Augusta's freshman boys basketball team didn't need much time to take full control of its home tournament opener Thursday night at Augusta Middle School.
The Orioles forced several turnovers early and rattled off a dozen points before Valley Center even got on the scoreboard, which was late in the first quarter. The Orioles maintained defensive pressure all night en route to a 64-42 win.
The Orioles' offense fed off its defense all night. Early in the fourth quarter, Preston Bevan scored a wide open layup after Gannon Marcotte made a steal and passed it up the floor. Bevan returned the favor the next play by tipping and stealing a pass, then passing up the floor to Marcotte for another layup.
Cole Howerton paced the Orioles offensively. He made seven field goals, four in the second half, and finished with 15 points.
Marcotte finished with seven points and had five assists and a couple of steals.
Cody Wesbrooks had a stellar first half, when he scored 10 of his 12 points. He made two 3-pointers.
Josh Korthals got going in the paint in the second half, making four field goals and getting several rebounds on both ends of the floor. He finished with nine points.
Bevan finished with six points. Logan Weakley and Dylan Barker added five points apiece. Jaden Shryock scored three points.
The Orioles will play Circle in the second round of the tournament at 11:30 a.m. Saturday. If the Orioles win, they will advance to the championship and play the Andale-Buhler semifinal winner at 2:30 p.m in the main gym. If the Orioles lose, they play for third place in the north gym, also at 2:30.