ELNORA — Through the first nine games of the season the North Daviess boys basketball team relied on its obvious height advantage, but Friday night senior guard Alex Wittmer took center stage.
The Cougars (6-4, 1-0 Southwestern Indiana) defeated Shakamak (2-8, 1-3) 53-36 for their third straight win Friday night, at the Cougar Den in their conference opener, behind 27 points from Wittmer.
Early on this season, the front line of Kelby Byrer (6’4), Zach Moore (6’2) and Austin Buehler (6’10) has been a stabilizing force as the Cougars have tried to find their identity. Friday night was different from the opening tip.
It was apparent Wittmer was going to make his presence felt early and often. The senior guard made four 3-pointers in the first quarter to lead the Cougars with 12 points. Dusten Cook added a 3-pointer of his own and the Cougars led 19-10 after one quarter.
“Alex (Wittmer) has been as hot as any player I’ve coached maybe since I’ve been here over the last two weeks,” said North Daviess coach Brent Dalrymple.
“He’s been hot in practice and he’s been hot in games and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that we’re finally at the halfway point of our season and all our kids are starting to find their roles and find their legs and really start to do what they can do on the floor.”
Wittmer and Cook scored five points each in the second quarter and North Daviess used an 11-2 run to take a 34-17 lead at the half.
“The thing with our team is we aren’t fancy,” Dalrymple said. “We’ve got five or six guys that we play. We’re going to run some motion offense and we’re going to play man-to-man defense — that’s it, period. We just try to be as good at those couple things as we possibly can. I can’t remember a whole lot of sets, I’ve never been a guy that breaks down things and makes it real complex. Everything for us is very simple and you either go out and do it, or you don’t. Our kids, being halfway through the season are now understanding what their spots are and what their roles are.”