St. Stephens is off to its best start in 17 years after defeating Bunker Hill 59-38 on Friday.
But the Indians aren’t necessarily thinking about a perfect 7-0 record.
“It is more important for us to get ready for conference play on Tuesday,” said St. Stephens coach Gary Bowne. “Win or lose, we had to play well.”
Play well they did, extending a 25-17 halftime lead into a 21-point victory. Key to the win was a strong third quarter when the Indians outscored Bunker Hill 20-9.
“We had some soft spots, solved some problems at half-time andmade some adjustments on the fly,” Bowne said. “The third quarter was huge for us.”
Leading the charge in the third quarter, Andrew Zachrich who rained three-point baskets, scoring 11 of his team-high 16 points in the second half. The Indians’ Morgan McLeod also came on strong in the second half, adding eight points after a four-point first half. Quae McCathern added 12 points, while Aaron Greer scored 11.
“We had key shooting through the game,” Bowne said, “and the majority of our shots came off passes. They very rarely got to the rim, and we had our hand on a lot of balls. Deflections were huge.”
It seems the only Bear to find his way through the Indians defense and to the rim was Delano Lorritts. He scored 16 points for Bunker Hill. The Bears’ big man Jeremy Null was held scoreless before he went out with an ankle injury in the first quarter.
The Indians are no stranger to injuries either. St. Stephens played without four contributors who were out Friday due to injury.
“We’ve got a special group of seniors and they accepted the challenge of coming out here shorthanded ... and saying, ‘Hey, we can handle adversity,’” Bowne said. “That was their theme in the locker room. They believe in each other. It may sound corny, but it is true.”
St. Stephens begins conference play Tuesday night as the Indians travel to South Caldwell.