There was a sense of excitement in the gym before Wednesday night’s game between the Battle Creek Central Bearcats and the Holt Rams.
With both teams Class A Honorable Mention-ranked and the Bearcats looking for some revenge after Holt knocked them from districts last year, fans expected a nail-biter. But what those fans got instead was a blowout from the very beginning of the game, with BCC running away with a 71-48 victory.
“I expected it to be one of those white-knuckle games,” said Bearcats head coach Greg Williams, whose team improves to 16-2 on the season. “But we played awful well tonight — we got the ball to the right people and just played awful well.”
The Bearcats got off to a quick start with five 3-pointers in the first quarter, and headed into the second with a 23-14 lead.
In the second, BCC outscored Holt 20-6, with seven of those points coming from Ahmed McKinney. The Bearcats headed into intermission boasting a 43-22 advantage.
The third quarter went just as well for the Bearcats as the first two. With around two-minutes to play in the quarter, Elijah Jackson tossed an alley-oop pass toward the rim, and David Templeton grabbed the ball and threw down a two-handed jam over his defender. The Bearcat fans went wild, and BCC took a 61-36 lead.
McKinney made a bucket to start the final quarter, which gave BCC a 33-point lead, its largest lead of the night with the scoreboard reading 69-36.
The Rams closed the game on a 12-2 run, but it wasn’t nearly enough, as the Bearcats already had the game locked up, and cruised to a 71-48 win.
“We’ve been talking about it all year long — about playing together and having fun and sharing the basketball and running the system,” said Williams. “The system works, the ball will find you and it was finding people and they were knocking down shots tonight. It’s good to put together a game like this.”
With Holt returning to Battle Creek Central for districts in two weeks, it would seem that coach Williams should be fairly confident about his team’s chances based on Wednesday night’s performance, but he isn’t going to take the game lightly.
“They’re obviously gonna come back, and they don’t want to see this happen again. I’m glad it’s at home. We’ll be ready in the districts, but I’m pretty sure they will be also,” Williams said.
Mafiaion Joyner led the Bearcats in scoring with 15 points, followed by Mohammed Albagami with 13 and McKinney with 11 points and six rebounds.
For Holt, Trent Stone scored 10 points.