Corinth, ME-- The Penquis Patriots boys basketball team came into Friday evening with an emphasis on playing better in the first quarter.
The Patriots did just that as they went on a 25-0 run to start the game and cruised to an 81-34 victory over the Central Red Devils.
Penquis struggled early in their 79-44 victory over Mattanawcook on Wednesday.
"We have not started games well. To get off to a good start was a point of emphasis for us tonight,"Penquis coach Tony Hamlin said. "We only scored four points in the first quarter at Lincoln."
Penquis junior guard Trevor Lyford added, "We need to credit coach for this one. The last couple of games we did not come out and get after it like we should. Coach did a great job at practice getting us ready to play."
Lyford scored a game high 24 points on 11-15 shooting. He also recorded four rebounds, four assists, two steals and one block.
Hamlin said, "He (Lyford) is starting play like the way he should be playing."
Isaiah Bess scored 15 of his 19 points in the second quarter. Bess also recorded four rebounds, three assists two steals and one block.
Tyler Pellitier put in 14 points on 7-9 shooting for the Patriots. He also had three rebounds, three steals and three assists.
Pellitier is a key in the Patriots strong defensive attack.
"I need to give Tyler Pellitier a ton of credit. He is the heart and soul of our defense,"Lyford said. "He is tough. He brought the toughness tonight and we played decent."
Hamlin added, "Tyler (Pellitier) is a tough kid. He is hard nosed kid. He can get to the rim and put it in."
The Patriots also got offensive production from Cody Herbest. He scored eight points on 3-5 shooting including 2-2 from three point range.
"If you ask every single kid on this team who is the second best shooter. A lot of them will say Cody Herbest. I am telling you, he is a great shooter," Lyford said. "It is a confidence thing with him. We are going to be tough if he shoots the ball like he did today."
Hamlin added, "That is big. He (Herbest) also stepped up at Lincoln. He is probably as good of a shooter as Trevor (Lyford) and Isaiah (Bess). He just doesn't shoot it."
Penquis (7-0) will most likely be without one of their top guns when they host Dexter on Monday. Bess got called for two technical fouls. One was on a first quarter dunk.
The second came after an offensive foul in the third quarter. MPA rule states that if a player or coach gets two technical fouls in a game they are to miss one game.
Hamlin said, "I think Isaiah is going to have to sit the next game."
Penquis forced 26 turnovers and only turned the ball over six times themselves. The Patriots shot 35-59 (59.3) for the game including 21-29 (72.4) in the first half.
Justin Larry and Jason Durant scored four points each for the Patriots. Durant also had three steals and two assists.
Colton Larrabee and Cody Larrabee each scored three points on 1 three point shot each. George Cowing recorded two points, three rebounds and one steal.
Freshman Kyle Ham led the Red Devils with 13 points, five rebounds and one steal. Brady Bubar chipped in with eight points and three rebounds.
Brandon Buzzell added five points, five rebounds and one steal. Ben Shearstone scored four points. Grant Poulin and Brian Vargas added two points each.
Central (3-5) will host Mattanawcook on Monday. The Red Devils defeated the Lynz in the season opener on December 7th.