When 6-foot-8 power forward Keve Aluma swished a 3-pointer to put the Stephen Decatur boys basketball up 27 in the third quarter against the defending Bayside Champions, the home-opener crowd erupted.
The Seahawks showed they were not the young team of last season, cruising from the opening tip with pressure, height and athleticism, leading to a 90-62 statement win against Wicomico.
Aluma doesn’t get to shoot too many 3-pointers, but his delicate head fake cleared space so he had an open shot to nail 3 of his game-high 19 points.
“Yeah that was awesome,” he said, but more importantly Aluma was excited about the complete win for the Seahawks.
Decatur jumped out to a 6-0 run to start the game, thanks to a full-court trap that got the Indians off-balance, and that lead never wavered.
Indians head coach Butch Waller expected the Seahawks’ athleticism, hoping they could break the press and slow the play down, but Wi-Hi (1-1) turned the ball over too much.
“We were sort of out of sync,” Waller said. “They jumped on us early. They have really big athletic guards. They shot right over us. They went to the big kid (Aluma). We thought we could front him and get weakside help. We did a very poor job of that.”
Wi-Hi used a 9-2 run to end the quarter only down 25-19, but Decatur scored 17 points off turnovers in the first half, never allowing the Indians to settle into any kind of offense besides dribble and driving.
Eventually, Decatur led 49-32 at the half.
Much like the Seahawks last season, it was youth showing for the Indians.
The Seahawks keyed on Wicomico swingman Barry Gaines, holding him to a frustrating 11-point effort.
“We just got down early and our confidence was broken,” Waller said.
While the Indians became frustrated, Decatur’s confidence radiated as last year’s young players fed off the momentum. Sophomore Ja’Ron Johnson knocked down two 3-pointers in the first half for six of his 13 points. Johnson and Keyon Eley ran the offense for the Seahawks, driving and dishing to open men and leading the charge for transition buckets.
Brothers Kevin and Kevon Voyles, who transferred from Northampton High School in Virginia, also looked dangerous flying up and down the court next to Johnson and Eley.
Kevon Voyles finished with 16 points for the Seahawks and Eley recorded 14.
“Last year, we struggled,” head coach B.J. Johnson said. “We were very young, but our kids have worked hard all summer, and we’re ready to play basketball. The kids deserve everything they get after what we went through last year.”
It seems that Decatur hasn’t missed a beat without the offseason injured duo of Bayside Player of the Year Torrey Brittingham (neck) and Tyree Henry (knee).
The play for the Seahawks is to keep it simple – use athleticism to push and pressure the ball, forcing the other team into mistakes while riding the hot shooting hand.
“These kids are just hungry to play basketball,” Johnson said. “We showed it tonight.”
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