The Battle Creek Central Bearcats were hitting on all cylinders Friday night in a Southwestern Michigan Athletic Association East Division victory against the Coldwater Cardinals.
The Bearcats shot 45-percent from the field and caused 22 Cardinal turnovers en route to a 62-34 victory that featured every Bearcat player seeing minutes on the court.
“We are just starting to hit our stride,” said Bearcat coach Greg Williams, whose team moved to 17-2 after Friday’s victory at Coldwater. “These last three games I am starting to see improvement from the team, and this is good momentum going forward.”
The Bearcats emerged out of stalemate early when guard Joseph Bowser converted on five-straight points to give BCC an eight-point lead. As the quarter ended, the Bearcats’ lead had stretched to double-digits, 15-2, after BCC’s smothering defense only allowed two first-quarter points.
“Our coach is on us a lot about playing defense,” said Bowser, who led the Bearcat defensive attack with four of the team-combined 22 turnovers. “[The] tournament is coming up, and we like to get into the other guys (the opposing team) by playing a really good 2-3 [defensive] zone.”
The second quarter started with the Bearcats putting pressure on Coldwater offensively and defensively. BCC forced the Cardinal offense into shooting only 19-percent from the field as turnovers and 16 Bearcat steals held the Cardinals to 10 first-half points as the Bearcats accumulated a 16-point lead, 26-10.
Coach Williams was happy with the way his team came out, and said every win is a big win.
“It (the momentum) starts again tomorrow at practice. We have our Blue and Gold game this weekend,” said Williams. “It’s really competitive, and guys who normally don’t play as much get a lot playing time.”
Outscoring the Cardinals 14-7 in the third quarter, the Bearcats were able to carry their momentum into the fourth for the one-sided win.
“I believe we can carry this momentum because that’s what we have been doing all year,” Bowser said. “Coach (Williams) is very confident with our 2-3 matchup zone, and it will continue to work.”
Leading the way for the Bearcats, Bowser had 11 points and two rebounds, while BCC forward Mafiaion Joyner had eight points, three rebounds and three steals.
For Coldwater, guard Michael Magocs led with eight points.
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