COAL CITY — It took Coal City 10 seconds to take its first lead of the season. Thirty-one minutes and 50 seconds later, the Coalers had their first blowout win.
In between, the outcome was rarely in doubt as the Coalers prevailed 55-28 in the varsity boys basketball season opener for both teams at the 2012 Coaler Turkey Tournament. They were ahead 14-5 by the end of the first quarter and 35-9 at halftime.
"We knew we had a great opportunity to come out with a lot of returning guys and three-year players and set the tone for the season," Coal City forward Nick Peters said after scoring a career-high 21 points and adding 10 rebounds. "I couldn't have told you the score would be what it was, but we felt we had the opportunity to take it to them."
A Brennen Shetina three-pointer was the first basket of the season for the Coalers, but from there, they scored exclusively on two-pointers and free throws. The short-range shooting paid off early, as Coal City was 14-for-30 from the field in the first half. GSW, meanwhile, suffered through a 4-for-28 half and a 13-for-51 night in coach Justin Stevenson's debut.
"I thought we had some open looks, including some easy ones, and missing us got us down and took us out of what we were looking to do," Stevenson said. "My hat's off to (the Coalers). We knew their gameplan would be to go inside, and we allowed them to do that with far too much success."
Coal City turned the ball over once in the entire first half.
"Our big thing is to take care of the ball," Coal City coach Brad Boresi said. "It's something we have struggled with the past two years with many of these same kids. It's good to see that we've made progress and that our hard work in taking care of the basketball may be paying off."
Shetina finished with 11 points and had two steals for the Coalers. They got six points and five rebounds from Lane Cowherd.
"Gardner had some uncharacteristic misses," Boresi said. "All summer, one of our focuses was on playing better man-to-man defense. That's something we haven't done well enough in the past, and it was the key coming into this year. One of our goals is to hold opponents under 40 points, but if we can hold them under 30, we'll certainly take that."
Tristan Noonan and Dalton Wright tied for the GSW team lead in points with 6, and Noonan added a team-high seven rebounds.