Neuqua Valley got off to a great start, scoring the first 13 points in Monday’s third-place game versus Prosser in the 48th East Aurora Holiday Tournament.
The Wildcats were even more impressive at the beginning of the second half, scoring 16 consecutive points before the Falcons could find the bottom of the net.
The dynamite starts allowed Neuqua Valley to cruise to an 80-44 victory.
Junior Connor Raridon led three scorers in double figures for the Wildcats with 19 points, 13 that came when the Wildcats outscored the Falcons, 27-3, in the first quarter.
“It doesn’t matter who it is (we’re playing), anytime we step on the court we have to give it our all,” Raridon said. “We did that and we came out on top tonight.”
Neuqua Valley (11-3) may have been disappointed that a loss to Geneva on Saturday kept it from playing in the title game, but it didn’t appear to slow the Wildcats, who outrebounded the Falcons, 43-31.
“It’s disappointing that we weren’t in the first place game, but we have to come out and play this game because all games matter,” Wildcats senior Josh Piotrowski said. “Just coming out we wanted to get a win, that’s our goal every time we step on the floor and it doesn’t matter what place it’s for.”
Prosser (8-7) found itself behind 45-23 at halftime and then 61-23 less than three minutes into the third quarter as Neuqua Valley coach Todd Sutton installed a press to get some energy from his players.
“We needed a little wake-up call because we had no energy whatsoever,” Sutton said. “We wanted to get a little energy and pick it up a little bit. It got our guys moving. That was good, that was nice.”
Elijah Robertson, Demond George, Raridon and Piotrowski (18 points) all got easy lay-ups off turnovers to start the third quarter.
Jacob Eminger added 10 points and Zach Incaudo collected eight rebounds for Neuqua Valley, while its bench combined for 24 points and 15 rebounds.
“It was nice to really open it up in the second half,” Piotrowski said. “It’s always nice to get the other guys in who usually don’t get in as much playing time.”
Kaeli Lewis Butler paced the Falcons with 16 points and 8 rebounds and Darnell Lathem added 13 points.