ELDRIDGE — The North Scott boys basketball team did not give Burlington many options on offense Tuesday night.
The Lancers used defensive pressure, positioning and anticipation to smother the Grayhounds and record a 70-34 win in Mississippi Athletic Conference action at The Pit.
North Scott (9-1 overall, 8-0 in MAC) forced 17 turnovers during the game and converted those miscues into 20 points. It was especially effective in the first quarter when the hosts took control of the game. In a span of five straight offensive possessions for the Grayhounds (0-10, 0-8), North Scott recorded five steals and turned those into quick baskets on the other end.
The Lancers lead jumped from 6-2 to 16-2 in a matter of 1 minute, 53 seconds in the middle of the quarter. Lancers junior Reece Sommers had three of the five steals and helped convert the defense into offense with four of the 10 points during the lightning quick run. Sommers also finished game with eight points and five rebounds.
"Everything for us is energy and effort, especially on defense," Sommers said. "We put a lot of effort into defense every night just because we know what we can do offensively off of that. We like to get out and run (off the turnovers) when we can and we were able to do that."
Sommers was not the only one making life difficult for Burlington. Cortaviaus and Corvon Seales each recorded a pair of steals themselves in the first quarter and Cortaviaus put up eight of his game-high 17 points in the first quarter to help the home team lead 24-11 at the end of the first quarter.
The Lancers were able to extend the lead to 44-15 by the half by getting excellent looks at the basket. North Scott made 17 of its 27 field goals attempted and also had eight assists on those field goals. The defense did not record as many steals in the second but made every possession a grind for Burlington.
The Grayhounds, when they did get a shooting opportunity, made only six of their 17 field goal attempts in the first half.
"I thought our guys were very focused and they played with great energy on both ends of the floor and I thought we set the tone early," Lancers coach Shamus Budde said. "Defensively, we think we can play a couple of different styles and we were more aggressive tonight and the guys were up to the challenge. We got some early baskets in transition and that always helps."
Offensively, North Scott is capable of burying multiple 3-pointers but the home team made a point of looking for the best shot possible on every possession. None of the seven 3-pointers that were made by North Scott were without an assist and came within the rhythm of the offense. For the game, the Lancers recorded 14 assists on 27 made field goals.
"I think we are always sharing the ball but it doesn't always go in," Budde said. "Our guys did a good job of giving up a good shot for a great shot."
Corvon Seales finished with nine points while Tytan Anderson contributed eight points and five rebounds for the Lancers.
Brendon Hale had nine points to lead Burlington.