Senior night in 2012 was not a fond memory for McCutcheon’s boys basketball team.
Nathaniel Acree and his classmates were determined there would be no repeat of that 42-point loss. Acree was one of four Mavericks in double figures Friday, and a hot-shooting first half helped McCutcheon whip Avon 75-52 in Hoosier Crossroads Conference boys basketball at Resler Gymnasium.
McCutcheon (13-7) had not beaten the Orioles since the 2007-08 season, which was until this year the last time the Mavericks finished the regular season with a winning record.
“We feel we have a lot more confidence this year, and we feel so much better as a team,” said Acree, who scored 15 points in his home finale. “We keep beating these schools that we got killed by last year, and we keep learning more and more how good we are.”
McCutcheon sophomore guard Tre’Shon Heard repeatedly shepherded the Mavericks through full-court Avon pressure to generate driving layups for himself or assists to wide-open teammates. Heard finished with 10 assists and matched Nate Deno with 17 points.
“We knew we needed to just keep our composure, stay calm and play our game,” Heard said. “Getting beat by this team by such a big margin last year (81-56) made us hungry and want to get this game.”
McCutcheon made 10 of 15 shots in the first quarter and forced eight turnovers to take a 26-16 lead. Mark Neill finished with 12 points for the Mavericks.
“We have six to seven guys who can score for us, but the key tonight was our defense,” McCutcheon coach Rick Peckinpaugh said. “We played great team defense tonight, and that allowed us to get the lead early. We also knocked down some shots. If we shoot like that, we can be tough to beat.”