ERIE — Kevin Loy led the Tigers with 21 points and was one of four players in double figures in their 71-58 win over the Fort Morgan Mustangs on Thursday night — their second league win and fifth in a row overall.
"I loved the effort we had in the first half and how they compete together," Erie coach Scott Melin said. "They were playing for each other. We lost a little bit of that in the second half, so we talked about going out and playing our game (after the game)."
Loy put the team up in the first quarter with a 3-pointer and finished with 14 points in the first half, better his season average in the first 16 minutes of play. The sophomore added to his total with seven points in the second half and scored in a variety of ways, from attacking the rim and offensive rebounds inside to jump shots from behind the arc.
As much as Melin enjoyed seeing his leader scorer put up points, he talked at length on his unselfish play in finding open teammates and kicking out to them with passes at the right time.
"He was aggressive getting to the basket, but he also knows when he needs to kick it out when he doesn't have the lane," Melin said. "He's seeing the floor well and getting his teammates involved just as much as he is getting to the rim."
Erie took a 17-8 lead in the first quarter and saw it grow in the second behind a defense that started to get stops and find ways to transition quickly to the other end. The lead would go up to 19 before the half and the Tigers led by more than 25 points at one point in the second half, though they did allow a run in the fourth that cut their lead back to 13.
Ethyn Tyson hit three shots from behind the arc as he finished with 12 points, Jordan Nguyen had 11 and Kael Lucero finished with 10 for the Tigers.
Melin and his team will face a top-10 team on the road in the Holy Family Tigers (6-2) next Thursday as Tri-Valley League play hits full swing following the winter break.
"We have to continue working hard and not being satisfied with what we've done," Melin said. "We have a young team going out and getting it every single game, competing until the end of it and fighting every single time."
Erie 71, Fort Morgan 58
At Erie High School
FORT MORGAN (3-5, 0-2)
Adam Cardona 5 4-7 14, Isaac Linker 5 0-0 11, Nick Norris 4 3-4 11, Jacob Ortega 2 0-0 5, Devin Mussman 2 0-0 5, Caden Edson 2 0-2 4, David Sarinana 2 0-0 4, Simon Graff 1 0-0 2, Andres DubraErie y 1 0-0 2.
ERIE (6-3, 2-0)
Kevin Loy 8 3-4 21, Ethyn Tyson 4 1-3 12, Jordan Nguyen 3 5-5 11, Kael Lucero 4 2-3 10, Tristan Rademacher 2 0-0 6, Kayan Hargrave 2 2-2 6, Seth Alexander 0 3-4 3, Cole Rademacher 1 0-1 2.
Score by quarters:Fort Morgan 9 10 16 23 — 58
3-point field goals — Fort Morgan (3): Ortega, Mussman, Linker; Erie (7): Tyson 3, Loy 2, T. Rademacher 2. Total fouls — Fort Morgan 18, Erie 17.