The Etowah boys opened its basketball season with a resounding 71-36 win over Creekview on Friday.
The Eagles jumped out to a 23-4 start as the offense picked up right where it left off last season.
Brandon Rechsteiner led Etowah with 15 points in the game. Mason Etter followed closely with 13 points and three made 3-point shots. Creekview’s leading scorer was Trent Jackson, who had a game-high 28 points.
“We scored a lot of points,” Etowah coach Jason Dasinger said. “Our guys did a nice job creating opportunities in the half-court and transition into some easy baskets. Defensively, we were pretty good, and that led to some easy baskets.”
Etowah had 34 points in transition at halftime as solid defense opened the door for some easier scores. The Eagles showed plenty of reason for encouragement on Friday as it clicked on all cylinders against a shorthanded Creekview team.
“We were a young team last year,” Dasinger said. “One thing I do not have to worry about with these guys is playing hard. They always play hard and do what they are supposed to. We gave them the opportunity to lead us on Friday. In the pregame, we said if you want to be as good as you think you are, it has to come internally.”
On Saturday, River Ridge became the second county team to start the season 1-0. It defeated Woodstock 75-51 behind a massive game from junior David Hansraj. The Knights were in control from the beginning and kept a comfortable lead throughout.
“We outscored them every quarter,” River Ridge coach Aaron Darling said. “Getting the monkey off your back with that first win was a good feeling. It was nice seeing everything we have been working and improving on over the last year pay off in the first game.”
After averaging only nine points per game last season, Hansraj scored 32 points in River Ridge’s 24-point victory over the Wolverines. The two Knights’ big men also made an impact as scorers. Jared Russo scored 12 points, followed by Braden Pierce with 11. Russo looks to build off his near double-double average last season at 13 points and nine rebounds.
“We were bigger, so we pounded it inside a lot,” Darling said. “David Hansraj went off and took over the game. He really sparked it.”
Etowah and River Ridge will meet on Tuesday, Nov. 16, on Etowah’s home court for an early-season test.
On the girls’ side, Creekview took down Etowah 41-25 on Friday. Mackenzi Salas started her senior year in style with an impressive stat line. Salas recorded a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds. She also played well on the defensive end, recording four steals.
Senior Abby Martin also started the season strong with eight points, three rebounds and two steals. Creekview stifled the Etowah offense as four players recorded at least two steals. The Lady Grizzlies’ next game is on Tuesday, Nov. 16, against Woodstock.