Thirteen days without a game meant Great Crossing boys' basketball would have been willing to play anyone Friday night.
Ultimately, a home match-up in the 41st District with over-matched Frankfort Christian Academy was a comfortable scenario for the Warhawks to get their legs back underneath them.
Ten different 'Hawks scored in an 80-39 rout, GC's fourth win out of five games dating back to Jan. 29 in this most disjointed of seasons.
“It's hard going into a game for 14, 15, 16-year-old kids to focus when you realize how things are going,” Great Crossing coach Steve Page said of being the heavy favorite. “I'll give them a little bit of a pass on that. We needed to get this game done and over with, so it's kind of nice that it fell into our lap.”
Carson Walls scored his team-high 15 points in an 11-minute span of the second and third quarters for Great Crossing (5-7 overall, 2-0 district), which will host Madison Southern on Saturday afternoon.
Christian Martin, Vince Dawson and Junius Burrell – all freshmen – added 12, 10 and nine points respectively. Burrell snagged a school-record six steals.
Tyquan Stakelin, one of multiple Warhawks affected by a pair of COVID-19 pauses this winter, also scored his first nine points of the season.
“He kind of started over in the middle during that process,” Page said. “At the beginning of the year, it was nip and tuck between Tyquan, Junius and Daquis (Brown) for who was going to start.
"Tyquan worked his butt off in summer and fall when we were able to do stuff. He has a chance to help us. We've been kind of settled on an eight, nine-man rotation, but he has an opportunity to expand that out to 10 for us, and it can make a difference."
When GC either got its transition game in gear or pounded the ball inside at the end of its half-court sets, the Warhawks were golden.
They shot 32-for-56 (57.1 percent) inside the 3-point arc while sputtering to 4-for-21 (19 percent) from beyond.
“Against Berea, I had to call timeout because all we did was shoot threes, and then we came out today and did the same thing,” Page said. “Most of our threes were open, but you can't live and die by the three. In a game like that, we really had four kids bigger than theirs.”
Micah Sowders led Frankfort Christian (3-10, 0-1) with 19 points. Noah Sowders added eight.
Turnovers were 22 to nine, leading directly to 25 Warhawk points at the Royals' expense. Brown added five steals to GC's lockdown. Stakelin and Martin each made four thefts.
Tye Schureman tacked on team-highs of nine rebounds and five assists for Great Crossing, which scored the final 14 points of the opening period to pull away by a 26-7 margin. Tyler Sparks scored seven of those off the bench, five off feeds from Brown.
“Sixty-seven percent of our baskets in the first half were assisted. In a game like that, you should have a lot of assists, but I think that probably broke our school record,” Page said.
Indeed, the final assist total of 21 is a new single-game high.
It was 48-16, barely beneath the running clock threshold, at the half. Walls' back-to-back baskets invoked that express lane to the finish with 6:10 remaining in the third quarter.
Kalib Perry (eight rebounds), Malachi Moreno (seven) and Zorian Alcorn (six) joined Schureman in leading the Warhawks' 55-30 domination of the glass. GC's total set yet another school standard.
Speaking of records, Great Crossing fell shy of last year's high water mark of 103 points against Frankfort Christian. But the end result was still the Warhawks' highest total of the season and fourth consecutive game with 70 or more.
The Warhawks have a chance to wrap up the district's No. 1 seed for the second straight year when they travel to Frankfort (Monday) and host Western Hills (Wednesday).
“We decided as a district early we were only going to play each other once,” Page said. “As we proved last year, (the regular-season title) means nothing.”