TOWANDA – In the first half it was a Jaren Jackson three-point show. In the second half, the Orioles pounded the paint and went right at the Thunderbirds as fourth-ranked Augusta stayed undefeated with the 72-42 win over Circle on Tuesday night.
"We have a lot of guys who made shots and score tonight," Augusta head coach Jake Sims said. "Tonight was the most comfortable our bench looked."
A back-and-forth game changed when Circle’s Gunner Hutson left in the second quarter with an ankle injury. The offense ran through Hutson when he was on the floor. His ability to get the ball moving and get big buckets were a large reason why the T-Birds were in a game where Jackson was feeling himself.
"We settled a lot early," Sims said. "Luckily, in the second quarter we made shots."
After Hutson went down, Augusta’s Xander Roberts hit a three and was fouled, completing the four-point play. Jackson hit a three and Ely Wilcox decided to get in on the three action as well. In a matter of two minutes, the Orioles had opened up a three-point game, to lead 37-23.
Jackson hit a three a time ran out in the second quarter to give Augusta the 40-23 lead at the break.
Augusta fed Zach Davidson and Circle had no answer. Their size lacking already, with Hutson out, the Orioles made the T-Birds pay. Four straight possession in the paint and Davidson capitalized every time.
"We just put an emphasis on getting to the paint," Davidson said.
Matt Hromek tried to get the T-Birds back into it, being the only real scoring output early in the second half. It wasn’t enough as the lead quickly saw their lead grown to 20 in a matter of minutes. Their third quarter run was capped on a Ryan Andrews’ layup with 4:00 to go in the third, making it 50-30.
"We were just settling," Sims said. "We should have been doing that earlier in the game."
The fourth quarter saw Augusta lead by as many as 34 as the game seemed to get away from Circle.
Jackson would finish with 20 points on the night. Davidson 17 points, 10 in the second half.
Middleton led Circle in scoring with 13 points.
The loss drops Circle to 1-4 on the year. Their schedule has been extremely difficult with losses to Rose Hill, Independence, third-ranked Parsons and fourth-ranked Augusta. The teams are a combined 14-3 after Tuesday’s games.
Circle travels to El Dorado on Friday night for a showdown. Augusta will host Buhler as both teams round out their fall semester schedules.
Augusta – 13; 27; 19; 13 – 72
Circle – 9; 16; 12; 5 – 42
AUGUSTA – Jackson 20, Davidson 17, Wilcox 12, Roberts 8, Andrews 6, Hand 4, McDaniel 3, Timberlake 2
CIRCLE – Middleton 13, Huston 6, Beougher 5, Hromek 5, Maholland 5, Shaults 4, Meyers 2, Jacobson 2,