Plainfield East coach Branden Adkins knew that this three-game home stand over a week’s time could make or break his Bengals team in their quest to win conference.
Adkins’ Bengals did not disappoint.
Plainfield East held Plainfield North to a mere five points in the opening quarter, led 31-13 at the half and cruised to a 69-48 victory over the Tigers in Southwest Prairie action.
The victory gave Plainfield East (14-7, 8-2) a two-game conference lead over the Tigers, avenged an earlier loss to North and completed a perfect 3-0 mini-home stand.
“Just two weeks ago we were down a game but there is plenty of games left, this is not over,” Adkins said. “Defending our house is one of our last quarter goals.”
Myles Ward and Aaron Jordan each scored a team-high 17 points for East, while teammate Nick Novak added 16 points on 7-of-15 shooting. Trevor Stumpe scored a game-high 18 points (7-of-14 shooting) and Kevin Krieger added 12 for North.
“I thought that we did an outstanding job against them defensively,” Adkins said. “We through some stuff at them that they (Plainfield North) struggled with and then it was stop (Trevor) Stumpe by committee”.
Ward was aggressive and set a tone early for the Bengals connecting on a three-point play that gave East a 10-4 lead with 2:34 left in the first quarter. East led 13-5 after the first quarter with Ward having eight points.
“I challenged Myles to be a floor-leader out here tonight and he took to the challenge,” Adkins said. “He was tough, aggressive and distributed when we needed him to.”
‘We always start out slow and we wanted to come out fast today especially against our rival in North,” Ward said.
A Novak three-pointer extended the Bengals lead to 24-9 with 3:55 remaining in the first half with Jordan yet to scratch the scoresheet. Jordan’s first basket came with 3:15 left in the half that made the score 28-9.
Plainfield North (15-7, 6-4) had some wide-open good looks in the second quarter that just would not fall. North made just 11-of-29 shots in the first half.
“We didn’t move and cut to the basket offensively like we usually do,” North coach Robert Krahulik said. “The whole team just struggled tonight.”
After a huge block by Kyndell Battle on East’s Elyjah Goss, a Stumpe three-pointer cut the Bengals lead to 48-36 with 5:08 left in the game, however East responded with an 8-0 run that effectively put the game out of reach for good.