BRIDGEPORT — Golden Aces basketball coach Tyler Buss must have pinched himself after the first quarter of Tuesday night’s season opener at Red Hill. His team was nearly flawless in its’ accuracy and precision, piling up a 25-5 lead before the fans even had their coats off.
It won’t always be that easy, but the Aces sent a message that given the right circumstances, they could become a very good basketball team, perhaps sooner than later.
“Anytime you can go on the road for the opener and get a win is nice,” said Buss after Mt. Carmel’s 66-34 victory. “And to start the game the way we did being able to run the ball the way we did and shoot the ball well, you can’t be unhappy with that.”
The first three baskets of the season came from beyond the arc line, as Reece Metcalf hit twice and Thomas Allen once to fuel a 9-1 Aces getaway. Metcalf finished with three of the five first-quarter treys as Mt. Carmel led, 25-7, at the end of the first period of the season.
“Everything looks good when the ball goes in the hole, and we fed off of that and got our intensity up at the defensive end,” Buss said. “Still some things to work on, but we’re happy with win No. 1.”
It was the second straight victory for Mt. Carmel (1-0) in the series, but the first Aces win at Red Hill (1-4) since 2004.
Metcalf, a junior and one of three returning starters, had 13 points in the first quarter, and finished game-high with 23 points. Sophomore Levi Laws sparkled as the playmaker, finishing with a triple double. He had 12 points, and two of the Aces’ eight 3-point field goals, to go along with 16 rebounds and 10 assists.
The inside game looked to be improved this year with a stronger C.J. Diel bolstered by Edwards County transfer Riley Raber. But, when both got into a measuee of foul trouble, a third option may have been discovered. Sophomore Gabe Margelin stepped in an delivered eight points.
“He’s a kid that as a sophomore will force us to put him in the game,” Buss said. “He posts up hard, and always rebounds. He plays so hard that he will keep earning more minutes as we go along.”
The junior varsity won its’ season opener as well, with a 42-37 victory. Caleb Kline led the Aces with 11 points, while Sam Deisher added 10.