Arbor View boys basketball coach Kyle Hageness knew his team played good defense on Friday.
He just didn’t realize how effective the Aggies were on that end of the court.
Justin Burks scored 18 points despite battling foul trouble, and Arbor View held Faith Lutheran scoreless for almost five minutes in the first half on the way to a 72-55 victory during pool play of the Legacy Tip-Off Classic.
“Pressure is a big part of our game,” Hageness said. “When we turn up the pressure, it allows us to get out in transition, and we have some athletes that are gifted in transition.”
Charles Porter finished with 12 points for the Aggies (3-0), while Terrell Butler scored 10 points to go along with 13 rebounds, five steals, five blocks and four assists. Teammate Tristan Lacy chipped in with 10 points.
Arbor View came up with 18 steals and held the Crusaders to 31.8 percent (19-for-60) shooting from the field, including 6-for-24 from 3-point range.
“We were real passive,” Faith Lutheran coach Bret Walter said. “They went on two runs when we were turning the ball over. When you do that, the game can get away quick.”
Clayton Holthaus had 11 points to lead the Crusaders (0-3). Michael Holthus added eight points and four rebounds, and teammate Mitch Fulfer pulled down a team-high nine rebounds.
Faith Lutheran, which committed 13 turnovers in the first half, didn’t score for the final 49 seconds of the first quarter and then went scoreless for the first 4 minutes, 4 seconds, of the second.
“A team like Faith Lutheran executes so well in the half court,” Hageness said. “If you let them set up in the half court, it changes the tempo of the game. I think our defense was a big reason we were able to get the tempo in our favor.”
The Aggies took advantage of Faith Lutheran’s scoring drought, using a 12-3 run to snag a 26-14 lead midway through the second quarter and then pulled away in the second half. Holthaus’ 3-pointer cut Arbor View’s lead to 41-28 with 6:35 left in the third quarter before the Aggies went on an 11-3 run while the 6-foot-7-inch Burks, who has signed with UC Santa Barbara, sat with four fouls.
Isaiah Simmons (seven points, seven rebounds) capped the decisive spurt with a three-point play to give Arbor View a 52-31 lead, and the Aggies were up by as many as 25 in the fourth quarter.
“Everybody in the state knows Justin,” Hageness said. “If people make the mistake thinking they can beat Arbor View by stopping Justin Burks, other guys are going to be able to step up and help us.”
Contact reporter David Schoen at email@example.com or 702-387-5203. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidSchoenLVRJ.