Blooming Grove 70, Wortham 59
The Lions stayed unbeaten with a quick start that held up against a gritty Wortham team that cut into the lead but fell short.
Tyler Lewis hit the first shot of the game — a 3 with some sting to it — and Juanya Pyburn was hot early, torching the net for 12 first-quarter points as the Lions built a 22-13 lead. They built the lead to 52-36 in the fourth, but Wortham just kept coming.
The Bulldogs were led by Ladarious Freeman, who dropped in 19 points, and Kenneth Freeman, who added 14. Carlos Ruiz hit a pair of 3s and finished with eight points and Daniel Trantham added six while Witty Busby scored five and Rudy Miller scored four.
“We’re learning as we go,’’ said Wortham’s first-year coach Brian Coffman, whose team is 4-4. “Everything is new to them, but they are buying into it and once we start shooting and getting that confidence and once they get it, we’ll be fine. I believe we’ll be all right when January gets here.’’
Blooming Grove is off to an 8-0 start and Pyburn, a sophomore is leading the way, averaging 18 points and 11 rebounds a night, and Daniel Pelzel has been running the floor and the team like he was born to play point guard.
He’s been my starter for four years,’’ Kinnison said. “It’s like having an assistant coach out there.’’
Pelzel ran the floor, directed traffic, passed out a half dozen assists and hit three 3’s to finish with nine points. Pyburn finished with 21 and Lewis and Rowdy Barlow, who had some big moments inside, both dropped in 11. Tyler Ellis hit two 3s and finished with six points and Dalton Blake (4) and Keller Southard (2) and Dylan Blackmon (2) scored for the Lions.
“I thought we looked good in the first half,’’ Kinnison said, and not so good in the second half. We haven’t put together four quarters yet.’’
But they have put together a perfect 8-0 record.