At the younger level, guard play is vital for a successful season. Fortunately for the third-grade Mongoose, there is a plethora of strong guards on the roster. The Mongoose used an uptempo and efficient offense to run past the Hammerheads Saturday at Holcom Park Center.
Their overwhelming presence on the glass and tenacious fast break attack gave the Mongoose a 32-16 win.
"We did an excellent job of rebounding and getting the ball up court," said Mongoose head coach Doug Easum. "All of those rebounds nicely set up the fast break giving us some easy baskets."
With the Mongoose's ability to run the court, the Hammerheads looked to slow the tempo of the game. Early on, starting point guard Langston Bush hoped to establish and run the offense. Using a quick first step, Bush was able to create space and find the open man under the hoop.
With Bush's playmaking abilities, Nate Hulse found ample space to attack the basket. Unafraid of receiving punishment down low, Hulse used his slashing attack to jump-start the Hammerhead attack.
However, the Mongoose speed was too much for the Hammerheads to handle. The Mongoose backcourt combination of Nick Benton and Dougie Easum proved to be more than enough firepower. While Easum used his speed to attack the basket, surehanded Benton established the offense and flashed an outside shot.
Both Benton and Easum tag-teamed in the open court, profiting on several fast break scoring opportunities. Many odd-man rushes began with the hard-nosed defense of Benton. On the day, Benton recorded six steals and forced three jump-ball calls.
Down low, big man Trevor Groundwater led the Mongoose. Groundwater used his size to position down low for the easy basket and clean up on the boards for the Mongoose.
However, it was Groundwater's ability to come down with the rebound and quickly find the outlet man that enabled the Mongoose to establish their quick-hit offense. Defensively, Groundwater's size and presence was enough to deter the Hammerheads from attacking the hoop.