By Rick Teverbaugh
The Herald Bulletin
---- — ALEXANDRIA — The Alexandria boys basketball team provided a perfect birthday present for its first-year coach Kyle Bloom.
The gift was a 72-39 victory over Anderson Preparatory Academy and the Tigers had it wrapped up with a nice bow early on Tuesday night.
Alexandria 9-of-16 shots in the opening eight minutes and pushed out to a 23-8 lead and were never challenged the rest of the way for the outmanned Jets.
"We had a great team effort," said Bloom. "The kids moved well. We had 20 assists (on 28 shots) and that's great because it means we are trusting one another."
The Tigers ended the evening hitting 27-of-56, despite the fact that 23 of those shots were from 3-point range.
"We only had two guys take shots they weren't supposed to take," said Bloom. "We want guys to take perfect shots. If they catch it in rhythm than that's all right. That's the way the game is played now, 3-pointers and shots in the paint."
Alex had five players score in double figures and two of those came off the bench. Braden Warren paced the quintet with 14 points followed by Layton Carroll with 13, Blaize Kelly with 12, Jonah Jerrils with 1 and Drew Johnson with 10.
Despite it being the first game of the season, Alexandria had just four turnovers in the first half and 14 for the game.
APA had just 11 players available to dress for both the junior varsity and varsity contests due to a suspension and a handful of players one practice shy of being able to participate.
Only six Jets scored topped by Noah Long with 15 points, followed by Zach MacGilvray with 14. Nobody else had more than four. APA hit just 13-of-40 from the field including just 1-of-9 from long range.
The home team had a huge advantage in rebounding, grabbing 42 caroms compared to 26 for the visitors. Evan Hodges led the Tigers with nine boards followed closely by Kelly with eight.
"We ran the offense well," said Bloom. "It was the first time we ran it against someone who didn't know what was coming."
What's coming now for the Tigers is a Saturday game at Liberty Christian. Next up for APA is a Saturday game at Cambridge City.