It was the kind of shot that elicits groans from the bench — a quick 3-pointer from well beyond the arc before the team had really set its offense.
But when Donavan Jackson’s shot banked in off the glass, it turned those groans to smiles, and was indicative of the way the first quarter went for Faith Lutheran’s boys basketball team.
The Crusaders made 11 of 13 field goals in the quarter, racing to a 24-point lead and rolling to a 76-53 home victory over Cimarron-Memorial.
“We did start better and moved the ball pretty well,” Faith Lutheran coach Bret Walter said. “We scored a couple in transition but then got the ball to the open guy and were lucky enough to hit a few of those and got us going right away.”
Jackson’s 3-pointer made it 27-7 with 43 seconds to go in the quarter, and the Crusaders (11-7, 4-2 Northwest League) were 5-for-7 on 3-pointers in the period.
Azavier Johnson led the way early, making all four of his field goals and scoring 12 first-quarter points as Faith Lutheran took a 31-7 lead. They extended the lead to 48-19 at the half.
“In this league, games go so different,” Walter said. “So getting a good start to the game’s huge. And even when we missed, we actually did a better job on the (offensive) glass tonight.”
Cimarron’s leading scorer, Brian Lang, went down with an apparent right ankle injury with 1:23 to go in the first quarter, essentially ending any hope for a comeback.
“Coach (Daryl) Branham does a great job with his guys,” Walter said. “It really hurt them having Brian go down.”
Johnson finished with 14 points, five rebounds, five assists and two steals to lead the Crusaders. Brevin Walter added 13 points, and Jackson and Sedrick Hammond each had 11 points. Hammond added nine rebounds.
Noah Do led Cimarron (8-11, 1-4) with 11 points. Teammate JaiTwan Golden scored 10.
“I think we’re building right now,” Bret Walter said. “We had a lot of new players. We’re starting to come together. We like our chemistry. We see a lot of positive things.”