A reprieve was needed for the Labette Cardinals, who stomped Sterling JV 106-41 on Monday at home for its second win of the season.
The Cardinals scored the first 31 points of the game before Sterling JV lit up its side of the scoreboard.
Aaron Moore led the Cardinals with 18 points to go along with seven rebounds.
“He’s a really talented kid that can cover a lot of ground,” Labette head coach Jerrod Stanford said. “He’s versatile offensively. Tonight, he was more assertive. He’s making strides every day.”
Armond Williams added 16 points off the bench for Labette.
As a team, Labette shot 49% from the field and forced a whopping 38 turnovers.
“We’ve got to do our things right,” Stanford said. “The level of intensity and physicality, particularly on defense, has to be done right. We haven’t done well to start. So tonight, we didn’t want to play the score.”
Monday’s blowout was a showcase of Labette’s new system of high-octane play on both sides of the ball.
“We’re learning a lot about how to coach it and be ourselves,” Stanford said. “We’re not just going to be Grinnell. There’s what a book says to do, but there’s what our players can do. It’s a constant adjustment and we keep evolving. We’ve had some bad losses because we’re not doing what we’re supposed to do.”
Both of Labette’s wins have come against JV opponents, while four of Labette’s five losses are to Division I opponents.
“We’re improving,” Stanford said. “It doesn’t get any easier. We’ve got four games in seven days coming out of Thanksgiving break headed into finals. It’s going to be a trying time for us. But as a coach, I couldn’t play this type of game nine times.
“Go look at our league. There’s a lot of teams that may have only played two JUCOs so far. I’m not going to knock their philosophy. But we have to be tested all the time. And we can’t fall in love with fool’s gold.”
Labette’s two top threats, All-American Bryson Dennis and perennial post player Mohamad Diallo, sat nearly the entirety of the second half.
“How stupid would I be to get our All-American guard and a Division I post player hurt in a game like that? That would be one of those things,” Stanford said.
Labette faces Seminole State at home on Black Friday.
Labette 106, Sterling JV 41
Labette: 60 46 — 106
Sterling JV: 18 23 — 41
Labette: Bryson Dennis 7, Mohamad Diallo 11, Kawasaki Ricks 7, Tyler Cauley 13, Ignatius Patt 3, Armand Williams 16, Uriah Logan 6, Nickhai Howard 12, Brandon Taylor 5, Aaron Moore 18, Pierce Thomas 8
Sterling JV: Jackson 6, Brown 4, Match 8, Lowack 4, Davis 11, Dozier 8