Kendale McCullum knew the Larkin boys basketball team needed a good start Saturday afternoon.
McCullum certainly did his part. The senior scored 8 points and had 4 steals in the first quarter as the Royals ran away from Hononegah for a 63-37 victory and claimed the Hoops for Healing Tournament title for the second consecutive season.
"We had to come out ready to play because Hononegah is a very good team," McCullum said. "We had to come out right away, play fast and push the tempo. I think we did a good job of that."
The Royals (4-0) scored the first 7 points of the game, getting 5 points from Derrick Streety and a pair of free throws from McCullum. They led by 16, 24-8, after the first quarter.
Larkin held the Indians (3-1) without a point in the final 3 minutes of the second quarter. Taylor Boley hit a 3-pointer and McCullum had an offensive putback and 2 free throws as the Royals scored the final 7 points of the first half to take a 37-16 lead.
"We challenged them. It's the championship of the tournament so they knew what was at stake," Royals coach Deryn Carter said of his team. "Just impressed with the way our guys responded."
The Royals led by as many as 26 in the second half.
McCullum led all scorers with 17 points. He also grabbed 7 rebounds. Brayden Royse added 10 points. Andrew Jones added 8 points and 7 rebounds.
Ryan Sughroue had 12 points and 7 rebounds to lead Hononegah, which was held to just 33 percent shooting.