WHEELING — After losing a game to a weather cancelation on Monday, Linsly boys basketball coach Dave Wojcik was worried that his team might come out a little flat in their game against Trinity Christian Wednesday evening.
The exact opposite happened, however, as the Cadets (7-3) exploded out of the gates playing aggressive defense and high-tempo offense to easily put away the visiting Warriors (2-7) 82-32.
“I thought we had good energy tonight,” Wojcik said after the game. “It could have been a let down a little bit but we came out with energy and played really aggressively so I’m really pleased.”
The Cadets deployed a full-court press defense in the first quarter that gave the visitors fits. Wojcik said he specifically wanted the team to be more aggressive in the beginning for they could have a good start to the game.
“We were really in tune early and that was the key,” he said. “We didn’t want to give them confidence early and tried to take them out of their things and our guys did a good job with that.”
Several times in the first half, a Linsly defender would get a hand on a pass or poke away a ball that would result in an easy layup in transition.
“Our defense created our offense a little bit tonight,” Wojcik said. “On a missed shot, we got out there and ran a little bit, pitched the ball ahead and good things happened for us.”
Linsly led 17-6 after the first quarter and 35-14 at halftime. Caleb Murray (eight points) and Nathan Coleman (six) led the team’s scoring in the first half.
In the second half, the Cadets settled back into a zone defense and continued to play well. Trinity was held to just one field goal in the third quarter, a Hayden Lynch 3-pointer.
On the other end, Linsly freshman Will Taylor had a coming out party after halftime.
Taylor scored 12 points in the third quarter and six in the fourth to finish with a game-high 23.
“He just keeps getting better as a freshman,” Wojcik said. “He’s gaining more and more confidence as he plays and he’s gonna be a hell of a player for four years.”
Wojcik thought Taylor’s most impressive moment came at the end of the third, when he ran away from a Trinity defender for a fast break layup.
“(Taylor) held the guy on his hip and then just exploded to the basket,” Wojcik said. “That’s a big-time play and most people wouldn’t even recognize it.”
Taylor’s outburst included a trio of second-half 3-pointers.
Murray finished second on the team with 15 points. Anderson (nine) and Coleman (eight) were other top contributors.
Chayce Adams and Lynch paced Trinity with six points apiece.
Linsly will be back in action on Friday when 8-2 Winfield comes to town. Head coach of the Generals is Chris Stephens, who played his high school ball under Wojcik when the latter was coaching at Wheeling Central.