The St. Edward boys basketball team got to play the up-tempo game offensively it wants to in the season opener Monday.
But being able to play tough man-to-man defense and pressing will be a work in progress as the Green Wave adjusts to the new rules. St. Edward didn't need to worry about the pressure too much Monday as it cruised to a 74-48 victory over Harvest Christian in the opening game of the 7th annual Westminster Christian Thanksgiving Classic.
"I guess we all have to adjust to how they're calling the game," St. Edward coach P.J. White said. "What it is forcing you to do is play a zone. You can't hardly play a man-to-man. If you play man-to-man, it's nothing but fouls.
"We want to press and have some pressure, but that takes you out of that game a little bit."
Even the zone the Green Wave played caused problems for the Lions, especially in the second and third quarter when Harvest Christian had 18 of its 22 turnovers. That helped St. Edward increase its lead from 16-8 to 63-33.
"We played good defense," said Green Wave junior Nick Duffy, who finished with 13 points and 7 rebounds. "We were able to get the ball down the court quickly for some easy layups."
Joe French was the biggest beneficiary of the easy baskets. He had 10 points in the third quarter, 8 coming on layups off St. Edward steals.
The Green Wave led by as many as 30 and had 10 different players score. Davontae Elam led St. Edward with 19 points. French finished with 14. Danny Favela added 7 points and 7 rebounds off the bench.
John Vislisel scored a game-high 25 points and grabbed 7 rebounds for Harvest Christian. Dan Turpin added 13 rebounds.
"The third quarter was just turnover, turnover, turnover and we never recovered," Lions coach Jeff Blodog said. "We've got to get out of that habit of when things aren't going our way we have to stay positive, keep fighting and keep working."