful season. CM won 19 games last year and claimed its first regional championship in 22 years.
“We have a lot of different guys that can score,” Lane said. “It depends on the game. Anybody could be our leading scorer.”
Starter JaQuan Adams and reserve Geoff Withers both punched in eight points to back a balanced attack.
“Overall, it was a pretty good effort,” Carey said.
The Eagles resume tourney action Friday in Nokomis. They will clash with Taylorville at 6 p.m. Then CM faces Granite City in a 4:30 game Saturday afternoon, also in Nokomis. The Warriors are the defending tournament champs.
Ryan Holcomb, a 6-5 sophomore, led Triad with 14 points, 9 in the second half. The Knights tourney games remaining are with Taylorville (Wednesday) and Nokomis (Friday).
STOVE TOP STUFFING TOURNAMENT
CM 58, TRIAD 33
Triad 4 7 9 13 — 33
CM 7 15 23 13 — 58
Triad (0-2) – Brendan Grigg 3, Logan Buerk 6, Jake O’Dell 2, Ethan Salopek 2, Beau Barbour 4, Kyle Cox 2, Ryan Holcomb 14. 2FG-7 3FG-5 FT-6 PF-10
CM (2-0) – JaQuan Adams 8, Brett Lane 5, Adam Hill 3, David Lane 14, Geoff Withers 8, Brandon Hampton 11, Caden Clark 5, Ricky Beck 4. 2FG-11 FG-10 FT-6 PF-15