STRYKER — Stryker just kept scoring, scoring and scoring against Hilltop — and the Cadets couldn’t stop their opponent.
The Panthers shot 54 percent from the floor (19 of 35), with all 10 players scoring, and gave themselves a 58-17 Buckeye Border Conference boys basketball win — their first of the season — over Hilltop on Wednesday at Stryker High School.
“It feels good because this was my first game too — I didn’t get to coach (our) first two games,” said Stryker coach Tyler Woolace, who was in quarantine for COVID-19 precautions during those contests. “It was fun to get in there and it was fun to see all the kids contribute.
“I had 10 (players), and I was excited to see all 10 of them contribute and do a really good job tonight.”
Joe Ramon dropped a game-high 11 points — eight in the second quarter — for Stryker (1-2, 1-1 BBC). Teyvon Harris scored nine points while grabbing a game-high seven rebounds. Kaleb Holsopple and Jacob Cadwell each had eight points, Jamison Treace also contributed with seven.
Payton Woolace (four points), Peyton Cioffi (four), Levi Barnum (three), Logan Liechty (two) and Amos Sloan (two) completed the Panthers’ scoring.
Stryker also shot 54 percent (7 of 13) from 3-point range and hit 13-of-16 free throws.
“They contributed, they just didn’t play,” Tyler Woolace said. “And that’s one of the positive things — when they got in, they contributed. There was no letdown in the game and that was great. We have four guys out right now that we would normally have.
“A lot of people stepped up and played really, really well and that’s big for a team, especially this year. You don’t know (who you’re going to have) week-to-week, day-to-day... (for example) Jacob Cadwell is a freshman, came in and played a heck of a game for me. That’s what you need, next man up. And this year is really important to have that.”
Tucker Beres had a team-high seven points for Hilltop (0-8, 0-6). Ian Hoffman and Brennon Carter each had four points, while Carson Jennings dropped a layup to complete the Cadets’ scoring.
Hilltop shot 23 percent (7 of 31) from the floor, including 10 percent (1 of 10) from beyond the arc. The Cadets also made 2-of-4 free throws.
“We didn’t show up,” Hilltop coach Bill Williams said. “We just didn’t handle the pressure very well and never got in a rhythm.”
After Stryker took an 11-4 lead going into the second quarter, it started to really turn it up. Ramon hit a jump shot and a 3 to give the Panthers a 16-4 lead with 5:37 left in the first half. The 5-foot-11 senior hit another 3 about 3:10 later to give Stryker a 24-4 lead.
In the remaining 3:05, Cadwell and Holsopple each nailed a 3 and Liechty two free throws to give the Panthers a 32-7 halftime lead. Beres got the lone points for the Cadets — a 3-pointer — in that span as well, while Stryker shot 7 of 12 from the floor in the second frame and forced five Hilltop turnovers.
“I think the defense led into it. It was an emphasis all week from what we’ve had — we finally had three days of practice — but it was an emphasis all week on getting the defense to contribute to the offense,” Woolace said. “And I think we did that in that second quarter. We were able to get some easy looks.
“Joe started hitting his shots because he got open. We were in transition ... and then we also went down low. If we can get it to Teyvon and Levi down low, good things happen, and I saw that tonight — in the second quarter, especially.”
The Panthers rode the momentum of the first half into the second. They outscored Hilltop 14-6 in the third quarter and 12-4 in the fourth to secure the win.
“I’m proud of them, proud of their defense and they boxed out well,” Woolace said. “That was an emphasis too. And I thought they did a very good job of that, in our big guys of Teyvon and Levi and Amos. They all played well, and thanks to those guys.”
Stryker 58, Hilltop 17
Hilltop 4 3 6 4 — 17
Stryker 11 21 14 12 — 58
Hilltop: Beres 1 1 2-2 7, Hoffman 2 0 0-0 4, Carter 2 0 0-0 4, Jennings 1 0 0-0 2, Jacobs 0 0 0-2 0. Totals: 6-21 1-10 2-4 17.
Stryker: Ramon 1 3 0-0 11, Harris 3 0 3-3 9, Cadwell 1 2 0-0 8, Holsopple 1 1 3-4 8, Treace 2 1 0-0 7, Woolace 1 0 2-3 4, Cioffi 1 0 2-2 4, Barnum 1 0 1-2 3, Liechty 0 0 2-2 2, Sloan 1 0 0-0 2. Totals: 12-22 7-13 13-16 58.
Junior Varsity: Stryker, 32-22.