By Dave Hart
Local Sports Journal
MUSKEGON – Oakridge and Orchard View may be close to each other geographically, but their boys basketball teams are starting the season miles apart.
Oakridge took advantage of Orchard View’s opening night mistakes and cruised to a 69-28 victory Monday on their home court in non-league basketball action.
“We caused a lot of the turnovers with a full court press, which is what we wanted to work on,” said Oakridge coach Tracy Ruel. “I think we executed well in the first half.”
Ball distribution was also a key for the Eagles (1-0), with all 12 players scoring points and most grabbing at least one rebound.
“We wanted to work on being unselfish, seeing the floor, and making the passes.” Ruel said. “I think we can have a different leading scorer every single night.”
The Cardinals grabbed a quick 2-0 lead 32 seconds into game on a basket by Bobby Clanton. That was the only lead the Cardinals had in the entire game.
The Eagles closed the first quarter on a 15-5 run to take a 15-7 lead at the buzzer.
Tony Curry scored five of his total points in the first quarter for Oakridge.
The second quarter started with another major run as the Eagles outscored the Cardinals 22-5 in the first six minutes. James Cooper III had six points during that stretch while Brock Luttrull had five.
Brady Luttrell finished the second quarter with the final eight Eagle points to give the hosts a 45-14 halftime lead.
Luttrell and Cooper led the Eagles in scoring with 10 points apiece.
The Eagles continued the drubbing after halftime as they doubled up the Cardinals 18-9 in the third quarter.
The Cardinals’ frustration showed with 2:33 left in the third quarter when an O-V player committed a hard foul on Eagle Jaeger Beattie as he went in for a layup.
Oakridge closed out the game with a 6-5 edge in the second half.
“We didn’t take care of the basketball,” said OV coach Russ Doane, whose team had 18 turnovers in the first half. “The good thing is that we can get better but it is going to take some time.”
“Tonight I feel that we were overwhelmed.”
Matias Keyes led the Cardinals with 10 points while Clanton added eight.