Before his team's season opener, Fond du Lac boys basketball head coach Adam Zakos talked about his team's depth, its commitment to defense, and improving mentally.
All those boxes were checked in a 51-32 nonconference victory against Racine Horlick on Saturday afternoon at the Fondy Fieldhouse.
"It's just good to start with a win," Fondy coach Adam Zakos said. "I thought our guys did a good job playing with energy. Racine Horlick's a scrappy team, athletic team. They had a couple runs that I thought could have been worse, but I thought our guys did a pretty good job putting the clamps down and keeping a decent lead that second half."
The Cardinals had a sizable second half lead in part because of a sequence of baskets to close the first half.
Fondy led 22-15 with 2 minutes left when point guard Joe Schorse weaved to the basket for a layup. The next time down he slashed down the lane and dropped off a pass to Brian Luteyn who finished to make it 26-15.The scene repeated itself on Fondy's next possession, before Max Schebel found Luteyn wide open under the basket for a buzzer beating layup to send the teams to the locker room with Fondy leading 30-17.
"It got us going," Schorse said of that flurry. "It got us a couple easy points, expanded the lead and brought a lot of excitement to the bench."
Schorse finished with 10 points and three assists. Schebel led all scorers with 12 points, Collin Pickart matched Schorse with 10, and sophomore Robert Windsor grabbed 10 rebounds.
Fondy finished with a slight rebounding edge, which pleased Zakos.
"That's the thing: we're not full of athletes, but we have guys who are aggressive and don't mind physical play," he said about his frontcourt of Schebel and Windsor. "We have to be a great rebounding team or else we're going to be pretty average."
The Rebels didn't provide the kind of size most FVA teams will, but they also possessed speed that's rare in the FVA. But with Schorse running the point, the Cardinals only committed 10 turnovers, compared to 22 for Horlick.
The junior said the key to handling that speed was having patience and not trying to be fancy.
"You just had to take care of the ball, change speeds a lot," he said. "Couldn't cross over in front of them or else they'd steal it. You had to change speeds and you could get by them."
Fond du Lac 51, Racine Horlick 32
|Racine Horlick||9||8||4||11||-- 32|
|Fond du Lac||16||14||3||18||-- 51|
Horlick -- McKinstry 8, Bouie 6, Shaw 2, Barry 4, Neal 2, Mosley 4, Woods 5, Bunch 1. 3-pointers: Woods. FTs: 5-8. Fouls: 19.
Fond du Lac -- Sosalla 4, Wendt 2, Schorse 10, Andrew 2, Pickart 10, Luteyn 6, Windsor 4, Armon 1, Schebel 12. 3-pointers: Schorse, Pickart. FTs: 11-18. Fouls: 12.