By Mike Myers, Sports Writer
The first individual goal for a high school basketball player in a game would more than likely be to exceed his season scoring average. And Tyler Zeller did just that against Boonville at the Hatchet House on Friday.
Zeller’s 32 first half points powered a huge Washington (12-2, 4-0) start as the Hatchets blew out an overmatched Boonville (2-13, 0-6) team in an 88-45 homecoming win.
The state’s leading scorer at 31.8 ppg coming into the game, Zeller surpassed that figure in the opening 16 minutes, using a dazzling array of low post moves and long jumpers to help the Class 3A No. 7 Hatchets to a 45-26 halftime advantage.
Zeller would finish with 40 points in just three quarters of play as Washington coach Gene Miiller pulled most of his starters in the fourth quarter, which began with the Hatchets leading 66-36.
But Zeller had plenty of help in the huge win, which represented the most points the Hatchets have scored this season and the second largest margin of victory for WHS in 2007-08.
Washington used its full court press and halfcourt trap to force 18 turnovers, mostly in the first half. While only Zeller and senior center Seth Coy — 14 points and seven rebounds — reached double figures, 11 Hatchets broke into the scoring column. Senior Kyle Price was next after Coy with nine points while adding four rebounds and three assists. Sophomore Sam Gines dialed long distance twice for six points and dished out four assists.
Senior guard Cody Lee had two points and led the Hatchets — who once again had a better than 2-1 ratio of assists to turnovers (27-12) — with nine assists. Junior guard Cody Osmon hit a trey and dished out five assists, while sophomore Ethan Hunsinger contributed three assists also. Overall, Washington shot 65 percent from the field and out-rebounded Boonville 35-15, with Zeller pulling down 10 boards and Coy adding seven.
Add it all up and the Hatchets, who won their 10th straight game and haven’t had a team come within 10 points of them on the scoreboard since early December, had another outstanding team effort, according to Miiller.
“It was a nice win. I thought our kids came out and played hard, and I though everybody played well. Just about everybody scored,” said Miiller. “It was a nice ball game for us at both ends of the floor. We took care of the basketball offensively, we moved the ball pretty well. Defensively we played pretty well.
“Tyler stepped out and hit some 15 footers. And of course, Seth had another good game. But our perimeter guys did a nice job of moving the basketball, getting the ball in to the those two guys,” said Miiller. “And I thought those guys did a real nice job defensively.”
Noah Doss topped Boonville with 12 points.
In the JV game, coach Kyle Cornelius saw his team improve to 10-3 with a 52-43 win. Cody Zeller led WHS with 20 points in only three quarters of play, while Derek Singleton and Jance Johnston added nine points apiece.
Washington travels to Sullivan tonight.