Big offensive night helps Delta beat Cooter 120-82 in Class 1 boys basketball sectional
BLOOMFIELD, Mo. - The Delta Bobcats boys basketball squad has experienced little difficulty scoring the basketball this season.
Delta, which averages 95 points per game, had scored at least 90 points 18 times entering Tuesday night’s Class 1 sectional against the Cooter Wildcats at Bloomfield High School.
The offensive success continued for Delta against Cooter. Delta scored at least 23 points in every quarter as it shot its way past Cooter 120-82.
Delta led 23-16 after one quarter, increased its lead to 64-41 by halftime, and led 94-58 by the end of the third quarter.
“I felt we got sharper when the second quarter started tonight,” Delta coach Chris Hahn said. “I didn’t think we played very well the first quarter but Cooter came out strong. That’s a credit to Coach Mathis because he gets his kids to believe and play hard. But we really cleaned things up after the first quarter."
Neither team led by more than a few points early on.
Delta jumped out to a 2-0 lead when Colby Crader hit a pair of free throws with 6:25 left in the first quarter. Cooter followed with consecutive 3-pointers by Jacob Watkins and Lane McLevain to move ahead 6-2 with 4:51 left in the first quarter. Cooter continued to lead 8-5 after Lane Perkins drained a 2-pointer with 4:35 left in the first quarter.
But they lead didn't last long for the Wildcats.
Delta scored the next seven points to move ahead 12-8 with 3:14 left in the first quarter and padded its lead to 23-16 by the start of the second quarter.
The Bobcats took complete control soon after as it outscored Cooter 41-25 in the second quarter to increase its lead to 64-41 by halftime.
“We knew coming in what they were going to do,” Cooter coach David Mathis said. “We just couldn’t simulate their press in practice trying to have our younger bunch press our other guys. We handled it the best we could but it was called pretty physical and I knew if it was like that it was going to be tough on us. We also missed some shots early. We may have stayed in it a little longer if we could have knocked some shots down. But over time they just wore us down, got us in foul trouble, and then we couldn’t stop them from scoring at the basket. They are a big-time team that hasn’t lost to a Class 1 school all season.”
Senior guard Isaiah Thomas fueled Delta’s offense from the get-go. Thomas recorded 25 of his team-high 44 points before halftime.
“Isaiah had a really good scoring night, especially in transition,” Hahn said.
Senior guard Eric Berry and junior forward Crader also put up points early. Berry scored 14 of his 18 points before halftime and Crader tallied 10 of his 14 points in the first half.
“Berry kind of controls everything in our offense and Crader does so much for us in the middle,” Hahn said. “Thomas, Berry, and Crader have been three of our cornerstones on offense lately.”
Cooter seniors Watkins and McLevain also enjoyed solid nights offensively in their final high school basketball game. Watkins, who hit three 3-pointers, finished with a team-high 23 points. McLevain, who hit three of his four treys in the fourth quarter, added 14 points.
“They are the best leaders we could ever have,” Mathis said of his only seniors. “Both are straight-A students that come in and lift at 5:30 every morning. Both are headed to College of the Ozarks to play baseball. If you want to model a son after someone these are two you want to model him after.”
Junior Luke Perkins also finished in double digits for Cooter with 19 points. Perkins made 10 of 12 free-throw attempts.
Delta senior guard Jonathan Bond also enjoyed success at the charity stripe. Bond made 9 of 11 free throws. He finished with 11 points.
Mathis said Cooter, a traditional baseball powerhouse, will begin fine-tuning its skills on the baseball diamond Wednesday morning. Cooter finishes its basketball campaign with a record of 17-9.
“Our goal is to win a state title every year in baseball,” Mathis said. “But I just told this group that they kind of put us on the map in basketball. Now next year’s goal is to reach the state quarterfinal in basketball. That’s how we treat it at Cooter. We try to go farther than the class before. But I hope Delta and Coach Hahn win the whole thing because he’s one of my favorite coaches and he really deserves it.”
Delta (25-5) will play Dora (28-2) in a Class 1 state quarterfinal Saturday at 2:45 p.m. at Van Buren High School. Dora beat undefeated South Iron 59-54 in its sectional Tuesday.
“I saw them play in the state quarterfinals against Risco last year and have seen a couple of highlights of them this year,” Hahn said of last year’s Class 1 runner-up in the state tournament. “I’ll try to get as much film as possible on them Wednesday. I hear they are a very good basketball team. I hope our whole town comes out to support us on Saturday at Van Buren.”
Delta 120, Cooter 82
CHS 16 25 17 24 - 82
DHS 23 41 30 26 - 120
COOTER (82) - Jacob Watkins 23, Carson Swan 3, Hayden Nazarenes 9, Luke Perkins 19, Lukas Barnes 4, Layton Robinson 2, Lane McLevain 14, Cade Carlock 8. FG 27, FT 19/30, F 22. (3-pointers: Watkins 3, Swan 1, Perkins 1, McLevain 4; Fouled out: None).
DELTA (120) - Evan Bartels 5, Dale Lincoln 6, Jonathan Bond 11, Mason Dozier 3, Grant Coomer 7, Eric Allen Berry 18, Colby Crader 14, Isaiah Thomas 44, Ryan Birkman 3, Hunter Durth 9. FG 45, FT 20/27, F 26. (3-pointers: Bartels 1, Dozier 1, Berry 1, Birman 1, Durth 3, Thomas 3; Fouled out: Coomer).