Except to leave the court at halftime or to counsel his team during a timeout, Olean basketball coach Jeff Anastasia didn't leave his seat on the bench at the Southwestern High School gym Thursday night.
In reality, he didn't have to.
From his vantage point, Anastasia had to like what he saw.
Southwestern’s Alek Peck drives around Olean’s Luke Hennessy during Thursday night’s Division 1 boys basketball game. See additional photos at cu.post-journal.com.
P-J photo by Scott Kindberg
Junior Wil Bathurst scored 21 points, senior Max Portlow had 14 and junior Nick Schmidt added 11 to carry the Huskies, the top-ranked small school in Western New York, to a 70-36 Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Athletic Association Division 1 victory over the Trojans.
The win improves Olean's record to 4-0.
If the Huskies, who return nearly their entire rotation from last year's team that made it to the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class B final four, continue to play like they did in the first half last night, they might not lose another regular-season game.
In a word, they were awesome.
Behind three 3-pointers from Schmidt, four silky-smooth drives to the hoop from Portlow and a layup and slam dunk from Bathurst, Olean raced to a 21-4 lead after about six minutes.
For the fans who turned out, they could have been watching a hoops clinic, and Sam Eckstrom, Olean's 6-foot-7 center, didn't even play as he was nursing what was described as a sore shoulder.
''They've played together for a long time,'' Anastasia said. ''They're very unselfish, they pass the ball and they look for one another. I got the ultimate compliment from the Maple Grove assistant (last weekend in the Olean Tournament). He said that what impressed him the most was our passing. That's been a really big thing.''
The second quarter was more of the same. Bathurst poured in 13 points and the Huskies' lead ballooned to 45-16 at intermission.
The Trojans (1-3) didn't quit in the second half - senior Alek Peck scored 13 of his game-high 23 points but Olean's overall strength was just too much to put a significant dent in the lead.
''Their transition game is better without (Eckstrom),'' Southwestern coach Andy Krenzer said. ''They get out and fly, but we have a hard time matching up (with or without Eckstrom in the lineup). ... There's not a lot they can't do.''
The Huskies were coming off a 76-73 victory over Canisius, the No. 2 large school in WNY, Tuesday night at the Monsignor Martin-ECIC Challenge. Olean led, 47-21, at halftime and had to withstand a huge Canisius rally in the second half.
There was no such comeback for the Trojans (1-3).
''Believe it or not, we did some things well, things we can build on,'' Krenzer said. ''I'm excited where we're going to go.''
NOTES: Senior Patrick Scholla and Bathurst had eight and six rebounds respectively, junior Luke Hennessy had five assists and Portlow added three steals for Olean.
Christian Gayton 1 0 2, Hennessy 2 0 4, Bathurst 9 2 21, Tarr 2 0 4, Schmidt 4 0 11, Ryan 1 0 3, Chris Gayton 3 0 6, Pfeiffer 0 0 0, Scholla 1 1 3, Connelly 1 0 2, Portlow 7 0 14, Totals 31 3 70.
Baglia 0 0 0, Greenlee 0 0 0, Peck 7 7 23, Pilling 0 0 0, Radack 2 0 4, Trathen 1 0 2, Gustafson 0 0 0, Hammond 0 0 0, Johnson 0 1 1, Moran 2 0 4, Rybicki 1 0 2, Schrope 0 0 0, Totals 13 8 36.
3-point goals-Bathurst, Schmidt 3, Ryan, Peck 2.
Olean24 21 13 12 - 70
Southwestern7 9 10 10 - 36