By Andrew Glover
MULHALL, Okla. —
The Coyle Bluejackets pride themselves on putting pressure on opponents and getting easy baskets. Thursday in the Mulhall-Orlando Tournament, those two things led Coyle to a 68-36 victory over the Dover Longhorns.
“We won comfortably,” coach Josh Sumrall said. We got some things we need to work on. ... We had a little shakeup but pulled away down the stretch.”
After Dover grabbed an early lead, Coyle took control with a 15-2 run. Senior Fidel Simpson started the rally with a 3-pointer, to give Coyle a 7-5 lead. Senior Tony Aska followed with a block and drove for a layup. Most of the Bluejackets’ scoring came from second chance points and transition buckets.
“We did pretty good defensively,” Weathers said. “We had some unnecessary fouls here and there. Once we adjusted to the officiating we were consistent.”
The Longhorns never got closer than eight in the first half and trailed by as many as 14. Coyle’s offense struggled in the second quarter, only making two shots in the first four minutes. The Bluejackets’ offense picked up and held a 31-17 lead at halftime. Sumrall said his team is still working on offensive chemistry after acquiring a move-in at the beginning of the semester.
“There’s still some bumps that we need to smooth out,” Sumrall said. “We will use all of January to do that.”
Eric Harris moved from Chicago and is playing guard. Harris scored five points and brought the ball up the court on several occasions.
Dover rallied at the beginning of the second half, opening with an 8-0 run. The Bluejackets didn’t allow it to get closer as it went on a 25-1 run that ended in the middle of the fourth quarter. Starting point guard Ryan Weathers said they rushed their offense after starting the game well.
“They kept running zone and we struggled with it for some reason,” Weathers said. “We just got to be more patient. Swing the ball, pass up good shots and get better shots.”
Aska led the team in scoring with 25 points, scoring most of them in the paint. Aska was also one of the leading rebounders. Simpson contributed 13 and Jakobi Brown scored 10.
The Bluejackets (10-3) face Wichita at 4:40 p.m. Sumrall said his team has limited knowledge on Wichita adding it will help his team in the upcoming postseason.
“I got some film on them,” Sumrall said. “I will watch them (Friday). It’s kind of a playoff situation, playing someone you haven’t seen. We will get the scouting report today and go from there.”