Jays dominate the court against Riverside
The Bluejays had to get their legs under them and switch gears from football to basketball in short order as they hosted the Riverside Cyclones for the season opener on Thursday, Nov. 30. The Cyclones finished 3-18 a season ago with Sabetha finishing 13-10 last year.
The Bluejays wrangled the Cyclones early, outscoring them in all but the last quarter and cruising to the 53-34 victory.
Five players scored in the first quarter for the Jays, with Brett Stallbaumer leading his team with 10 points. Riverside was held to just 3 points in the opening quarter, with Sabetha’s defense stifling their attack and controlling the boards. At the end of the first period, the Jays were out front 20-3.
Kyle Grimm contributed 7 points in the first half, with 4 of those coming in the second frame. Stallbaumer hit his second triple of the night right before the intermission to boost his tally to 13 and the Bluejays outscored their guests by the slim margin of 7-6 in quarter two. At the break, the Jays controlled the game leading 27-9.
“I was proud of our execution and composure for only having three practices,” said Head Coach Scott Burger. “We did a good job of out-rebounding our opponent. We only had 11 turnovers for the game, and eight of those came in the second half.”
Riverside nearly matched their host point for point in the third quarter and hit some free throws down the stretch to help keep them in the hunt. Grimm added 4 more points, Tanner Williams, Jesse Burger and Braeden Cox each had 2 points. Sabetha led 38-17 headed into the final period.
Both teams traded punches in the final stanza, with the Cyclones making a run toward the end of the game and outscoring the Jays 17-15. But it was too little too late as Sabetha clinched the victory in this league duel with the 53-34 win at home.
“This was a good first game for us,” Coach Burger said. “We had 22 assists in the game, which says a lot about the unselfishness of this group. We were happy to be back on the court and hope to have a good year.”