By MICHAEL CHILDERS, CJ Correspondent
After a pair of losses to Wayne County and Perry County Central over the weekend, the Southwestern Warriors cruised to an easy, 81-53 victory over Danville on Tuesday night at the Wigwam.
With the 28-point victory over the Admirals of Danville, Steve Wright’s Warriors upped their record to 4-2 on the year, which brought an end to a two-game losing skid.
More importantly, the Warriors are refocused on the task at hand, which pleased the second-year Warrior head coach.
“It’s early in the season,” began Wright. “You usually get what you deserve in basketball. If you’re not executing, fundamentally playing strong, or not playing tough, you usually get what comes to you. I think our guys took some things to heart and obviously, got refocused. We looked like ourselves tonight for the first time of the season, really.”
Southwestern set the tone early in this one, as they opened the ballgame with a 25-2 run. In the opening quarter, the Warriors outscored Danville by a 31-8 margin.
Of Southwestern’s first 15 points of the contest, junior Justin Edwards scored nine. With Edwards’ nine points, along with a basket from Javonte Groves and two from David Kapinga, Southwestern ran out to a 15-4 lead over the Admirals. Things were just getting started, too.
Sophomore guard Adam Isaacs came off the bench and lit up the scoreboard in the final three minutes of the opening quarter, tallying 14 of his game-high 22 points. In the first quarter alone, Isaacs knocked down four treys.
The first period was big for Edwards and Isaacs, as the pair combined to score 23 of Southwestern’s 31 first quarter points. Isaacs led with 14 points, while Edwards chimed in with nine.
Isaacs’ hot hand would continue into the second frame, when he added six more points to the scorebook. The sophomore began the game shooting a perfect 7-for-7 from the field and a perfect 5-for-5 from behind the three-point line.
Wright, just as he has been all-year long, was pleased by the play of Isaacs.
“(Adam’s) been playing well all-year for us,” praised the Warrior head coach. “He’s playing a lot of varsity minutes this year. These kids are letting the game come to them and not forcing the issue. Adam’s doing a much better job at that, and is working hard on improving.”
“We got off to a good start tonight and then he came in there and boom, boom, boom. His shot has become very consistent and he’s doing a good job. I was happy for him tonight, because he helped us get off to a good start.”
Danville did outscore the Warriors in the second quarter by a 18-16 margin, but Southwestern went into the locker room at the intermission with a 51-26 advantage.
Southwestern controlled the third stanza, outscoring Danville by a total of 19-15. Kapinga led the charge in the third frame, coming up with nine points for Southwestern, which included a pair of three-pointers.
On a night that saw 11 different Warrior players find the nets, Wright was thrilled with the play from everyone on his Warrior squad.
“I just thought that we got good play from everybody,” Wright stated. “Javonte (Groves’) defense at the beginning of the game was outstanding. I thought David (Kapinga) and Justin Edwards played really well. We got some good minutes from both Brad (Estes) and Dylan (Gaskin) on the block.”
A trio of Warrior players made it into double figures in the 28-point victory over the Admirals. Isaacs led the way, leading all scorers with 22 points. Kapinga chimed in with 15 points, while Edwards wasn’t far behind with 14.
Danville also had three players make it into double figures in the game, with Cory Wooldridge’s 12 points being a team-high. Devonta Alcorn and Christian Gateskillfuqua both tallied 11 points each in the loss to the Warriors.
Southwestern will return to action on Saturday evening, when they will host the Powell County Pirates at 6:30 p.m. at the Wigwam, rather than the usual 7:30 p.m. tip-off time. The junior varsity game between the two clubs will be played at 5 p.m.
DAN - 8 18 15 12 - 53
SW - 35 16 19 11 - 81
DANVILLE (1-2): Wooldridge 12, Alcorn 11, Gateskillfuqua 11, Johnson 5, Turner 5, Stamm 4, Karapandzic 3, Grey 2, Washington 2.
SOUTHWESTERN (4-2): Isaacs 22, Kapinga 15, Edwards 14, Estes 8, Schulz 5, Gaskin 4, Groves 4, Collier 2, Hansford 2, Mullins 2, Burkhart 1.