After losing its first three games, the Washington boys basketball team was in need of a strong performance on both ends of the floor.
The Hatchets (1-3) defeated Edgewood (1-3), 57-24, Friday at the Hatchet House behind 16 points from junior Andy Garland.
Washington jumped on the visiting Mustangs from the opening tip with a pressure defense that forced Edgewood into tough shots all night. The Hatchets took a 13-4 lead after the first quarter, and only got better as the night continued. A 22-8 advantage in the second quarter extended the lead to 35-13 at halftime.
The Hatchets got a big lift from Garland, making seven shots from the field, and one three-pointer.
"He's (Garland) been shooting the ball well for us," Miiller said. In the fall he came in and did a lot of shooting, and I think he¹s progressed very well. He just keeps getting better and better."Washington wasn¹t as sharp in the second half, but it didn¹t need to be, as it held the Mustangs to 12 points in the second half including three points in the third quarter when they extended the lead to 31.
"We played really well on both ends of the floor," said Washington head coach Gene Miiller. "Offensively we moved the basketball well, and defensively we really got out and pressured the basketball, and denied some passes. I was really pleased with the way we played the first half. I think the second half we got a little sloppy at times, but I thought the effort was always there." After a disappointing loss last Saturday at North Daviess, Miiller was happy to see his team get production in the paint, as he got a combined 18 points from Tyler Stoll and Cullen Arnold.
"We hit layups, that was the biggest difference," Miiller said. "I had us missing seven layups against North Daviess last week. When you take 33 shots, and miss seven layups, it's pretty hard to win. Tonight we hit the layups when we got them. I thought we did do a better job attacking the basket. We get a little better each time we come out." Washington will travel to Forest Park tonight in search of its second consecutive win, as they climb towards .500.
"They're (Forest Park) a good basketball team," Miiller said. "Again a man-to-man team, I guess that's one good thing about this weekend, both teams are similar in that they like to come out and play man-to-man pressure defense. They like to push the ball up the floor, and score in transition."