By Matt Nestor
The Boylan Titans came into their game with Auburn with a specific plan. The Knights knew what that plan was.
The size of the Titans in the paint was something Auburn could not contain, and Boylan pounded the glass en route to an 86-57 victory over the Knights to stay undefeated in NIC-10 play.
“(Our big men) were great,” Boylan coach Steve Goers said. “We had a plan to go inside early, and we did it.”
The Knights came out strong early in the first quarter, led by Joseph Danforth and Fred Van Vleet to take a 10-8 lead. The rest of the game belonged to the Titans.
Boylan finished the quarter with a 14-0 run to take a 12-point lead into the second quarter. The lead was extended in the second quarter, and Boylan took a 40-22 lead into the half.
“I think all our kids did well,” Goers said of the Titans’ ability to overcome the early deficit. “They came out and provided a lot of energy.”
The Titans were able to build up such a lead because of their ability to rebound on the offensive end. Nick Bauch, who is 6 feet, 7 inches tall, and Armani Flannigan, who is 6 feet, 6 inches tall, both imposed their will in the paint over Auburn, whose tallest inside player is 6 feet, 4 inches tall.
“It isn’t that they did anything surprising with their offensive scheme,” Auburn coach Bryan Ott said. “We thought we schemed properly for them defensively for what they like to do. But we failed in the physical part of the game.”
Bauch led the Titans with 22 points. Flannigan and Austin Angel both added 15. Many of those points came on put-backs following missed Titans’ shots.
“The fundamental of boxing out for four quarters was completely absent,” Ott said about Boylan’s ability to score inside at will. “It’s been absent all year long, we just haven’t paid a price for it. Boylan, unlike other teams, was able to exploit it.”
Van Vleet led Auburn with 20 points, leading a late surge for Auburn to get back into the game. Danforth chipped in with 16. Auburn is now 2-1 in conference play.
In other NIC-10 action:
• Hononegah stayed undefeated in conference play, topping Freeport (0-3) 42-41. The Indians played well in the middle quarters, but only managed 12 points combined in the first and fourth quarter in hanging on for the win. Stanley Moore scored 12 points to lead Hononegah, who will host Boylan Friday in a battle for first place.
• Jefferson also stayed undefeated, topping East 59-52. Mario Manns scored 20 points to lead the way for the J-Hawks.
• The Harlem Huskies picked up their first conference win, moving to 1-2 in the conference with a 53-50 win over the Guilford Vikings (0-3). The Huskies got 15 points from both Bo Andrews and Brenton Benedict to help overcome a 16-point halftime deficit.
• Belvidere and Belvidere North were both off and stayed at 1-1 in the conference.
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From the Dec. 16-22, 2009 issue