Argos succeeds against both NM’s zone, man, wins by 56
Dragon double figure scorers: Richard 24, Morris 23, Stults 11, Brady 10
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
ARGOS –- The North Miami boys basketball team played a zone defense in the first half against host Argos at Phil Weybright Gymnasium Tuesday.
They played a man-to-man defense in the second half.
The Dragons seemed to figure both out.
Michael Richard scored 24 points to lead four players in double figures as Argos rolled to an 81-25 win.
Sophomore J.J. Morris added 23 points, Jake Stults had 11, and reserve Kayden Brady had 10 for Argos, who won their third straight game to improve to 7-3.
“I thought we were a little lethargic at the very beginning, and then they got it rolling after about the two-minute mark,” Argos coach Gordon Mosson said. “It was nice to see everybody get involved. I think it was a matter of all five players on the court just kind of picked up their intensity a little bit, especially at the defensive end. They took it upon themselves to just play harder.”
Braden Burns led North Miami (2-9) with seven points. Keagan Donaldson and Parker Johnson had six points each.
Already leading 42-13 at halftime, Morris scored as many points as the entire North Miami team (nine) in the third quarter, and he did it a variety of ways. He hit a post banker, dropped in a 3-pointer, scored on a drive along the right baseline and swooped in and scored on a finger roll.
Morris said he would travel to Plymouth for private workouts with a trainer during the offseason to get better. He said he could feel it in his “athleticism, jumping, speed and first step.”
“All of it, coach says,” Morris said with a laugh when asked what he had worked on since last season. “Mostly physicality. I was pretty weak last year, so trying to put on some muscle and trying to play at a higher level.”
Argos then went on a 17-0 run in the fourth quarter.
Argos also got 18 bench points, including four each from Caden Nifong and senior Zak Heiman.
For the season, Argos is averaging 52.7 points per game, which is a 2.3-point improvement on last year’s team. That’s noteworthy as the Dragons lost Sam Manikowski, Owen Nifong, Caleb Ellis and Colin O’Dell to graduation. Those four players combined for over 2,100 career points in an Argos uniform.
“We’re a really young team,” Morris said. “We started off really strong. We were playing some tough teams. It got a little bumpy there about the fourth or fifth game, and Coach had us working really hard in practice, and we’ve started to go on the uphill. We’ve had guys step up like Mike Richard, Ted Redinger and Jake Stults. We’re all just trying to play as a team and fill in some of those spots that left last year.”
Said Mosson: “We hit some nice shots. I don’t think we got North Miami’s best game. But we did enough. It was a total team win. Everybody contributed.
“That’s probably the most consistent we’ve played all year.”
Junior center Dylan Kindig did not play. Mosson said that Kindig’s absence was “COVID related” but added that Kindig does not have COVID. He is expected back for practice Thursday.
O-D is a sectional rival. They have as many wins this year as they did all of last year (four). Argos has knocked the Bobcats out of the sectional each of the last two years. “He’s going to be a handful,” Mosson said of O-D guard Gavin Sibo. “(Dylan)Murphy is a handful. (Layne) Fisher is a handful. They have good quickness. They play hard. That’s the number one thing is that Larry (Sennert) has them playing hard. … You can just see how their defense has improved over the last year-plus.”
Argos 81, North Miami 25
NORTH MIAMI (25) (2-9)
Landen Hunt 0 1-2 1, Alex Masters 1 0-0 2, Parker Johnson 3 0-1 6, Braden Burns 3 1-2 7, Keagan Donaldson 3 0-2 6, Dolan Blakely 0 0-0 0, Trevor Simons 1 0-0 2, Seth Ireland 0 1-2 1
TEAM: 11 3-9 25
ARGOS (81) (7-3)
Michael Richard 8 6-7 24, Jake Stults 3 4-6 11, Teddy Redinger 2 1-1 5, Sean Richard 0 0-0 0, J.J. Morris 11 0-0 23, Caden Nifong 1 2-2 4, Kayden Brady 4 0-0 10, Zak Heiman 2 0-0 4
TEAM: 31 13-16 81
Three-point field goals:
North Miami 0,
Argos 6 (M. Richard 2, Brady 2, Morris, Stults)
Total fouls: North Miami 13, Argos 13
Score by quarters
North Miami 4 9 9 3 – 25
Argos 16 26 18 21 – 81