MOUNT VERNON — When you shoot well and don’t turn the ball over, you tend to win a lot of basketball games.
The Mount Vernon Yellow Jackets shot really well on Tuesday, going 7-for-12 from three-point range and 18-for-20 from the free-throw line.
They also had just seven turnovers — three in the first half — on their way to a 71-48 home victory over Watkins Memorial in Ohio Capital Conference action.
The Yellow Jackets (6-2, 4-1 OCC) continue to improve in most aspects of their game. Their passing continues to be almost flawless, as the team didn’t throw the ball away once the entire game. Six of Mount Vernon’s seven turnovers came on steals off a dribble; the other came on an offensive foul.
“This is probably the most unselfish team I’ve ever coached,” said Mount Vernon head coach Kurt Kaufman. “They want to get the best shot every time, and they’re just as happy if they make the pass as if they make the shot. That’s pretty special, and they’re fun to watch when they play like that.”
The Jackets showed patience as well. Anyone on the floor could take a shot at any time, and it usually went in. Mount Vernon ended up hitting just under 50 percent of its shots (23-for-47) in the game. But it was beyond the arc where the team shined, hitting 58 percent including four 3-pointers from Riley Swanson.
“That’s an emphasis for us,” said Mount Vernon head coach Kurt Kaufman, referring to his team’s shooting. “The guys buy into it and they work at it. They stay after practice and shoot free-throws, and it’s going to pay off for us down the road.”
Swanson’s game-high 24 points doesn’t describe his leadership on the court, as he directed players on offense and defense. He and Brad Fenton (16 points, five rebonds) help set up Nate Miller’s two first-half 3-pointers.
Mount Vernon’s biggest problem on Tuesday was allowing Watkins Memorial (3-6, 1-4 OCC) to penetrate on offense. The Warriors’ two post players, Le’Trel Taylor and Kevin Crawford, freqently found an inside path to the basket. Their success in the first half — 20 points combined — was the only thing keeping Watkins in the game.
“We talked about that (at halftime),” said Kaufman. “We tried to take that away. The guys responded and did a nice job.”