By Greg Gielczyk

MANISTEE — Coming out with fire and purpose, the Orchard View boys basketball team crushed Manistee, 86-36 in a Lakes 8 Activities Conference game on the road Friday night.

The Cardinals blew the game wide open in the first quarter, setting the tone for the rest of the evening with scrappy defense and a hot hand on offense.

No one had a hotter hand than senior Darius Williams, who’s been on the varsity since he was a freshman and played like it Friday.

Williams finished the game with a quadruple double, a feat that isn’t often accomplished. He pumped in 50 points, also distributed 11 assists, ripped down 13 rebounds and picked up 10 steals. He also had three deflections.

“I was happy for Darius, because he’s had a very stressful season,” Cardinals’ head coach Nick Bronsema said. “He’s taking on the load with a lot of younger players this year.

“He was able to demonstrate some of his talents, and I was just happy for him to get to 50. That was cool.

“Last year we had a senior laden team, a team that was much taller. At the time they were talented, and knew how to play the game much better.”

But while Williams was simmering in the first half, the Cardinals bolted out of the gate and jumped on the Chippewas for a 7-0 run.

Meanwhile, the Cardinal defense used their speed and quickness to force several Manistee turnovers that created extra scoring opportunities.

OV still got off to a slow start offensively, scoring 13 points in the first quarter after its early surge. But the defense held Manistee to five.

The Cardinals gradually started to pull away from Manistee in the second quarter, moving out to a 10-point lead, 15-5, and then took off as sophomore Keith McAlister buried five 3-point shots in the period as they raced out to a 20-point lead, 41-21 at the half.

Willliams began to heat up in the second half, and the Cardinals opened a 63-30 lead after three periods.

McAlister knocked down one more 3-pointer in the fourth quarter, and finished the game with 20 points. Orchard View senior Khi Thomas played outstanding defense and had six steals and five deflections.

“It’s been a process,” Bronsema said. “We’ve had halves that were really good, we’ve had three quarters that were really good. We’ve yet to put together a full game.

“We don’t have excuses. We should have a culture in place. We just want to keep getting better each game. Our goal today was to play as hard as we could.

“I thought our guys played with a lot of energy. I was really proud of that.”

The Cardinals improved their record to 3-5 overall and 1-4 in the conference. Orchard View is next scheduled to host Wyoming Potter’s House on Tuesday, Jan. 25.