Spring Hill head coach Dee Lewis liked the way the Panthers opened what promises to be a tough district race on Tuesday afternoon.
It was pretty solid from the jump.
Spring Hill raced to a big lead and rolled from there in an 84-63 win over Bullard to open District 16-4A action at Panther Gymnasium.
With the win, Spring Hill bumps their season record to 12-4.
“That was the message — energy, effort and leadership,” Lewis said. “Bullard has been in every game they’ve played so far so we had to do those things for 32 minutes.
“The kids played well and executed exactly how we wanted to today. We jumped out really quick and played well in the first quarter, really made a statement and didn’t look back.”
Lewis said there will be no looking back in 16-4A this season.
“We could be a district championship team or we can be at the house, this district is that tough and loaded,” he said. “We’ve got to play well every night and today was a good start.”
Aaron Collier turned in a 19-point, 12-rebound double-double for Spring Hill, who jumped to a 28-16 lead after the first quarter.
Tyrese Jones followed with 17 points, five rebounds and three assists. Kayden Miller connected on his first three 3-point attempts and finished with 12 points to go with six assists.
Curtis Crowe rounded our four players in double digits with 11 points off the bench for Spring Hill, joining Cameron Rhodes with eight points and four rebounds.
All five Spring Hill starters recorded an assist in the win with four recording more than one in a strong start. Spring Hill shot 12-of-15 overall from the floor with four 3-pointers — three from Miller — in the opening frame.
For Bullard, sophomore Owen Thompson turned in a game-high 20 points. Fellow sophomores Carter Brooks and Drake Kregg followed with 14 and 10 points, respectively. Trevor Adkins had nine points to go with six rebounds for Bullard.
Miller opened the afternoon with a three off an assist from Marshall Lipsey (6 points, 2 assists) and had two more in a 10-0 run from the Panthers late in the first quarter. Eight first-quarter shots from Spring Hill had an assist.
Bullard closed the gap to single digits once early in the second quarter before Jones went coast-to-coast off a steal and Miller connected again from deep. Meanwhile, Collier controlled the paint with a 12-point, six-rebound first half.
The big man got in on the assist action midway through the third quarter with a feed to Jones, who drained the three to put Spring Hill up by 20, 54-34, as they pulled away for good in the third.
Spring Hill travels to Henderson on Friday for a 2 p.m. tipoff.