MANLIUS — Bureau Valley may not have been the Perfect Storm Friday night, but they were pretty close to it in the first half.
Morrison scored the first two points of the night, but the Storm boys’ basketball scored the next 18 to set the tone early in Three Rivers Conference play in the 2012-13 home opener at the Storm Cellar. The Storm rode their early momentum to a 26-4 first-quarter lead and rode past the Mustangs for a 62-40 win.
“We had periods and spurts where we didn’t have good execution, but overall I thought the kids played hard,” BV coach Jason Marquis said. “We got off to a good start and continued to execute throughout the game. Had a few plays here and there where we’ve got to tighten things up and not let fatigue get the best of us. But overall, I thought a lot of kids played hard, lot of kids played really well.”
Sophomore point guard Parker Neuhalfen opened the Storm scoring and the home side of the scoreboard began to spin like the front doors at Walmart on Black Friday.
Tommy Johnston scored in the post, Frank Gebeck hit a three and Tyler DeBrock sank two free throws to make it 9-2. Neuhalfen added a three-pointer and a steal and layup to give the Storm a 14-2 lead. Johnston scored on an inbounds play and Lange cashed in a layup off a steal to put the Storm up 18-2.
The Storm extended its 32-13 halftime lead early in the fourth quarter and were able to withstand a 9-0 run by the Mustangs, who closed within 46-31. A layup by Johnston before the third-quarter buzzer put the Storm on top 50-31 with eight minutes to play.
The Storm were led by the two sophomores Johnston (21) and Neuhalfen (16), who combined for 37 points. Other top contributors for the Storm were seniors Frank Gebeck (11) and Brian Lange (9).
“Lange’s starting to come around, that’s a good thing for our basketball team,” Marquis said. “Tommy played really well tonight. He’s a contact type of player. He initiates contact, plays hard , plays until he can’t just walk. He plays hard and that’s a good thing for us. The team feeds off that.”
The Storm coach was happy with the win, but said there’s always room for improvement.
“There’s things we’ve got to get better at, let’s not kid ourselves,” Marquis said. “We’re not to win anything that’s of huge relevance in December. Conference victories are a big thing. We’re excited what we did tonight and getting a victory. Really though if you’re content at winning a few games at this point, you’re in for a disappointing February.”
• The Storm played St. Bede in Monday’s opener of the Colmone Classic at Hall High School. Visit www.bcrnews.com for updates.