MOUNT VERNON — What happened at Mount Vernon High School on Tuesday wasn’t a game. It was an ambush.
The Delaware Hayes Pacers rattled off eight points in just under two minutes to open the game against Mount Vernon, going on to take the 71-37 win in a game that was even more lopsided than the score would indicate.
“They outplayed us in every aspect of the game,” said Mount Vernon head coach Kurt Kaufman. “Not much more to say about that.”
It didn’t help that the Yellow Jackets (9-4, 6-3) are starting to resemble a MASH unit. Sophomore Seth Badger injured his wrist and didn’t suit up. And senior Charlie Phillips had a flare-up in his wrist and wore a brace. Phillips was limited to just six minutes in the entire game.
Hayes (9-5, 6-3) took advantage of a banged-up Mount Vernon roster and put an old-fashioned beatdown on the Yellow Jackets, aggressively pounding the basket inside and getting second chances on offensive boards. In the first half, the Pacers had more offensive rebounds than Mount Vernon had total rebounds (11-9). By the end of the game, Hayes had outrebounded Mount Vernon, 31-16.
“They’re athletic,” Kaufman said. “We didn’t keep them off the boards, and they got a ton of baskets that way.”
Defensively, Hayes took advantage of Mount Vernon’s hesitations. Every time a Yellow Jacket froze with the ball, a Pacer was there to swat it away. Hayes forced 14 turnovers in the first half, 21 for the game.
“Points off turnovers was big,” Kaufman said. “They had a lot of layups off our turnovers.”
The Pacers also used their size to their advantage on defense. Seven times, a Mount Vernon shot was swatted away, with Jacob Bosiokovic blocking four of them.
Mount Vernon did manage to get some scoring from their starters. Junior Riley Swanson led the way with 11 points, and senior Ben Hoar had 10. Nathan Miller added nine.