It was a successful opener for the Homer Central boys’ basketball team Tuesday night.
Bryant Quinlan pumped in 22 points and Casey Hayes added 11 as the Trojans christened their new gymnasium with a 77-24 non-league win over visiting Fabius-Pompey before a vocal home crowd.
“It was fun to finally get to play against another team in a real game instead of a scrimmage,” Quinlan said. “A scrimmage is just not the same pace as a real game. It was fun being in front of the home crowd and they were really great. This is totally different than the old gym. It’s a new floor and I love playing here. It’s a new atmosphere as well.
“It was great to get everyone in the game. All the guys are part of this team. It’s a great way to start the season.”
“ Q (Quinlan) did roll his ankle before the game even started so we taped him up and he was able to go,” Homer coach Sean Malone said. “It will probably swell up so we’ll be a little cautious with him the next couple of days.
“Stephen Walter got us started with a couple of baskets and by the end of the first quarter we knew we were the superior team. Coach (Matt) Rohde said they were going to struggle and one of his kids was sick with the flu. Q came out and had a big game. He gave us the separation we needed. Kyle (Hess) and Stephen didn’t need to be as physical tonight because we were the better team but they did a good job, as did Casey (Hayes) and Justin (Wainwright).”
Walter controlled the inside play early, netting six of his eight points as the Trojans would open up an 18-5 lead in the first quarter. A balanced effort in the second quarter saw Homer build its advantage to 34-9 by halftime.
Quinlan scored 17 of his points in the third quarter to push the Trojan lead to 34-17 before the bench put together a solid fourth quarter.
“We knew what we were getting into on both sides of the ball,” said Rohde, a 1993 Cortland High graduate. “We are very young, small and inexperienced, so we see this as an opportunity to try and go out there and learn a little bit. The good part is that you do have to go out there and face a good opponent, so the intensity goes up. The bad part is on the scoreboard.
“Our defensive slides were better than they have been in the first month. Playing a better opponent may have brought that out. Maybe a little anxiety turned into motivation. That was probably the best thing.”
“We did turn the ball over a bit to start the second quarter, but our goal was to come out after halftime and double our lead, so we came close with 29 points,” Malone said. “We just wanted to push the tempo. We were the faster team. We took a few chances and worked on a few things. The new gym is nice too.
“I don’t know if I have ever played everyone in the first half of a game since I’ve been here. I guess I felt comfortable enough that we were the better team so I decided to mix and match a little and get all the guys some early game action so they weren’t sitting for three quarters and then give them the fourth quarter. We still though it was good to give the guys on the bench a full eight minutes. They went in a did well. They won that fourth quarter. That should give them some confidence.”
Walter and Malik Redding scored eight points each for Homer. Three other players had six points each.
Kewan Trotman led Fabius- Pompey with eight points. Addison Wallace added five points and Saif Waheeb netted four points.
Homer will open OHSL Liberty Division play Friday with a trip to Solvay. The JV game will begin at 5 p.m. with the varsity game to follow.
The Homer JVs began their season with an 83-25 triumph over Fabius-Pompey. The Trojans jumped out to a 34-5 lead in the first quarter and were never threatened.
Mikyle Franklin paced the Homer attack with 11 points. Josh Lee netted 10 points while Sage Drake and Jon Barnes added nine points each.
Sean Dunham was the top scorer for Fabius-Pompey with six points.