Senior Tevin Mack scored 30 points to lead Dreher to a 62-42 victory against River Bluff on Friday night at the River Bluff gym.
Jamie Clarke led the first-year Gators (3-8) with 10 points.
“The key to our game tonight was we wanted to set the pace, we wanted it to be up tempo,” Dreher coach Jeff DiBattisto said.
The Gators had several ideas on how to overcome Mack and the Blue Devils (7-4).
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“Our game plan was, offensively, to grind it out. Defensively, we knew we were going to have to play a matchup zone, crowd the inside and make them shoot over us, not let them get a lot of second chances,” River Bluff coach Benjamin Lee said.
But they were not able to accomplish much of that.
“Game plans can only go so far when you face a talented, well-coached team like Dreher,” Lee said.
The Blue Devils felt out River Bluff’s defense early, and at the end of the first period, began to work their way over and around it. Dreher held an eight point lead after eight minutes,
River Bluff got no rhythm from its transition game, and the Blue Devils dominated the offensive boards to extend their lead. Dreher’s long-armed defense — with John Myers, Grayson Stiglbauer, and Bradford Lemmons cutting off the lane — limited the Gators to perimeter shooting.
Ten consecutive points from Mack helped Dreher close the half with a six-minute, 18-5 scoring run and take a 35-17 lead into the break.
Brandon Tillman scored nine points for the Gators, with three of the Gators’ four second-half 3-pointers, but still River Bluff could make no headway.
“It was a definitely a big help to be able to get inside when we wanted,” DiBattisto said. “I thought River Bluff did a good job of trying to take that away, honestly, but we made a few perimeter shots and then that opened up the middle for us.”
Dreher led by as many as 24 points.
The Gators would not be discouraged by the tough loss.
“We have two, three kids who were on a varsity roster anywhere before this year, so it’s a work in progress,” Lee said. “We focus a lot on teaching and executing, and we feel like, if our kids will work hard, play hard and execute better each game, we are being successful.”
D: Tevin Mack 30, Primus 4, Nathaniel 3, Johnson 2, John Myers 11, Stiglbauer 8, Walker 4. RB: Miles 4, Petruso 3, J. Clarke 10, Bagwell 2, Tillman 9, Kinerd 3, Stills 4, Drumjole 2, McCall 3, Talmage 2.