By ANDY WOLF
ARCADIA — Cole Coppus had never been on a varsity boys basketball team that has topped 70 points before Thursday night.
That changed when the Redskins efficiently knocked down 11 3-pointers en route to a 72-44 win over an undermanned North Baltimore team in Blanchard Valley Conference play.
“It felt good to finally have everyone hitting shots tonight,” Coppus, a senior, said. “(Scoring 70) is kind of a good accomplishment for us, especially since we’ve all been playing varsity for a long time. It means a lot.”
Arcadia improved to 3-13 overall, 2-6 in the BVC.
Coppus finished with 13 points, three 3-pointers, five rebounds and five assists. Hayden Rader had a team-high 14 points.
Arcadia bested its previous season-high of 60 points with tremendous balance.
After Coppus and Rader, Luke Metzger, Eli Palmer and Dezmond Johnson each scored nine points.
Six players chipped in at least one 3-pointer as the Redskins continuously worked the ball around to shoot 11 of 20 from 3-point range.
“We’ve played together all summer and work on ball movement a lot,” Coppus said. “We all know where each other wants to hit threes and where we can shoot and make them.”
Meanwhile, North Baltimore (2-11, 0-6) was without 6-foot-5 junior Levi Gazarek — the BVC’s leading scorer and rebounder who averages 21.3 of his team’s 45.3 points per game plus 9.5 rebounds per night.
Gazarek, dealing with a sprained ankle, is also the league’s leading shot-blocker at 2.3 per game.
The Tigers were already on the inexperienced side with three freshmen in their starting lineup.
Clayton Heineman stepped up for the Tigers and scored 16 points off the bench with three steals.
“It’s making us find people to step up and fill that role,” North Baltimore coach Adam Burris said. “… We’re 14 games in the season and still trying to figure things out which is frustrating.”
Arcadia coach Clay Baker still knew his team had to take care of business and close out a 30-23 halftime edge after the whole game since going down 2-0.
By the time the fourth quarter came around, the Redskins had doubled their lead at 50-36.
Coppus stepped up his game to drain two 3-pointers and assisted in four of Arcadia’s five other buckets in the frame. The lone bucket he didn’t have his hand in was on Rader’s coast-to-coast steal in the opening minutes.
Coppus found Metzger twice on the block, Johnson another time down low and, lastly, Dom Guillen for a 3-pointer at the leftwing.
“I know my guys like to post up and I know where they like to seal,” Coppus said. “I can find them pretty easily.
“We work on it a lot in practice, fast break and sealing. I found the open guys.”
Baker noted the difference this season in Coppus being a scorer last season, but now a facilitator for the team.
“Now he finds the open guy, makes the extra pass,” Baker said. “He sees pressure because he’s a shooter but when he gets going to he can light it up and get on a hot streak.”
Another key difference in the second half was Arcadia stopping Heineman’s driving ability.
The 5-8 junior scored five buckets in the first half on simple, uncontested drives down the lane.
He scored six more points in the third quarter but had to shoot more from distance and with contention.
“They did a good job in the zone,” Burris said of Arcadia in the third quarter. “We kind of got relaxed at halftime, thought we were good. They had a good gameplan and Arcadia played well.”
Despite their inexperience, the Tigers played a largely clean first half with only five turnovers.
But their seven turnovers in the third, four in the first two minutes of the fourth quarter, did them in.
“We’ve been having trouble the whole year; we’re so young and inexperienced,” Burris said. “When one wheel falls off it seems like all four wheels fall off and we don’t know how to recover.
“That’s just with inexperience and our youth but we’re trying to get better.”
Isaac Sexton added three 3-pointers en route to 11 points for the Tigers. Mitch Clark had eight points and six rebounds.
NORTH BALTIMORE (2-11, 0-6 BVC)
Hagemyer 0-1–1, Snyder 0-1–1, Clark 3-2–8, Bucher 1-0–3, Sexton 4-0–11, Heineman 8-0–16, Weinandy 2-0–4. TOTALS: 18-43 4-13–44.
ARCADIA (3-13, 2-6 BVC)
Rader 4-4–14, Stoner 3-0–7, Metzger 4-1–9, Palmer 3-0–9, Coppus 4-2–13, Boes 2-1–6, Guillen 1-0–3, Johnson 3-3–9, Morris 1-0–2. TOTALS: 26-49 11-18–72.
North Baltimore 9 14 13 8 — 44
Arcadia 17 13 20 22 — 72
3-Point GOALS: North Baltimore 4-12 (Sexton 3, Bucher); Arcadia 11-20 (Coppus & Palmer 3, Rader 2, Boes, Stoner & Guillen).
rebounds: North Baltimore 23 (Snyder & Clark 6); Arcadia 28 (Palmer, Rader & Coppus 5).
turnovers: North Baltimore 16; Arcadia 13.
junior varsity: Arcadia, 48-40.