By Travis Whitton
For The Herald Bulletin
---- — ALEXANDRIA – The Alexandria Tigers used a bevy of 3-pointers and balanced scoring to knock off Union (Modoc) 73-44 in The Jungle last night.
After falling behind 6-2 to start the game Alexandria (3-5) started heating during last night’s arctic cold weather. Braden Warren drilled two from beyond the arc while Blaize Kelly and Layton Carroll each nailed one.
At the 1:40 mark of the opening period of play the Tigers grabbed an 8-6 lead and never looked back from that point forward.
Drew Johnson finished with 18 points by hitting 6-of-8 from 3-point range, and first-year Alexandria coach Kyle Bloom said he was glad to see him play loose.
“I’m most pleased to see Drew Johnson play like Drew Johnson,” said the coach. “That’s the way Drew can play. It’s the first year playing all varsity, and I think he’s just been over thinking things. He just went out and played tonight – it was fun to watch him.”
The Rockets, despite losing some players from last year’s team, beat Alexandria by 28 points last year.
Carroll led the Tigers with 20 points, and Bloom credited him with being active without the ball.
“Layton moves so well without the ball – he’s going to score,” said Bloom. “I mean he always moves, find him and he scores. The kids are doing a much, much better job of looking for him.”
He said that it was a nice win, but he wants his team to play better as the year goes along so that they can play well in their sectional at the season’s end and he thought that last night’s game did just that.
“A win is great, but we want to prepare – everything we do we want to prepare to try to compete in our sectional,” said Bloom. “Beating Union is good because Union plays hard. More importantly we did things to make us better tonight so we can compete in our sectional. So that’s good.”
Bloom said that his team has had a problem with miscues all season, and he thinks part of that is due to them adjusting to a new style of play.
“That’s been a problem all year long, and I think that comes from kids having to think and not just play,” said the Alexandria skipper. “I think that whenever you do something new, and it’s still very new to them, they think, ‘is this what I’m supposed to be doing.’ Passes are just tentative, they’re to the inside hand not the outside hand, they don’t know when to back cut still. I think that’s going to get better.”
Bloom said that they improved from 20 turnovers in their last game to 18 last night, and he feels like they will sharpen things up as they get more comfortable.