MOUNT VERNON — The Mount Vernon Yellow Jackets are like a jigsaw puzzle with a bunch of square pieces.
If one is missing, don’t worry — another will fill the spot just fine.
The Jackets had no Seth Badger on Friday — he’s expected to be out several weeks with an illness — but Chase Bailey stepped in nicely, scoring 17 points and grabbing seven rebounds and two steals to lead the team to a 54-38 victory over Watkins Memorial at The Hive.
“Things like that don’t surprise me from (Bailey),” said Mount Vernon head coach Kurt Kaufman. “The credit goes to Chase, because he was in the gym this summer for countless hours, working on his game.”
Bailey is listed as 6-foot-1, but he played like a 7-foot point guard drinking speed juice. Offensively, he was a threat both from inside and beyond the arc. Twice, Bailey grabbed his own rebound to set up a score. Defensively, he had two key steals in the first half that led to points.
Mount Vernon (4-1, 1-1 Ohio Capital Conference) took control of the game midway through the first period, following Bailey’s first steal and subsequent bucket. The score began a 19-2 run over a 12-minute stretch in which the Jackets didn’t turn the ball over once.
“We did a good job with running our offense and reversing the floor,” said Kaufman. “That helps our defense as well. (Watkins) is a team that thrives on getting the turnover and scoring on transition. You slow that game down by running your offense and not turning the ball over.”
The run was capped late in the second by a offensive putback by Seth Ringwalt, who ended the night with seven points.
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