Cheyenne Mountain alternated hot hands throughout its home opener against Doherty on Friday. The Spartans had a hard enough time finding one.
Ghassan Nehme scored 10 of his 15 points in the first quarter, then Darrin Haynes nailed three 3-pointers in the second as the Indians (3-0) built a big lead early and cruised to a 64-40 victory.
Later, Nathan Resty scored seven of his 13 points in the third quarter as the Indians poured it on, leading by as many as 38.
“We have a lot of guys who can do a lot of things,” said Indians senior Cuyler Dewar, who scored six of his nine points in the second quarter. “Ghassan is a superstar player. He’s amazing. But having other threats around him is very nice.”
Haynes joined Nehme with 15 points, and the Indians shot better than 60 percent from the field and hit 8-of-14 3-pointers, including seven in the first half.
“It’s always good to feel your shot at the beginning,” Nehme said. “My team was creating and getting me the ball, and things were falling in place and we came out strong.”
Meanwhile, Doherty (3-2) shot just 31 percent from the field, missed 12 free throws and committed 21 turnovers. A miserable first half in which it managed just six baskets – the Spartans trailed 36-16 – was followed by a third quarter that saw the Spartans hit their only outside shot in the closing seconds.
“We’ve known since the beginning of the summer that it was going to be tough at times to score,” Spartans second-year coach James Lane said. “But at the same time, our strength is making stuff happen off the glass and playing defense, and we’re not playing to our strengths right now. We’ve got to get better.”
Both teams struggled to get settled, and Doherty led 6-5 halfway through the first quarter. Then Nehme hit a long jumper from the right wing, a 3-pointer from the top of the key and another 3-pointer from the left side, all part of an 11-3 run to end the quarter.
Then Haynes heated up for Cheyenne Mountain, hitting consecutive 3-pointers from the right side in a 10-0 run to start the second quarter, extending the advantage to 26-9 with 4:23 left before halftime.
Resty added to a near-perfect third quarter for the Indians as they went 8 for 10 from the field and made all four free throws as the lead swelled to 57-22.
Doherty finally got going in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Indians 18-7. Spartans sophomore Shane Fox scored a team-high 11 points to go with four rebounds, two steals and two assists.
“In the end, we had intensity, but we didn’t start with it,” Fox said. “It’s tough when they’re knocking down shots, but we have to do a better job contesting them and playing better defense.”