Mission Bay's Justin Moore squeezes between two Lincoln defenders during Mission Bay's victory over Lincoln High School Tuesday night 80-51.
Dennis Kane urged the Buccaneers to accelerate.
“I told them they’re a six-speed sports car that’s been cruising along on fourth speed this season,” the Mission Bay High basketball coach said. “That wasn’t going to get it done.”
Tuesday night, the Buccaneers heeded the message. On rebounds and turnovers, they repeatedly attacked in transition, building a double-digit lead in the second half.
Cushioned, Mission Bay clamped down on defense and eased past Lincoln, trouncing its Western League opponent 80-51 on the road.
Sophomore guard Justin Moore poured in a match-high 31 points on 10-of-14 shooting for the Buccaneers (6-3, 2-0), who opened league play with a 56-44 victory over Scripps Ranch at home last week.
In the opening quarter, the Hornets (9-4, 1-2) drained jumpers and 3-pointers to inch within two points of Mission Bay.
However, as the perimeter misses piled up, leaving Lincoln with an eight-point deficit in the second quarter, the Hornets crashed inside, where they were met by Mission Bay’s 6-foot-9 forward and rim protector Alex Wilbourn.
“(Alex) was definitely an issue for us,” Lincoln coach Jason Bryant said. “His presence in the paint caused some of our guys to hesitate in the lane. At his size, he’s very long, so our guys thought twice once they dribbled into the lane and saw him in front of them.”
A tower in the key, the Helix transfer blocked and altered the Hornets’ attempts as Mission Bay converted the contested balls and turnovers into a 10-2 run — consisting of transition layups and jumpers — to close the first half leading 38-25.
“That was pretty much the beginning of the end,” Bryant said.
From there, the Buccaneers abandoned their half-court offense and accelerated the tempo to finish off the Hornets, who trailed by double digits the remainder of the game.
“The top of the key is no man’s land,” Kane said. “We don’t want to spend any time there. You look at a high school shot chart and it’s all below the free throw line, so we wanted to push it and push it to score baskets.”