From the opening tip, Atlantic’s offense was in a groove against the Sandcrabs.
The Sharks scored the first 11 points of the game, including a pull-up 3-pointer by forward and team captain Kevin Beans on the game’s first possession.
In the second quarter, 6-foot-4 forward Dewarren Bolden threw down a pair of dunks, including a rim-shattering alley-oop that was thrown off the backboard by his frontcourt teammate Anterrion Harrison.
The Sharks led Seabreeze by 12 points at halftime, but in the blink of an eye, that lead grew: first to 15, then 20, and by the end of the game, 30.
Atlantic (13-2) steamrolled the Sandcrabs 99-69 on the night of Wednesday, Jan. 10, at Atlantic High School.
Sharks head coach David Howard wasn’t impressed by his team’s victory, though.
He was furious.
“I don’t really look at the score,” Howard said. “All I see are mistakes.”
Late closeouts to shooters, poor defensive rotations, missed assignments.
Howard’s list is long for what the Sharks need to improve upon throughout this season.
During the first half on Wednesday night, the Sandcrabs cut the Sharks’ lead to seven points on three separate occasions and cut the lead to 10 in the second half behind a barrage of triples. Seabreeze nailed 12 3-pointers in total.
“We were being lazy,” Howard said. “When you get lazy on defense, that’s what can cause you to lose a close basketball game. When we have games like this, I need to make sure that we stay focused and keep doing the little things right.”
Sophomore guard Jordan Sears said the effort to do the “little things” starts in practice.
“We’ve just got to push each other more during practices. More than what we’ve been doing,” he said. “If we’re not sharp, then we’re not ready to play. Our other games, when we came in sharp, mentally ready, we went out there and got the W. That’s what we’ve got to continue to do.”
Regardless, the outcome of victory was never in doubt for the Sharks. The lopsided score gave Howard a chance to give every person on the team playing time.
The starters were smiling and laughing, cheering on their teammates from the bench throughout the entire fourth quarter.
“It was a fun game for them,” Howard said. “It was a stressful one for me.”