By Corey B. Elliot
DANVILLE — The Tri-West Bruins gave an encore performance of their regular season romping of the Manuel Redskins with an impressive 68-47 victory in last night’s first round sectional action.
Sophomore Trevor Waite scored 11 points and the Bruins (13-8) provided an overwhelming attack on defense that flustered Manuel (2-19) all night long.
“Trevor is a player that has taken his game to a totally different level,” Tri-West coach Adam Bontreger said. “He definitely makes us better all-around and got us going on the defensive end as well as scoring 11 points; I think he is well on his way to making himself into a really solid high school basketball player.”
The defensive spark Bontreger is referring to came in the third quarter while Manuel was fighting back and cutting away at the Bruins lead.
During a Redskins three-on-two fastbreak Waite’s hustle was on full display as he sprinted back and caught the ball handler from behind. Just past the half court Waite dove and laid himself out on the hardwood for a steal that resulted in a Tri-West fastbreak score.
But despite a tough defensive game plan that pestered the Redskins, Tri-West could have done more of the little things.
“Our gameplan coming in tonight was just get a victory whatever it took,” Bontreger said. “Our full-court press seemed to get us going a little bit but I didn’t feel like we played with a whole lot of emotion or energy tonight so I’m just glad we were able to get this game out of the way and get a victory tonight.”
Manuel’s Jaquelle Gist had 23 points and was slowed down by early foul trouble. But that seemed to be the downfall for the Redskins as Manuel coach Ryan Baumgartner depended on Gist for a lot of his offensive production and aside from pulling Gist in the second quarter, he hardly went to his bench leaving tired legs on the floor against a Tri-West squad that always looked fresh.
“We are able to go 10 deep on our team without even batting an eye; that’s definitely our strength,” Bontreger said. “We were able to use that depth tonight. Our starters probably played two quarters at most tonight because we wanted to try and save their legs for Friday night as best we could.”
Saving energy for Friday night should definitely be helpful for Bontreger’s Bruins as they will face 15-6 Indianapolis Northwest.
“They are a totally different team than what we play on our schedule and it’s hard for us to simulate the type of athleticism they have,” Bontreger said. “We have to be patient because if we get into a run-n-gun type of game with them, we are probably going to be struggling to pull out a victory. If we can just be fundamentally sound I think we are going to put ourselves in a position to win a huge game.”