Neuqua Valley’s boys basketball team would love nothing more than to get out and run as often as possible.
In Thursday’s East Aurora Holiday Tournament opener against Hubbard, the Wildcats were able to run free most of the game.
Neuqua picked up its seventh straight win in convincing fashion, 75-33. The Wildcats will face Oak Lawn Friday at 2:30 p.m. on the second day of the tournament. Oak Lawn fell to Geneva, 63-36, Thursday.
“We pushed the ball on offense,” Neuqua assistant coach Michael O’Toole said. “That’s what we want to do, get out and run. Both of the point guards that played in the first half (Alex Edwards and Demond George) pushed the ball hard. That was good.”
Neuqua (8-2) broke open a close game with a 15-0 run that started in the first quarter and ended deep into the second quarter. Jordon Kedrowski’s three-pointer and a thunderous dunk from Elijah Robertson fueled the run, which opened a 29-9 lead. Hubbard didn’t score for the first 4:30 of the second quarter.
“They had a lot of guys going in for offensive rebounds so when we got it out we outnumbered them on the fast break,” Neuqua senior Josh Piotrowski said. “That was the key to getting a lot of easy buckets. We were getting a lot of easy lay-ups and we were able to extend the lead.”
Neuqua pushed the lead to 40-16 at the half thanks to a pair of three-pointers and a bank shot from the wing from Jacob Eminger in the final minute. Neuqua then opened the third quarter with a 10-0 run to blow the game wide open.
Only one player on the roster didn’t score for Neuqua. Eminger led the way with 15 points, with Piotrowski scoring 14, Kedrowski 10 and Robertson eight.
“A lot of guys contributed,” O’Toole said. “That’s good, we spread it around. That will pay dividends late in the year. We preach team. We have a lot of different ways to score.”
Deonte McReynolds scored a game-high 22 points for Hubbard.