By ANDY WOLF
North Baltimore’s half-court offense took a quarter to get going.
Fortunately for the Tigers, they thrived off extra chances created by their activeness on defense and in rebounding.
Everything came together in the second quarter and North Baltimore eventually cruised past Arcadia 69-37 for a Blanchard Valley Conference boys basketball win Friday night.
“I was happy with the effort,” North Baltimore coach Adam Burris said. “Arcadia plays a pretty good 1-3-1 game and they’re long and lengthy; that kind of confused us at first.
“We moved the ball pretty well, didn’t settle too much for threes. Obviously, anyone that watches us, our defense fuels our offense. Whether it’s steals or out in the open court, that’s us all day.”
North Baltimore (13-3, 7-1 BVC) came away with 19 steals and pressured Arcadia (3-16, 1-8) into 24 total turnovers. Adam Flores (seven points) notched seven of those steals while Noah Cotterman grabbed four more.
Levi Gazarek scored a game-high 21 points — 10 in a key second quarter for the Tigers — and Tyler Durfey had 13 points..
North Baltimore held a 13-4 first-quarter lead but only created one bucket, a Chase Naugle 3-pointer, within running its offense.
The Tigers actively pressed the Redskins early with four guys on the far side of the timeline.
As a result, six different North Baltimore players notched a steal by halftime led by Naugle’s three.
“Our quick guys up front kind of caused a little panic,” Naugle said. “Our lengthy guys in the back, when they try to make quick passes, can pick them up because they’re so lengthy.
“That helps our press flow because we have the quick guys and the taller guys. It just gels together.”
Things picked up in the second quarter as Flores drove in the paint and scored for the Tigers to open the second quarter.
After North Baltimore’s Julian Hagemyer cashed in a second-chance bucket, Arcadia got right back in the game as Cole Coppus and Levi Squire drained back-to-back 3-pointers to cut it to 17-12.
With Gazarek and Rader doing the scoring, the Tigers blew it back open.
Gazarek, a 6-foot-5 sophomore, scored off a Naugle turnover and drained a corner 3-pointer after a Coppus 3-pointer.
Rader tacked on two free throws off a Durfey steal to push North Baltimore’s lead into double figures at 26-15.
“We took a quick timeout to get them settled down on defense,” Burris said. “Sometimes we gamble a bit too much in the half court set. … We’ve just got to get better on finding shooters but we’ll get there.”
Rader, who ended with nine points and seven rebounds, scored once again, and Gazarek closed the quarter on a second-chance basket and a traditional three-point play to send the Tigers into halftime up 33-15.
Hagemyer and Naugle each chipped in seven points as North Baltimore shot 53 percent (28 of 53) on the night.
“I’m very happy. It was a great win,” Naugle, a senior, said. “We played as a team, good defense. All in all, it was a good night.”
Meanwhile, the Redskins resorted to their same mistakes, committing three more turnovers and going the final 3 minutes without making a field goal.
“Turnovers happened again and again,” Arcadia coach Clay Baker said. “Things snowballed and got out of control right before halftime.”
Baker said his team prepped for the press all week long but saw his team still get sped up.
“We talked about how we wanted to slow the tempo down and beat it with passing,” Baker said, “It sped us up and we made a lot of mistakes passing. When you turn the ball over against them, they’re going to make you pay for it at the other end of the floor.”
Coppus drained three 3-pointers en route to a team-high 14 points for the Redskins who shot the ball well from downtown (7 of 13).
Levi Squire and Eli Palmer (five rebounds) each chipped in seven points.
Overall, Arcadia was just 11 of 36 from the field.
“If we can’t even get into the half court it’s going to be tough to score,” Baker said. “Our 2-point percentage was really bad. I don’t think we got the ball inside enough.
“We shot the ball well from 3, but from 2 we were less than 25 percent and it’s hard to win games doing that.”
ARCADIA (3-16, 1-8 BVC)
Squire 2-1–7, Coppus 4-3–14, Palmer 3-0–7, Stoner 0-2–2, Brubaker 1-0–2, Johnson 0-2–2, Stahl 0-1–1, Simon 1-0–2. TOTALS: 11-36 9-19–37.
NORTH BALTIMORE (13-3, 7-1 BVC)
Gazarek 8-4–21, Hagemyer 3-0–7, Flores 3-0–6, Durfey 5-2–13, Rader 3-3–9, Cotterman 1-0–2, Williams 1-0–2, Naugle 3-0–7, Snyder 1-0–2. TOTALS: 28-52 9-13–69.
Arcadia 9 11 15 7 — 37
North Baltimore 13 20 21 15 — 69
3-Point GOALS: Arcadia 7-13 (Coppus 3, Squire 2, Palmer); North Baltimore 4-14 (Naugle, Hagemyer, Gazarek & Durfey).
rebounds: Arcadia 25 (Rader 7); North Baltimore 28 (Rader 7).
turnovers: Arcadia 24, North Baltimore 10.
junior varsity: North Baltimore, 39-26.
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By ANDY WOLF