An 11-3 run helped key Ames to a season-opening victory on Tuesday night.
It started on the defensive end, but it certainly finished on the offensive side for the Ames boys’ basketball team.
The Little Cyclones turned defense into offense to turn a small advantage into a big one in an eventual 58-32 season-opening win Tuesday night against Des Moines Roosevelt.
Ames (1-0) led by three at halftime, but used an 11-3 run to start the third quarter to quickly run that to double-digits.
“It was the defense, honestly,” Ames senior Joe Evans said. “We came into halftime knowing they were getting too many good looks.
“We came out (of halftime) with a bounce in our step and just wanted to push it down their throats.”
The Little Cyclones finished the third quarter up 13 and quickly pushed it to 21 when Evans scored 10-straight points en route to a career-high 29 points.
“All of my teammates, when we were in the high-low,” Evans said, “they were so good.”
It was that high-low game that helped facilitate Ames’ run.
“It was better than I expected,” Ames coach Vance Downs said. “We hadn’t really executed it well in the preseason.”
But it was Ames’ ability to shut down the Roughriders (0-1) that really made the difference as they managed 15 second-half points to Ames’ 38.
“We continued to guard really well,” Downs said. “(Roosevelt) is good, they’re well-coached. We didn’t know if we’d be able to get that separation. We just wanted to play to the matchups.”
Early on, it appeared the Little Cyclones would be able to make quick work of the Roughriders. Ames started with a 5-0 after a bucket from Jappanah Kellogg and a three from Evans and held Roosevelt without a point from nearly half of the first quarter.
Ames finished the first frame on a 6-0 run to go into the second quarter up 11-3, but couldn’t gain further distance from the Roughriders.
Roosevelt used a 7-2 spurt over the first three-and-a-half minutes to start the second to pull within three, 13-10. Ames pushed it back to six after a 3-pointer from Carter Mumm, but Roosevelt battled back to head into halftime just down three, 20-17.
Roosevelt senior Mhiyu Thomas was the sole source of offense in the early goings for the Roughriders as he scored the team’s first seven points. It took over 11 minutes before another Roughrider scored, when Ethan Shafer netted an and-one nearly midway through the second quarter.
But Roosevelt’s offense stalled for big portions of the second half, allowing Ames to begin the year with a victory.
“Any time you can get a win in your first game, especially at home, it’s a real positive,” Downs said. “These kids have had 22 really hard practices (before the first game), so it’s good for them to get a rewarding feeling.”
Chuol Chuol had seven points for the Little Cyclones while Carter Mumm and Eric Steyer both had six. Thomas had a team-high 14 for Roosevelt.
Up next for Ames is the first road trip of the season when they play Johnston at 7:45 p.m. on Friday.
Ames 58, Des Moines Roosevelt 32
Ames 11 9 18 20 — 58
Roosevelt 3 14 8 7 — 32
Ames — Joe Evans 29, Carter Mumm 6, Eric Steyer 6, Chuol Chuol 7, Jappanah Kellogg 4, Earl Shedd 2, Tron Smith Jr. 2, A.J. Seibert 2.
Roosevelt — Mhiyu Thomas 14, Ethan Shafer 9, Sundiata Edwards 6, Landon Ingle 3.