Neuqua Valley has put together a nice run lately, and it continued during Thursday's opening game in the East Aurora Holiday Tournament as the Wildcats ran all over Hubbard 75-33.
"It was real important to set a tone and play defense," Neuqua Valley assistant coach Mike O'Toole said. "The first and second quarter we held them to single digits, which was good."
The Wildcats led 13-9 late in the first quarter and then went on a 15-0 run to take a 28-9 lead late into the second quarter. Hubbard couldn't end its drought until only 3:30 remained before halftime and trailed 40-16 at intermission.
"We rebounded really well in the second quarter and pushed the ball on offense," O'Toole said. "If we rebound, we can get out and run."
Junior point guards Demond George and Alexander Edwards made sure the Wildcats constantly pushed the ball up court to create scoring opportunities. They Wildcats only turned it over 5 times while Hubbard committed 20 turnovers.
Neuqua Valley (9-2), which won its seventh straight game and hasn't lost since Oswego Hoops for Healing tournament during Thanksgiving break, opened the second half with a 10-0 run to extend its lead to 50-16 midway through the third quarter.
Senior Josh Piotrowski contributed a couple buckets and free throws during the run and finished with 14 points overall on 6-of-10 shooting from the field.
"They key was getting a lot of easy buckets," he said. "They had a lot of guys going in for offensive rebounds and when we got it out we then had numbers on the fastbreak and that's where we were getting a lot of easy layups."
With the game in check, O'Toole gave plenty of players a chance to play and 13 of the 14 who played scored at least one point. Junior Jacob Eminger led the team with 15 points and fellow junior Jordon Kedrowski added 10 points.
Hubbard made just 10 of 47 shots from the field while Neuqua Valley cooled down from its 55 percent clip in the first half to finish 30 of 65.
The Wildcats enjoyed a 44-35 rebounding edge with all 14 of its players collecting at least one.
Despite being busy with the holiday Wednesday, the Wildcats showed no signs of being unfocused or unprepared.
"You have a little bit of layoff with the holidays an stuff, but when the day comes you've got to be prepared," Piotrowski said. "We felt we were in the right mindset in the shootaround and we knew what we had to do to win this game."
Neuqua Valley will look to continue its run when it meets Oak Lawn at 2:30 p.m. Friday.