(New Buffalo, MI) - Trailing by seven points early, the New Buffalo High School boys’ basketball squad turned on the jets Friday night to overwhelm a talented Michigan Lutheran team 102 to 50.
Head Coach Nate Tripp said his players for the first time this season, especially during the second half, exhibited the brand of killer instinct, fast-paced basketball on both sides of the court that he’s been pushing them to achieve.
“I’m not trying to run up the score on anybody. I’m trying to instill that mentality in them that we got to play hard and we can’t let up no matter the score. No matter the opponent,” he said.
The goal for the defending District 4 champions with five returning starters is making a run for the Class D state title. The Bison lost in the first round of the regionals last year.
“We got a mission. We’re going to complete it this year,” said senior guard Jeremiah Mitchell.
New Buffalo (6-0) has already defeated other high-quality opponents like Class A Sturgis, South Bend Career Academy, and River Valley.
The hot shooting of Michigan Lutheran leading 11-4 mid-way through the first quarter turned cold when the speedy Bison turned up the tempo.
A flurry of lay-ups and jump shots came before senior Mark Shaw nailed a three-point shot from half court at the first-quarter buzzer to give the Bison a 12-point advantage.
The Titans trailing by 16 points, pulled to within nine points late in the second quarter. Still, another scoring rampage that included buckets from Mitchell and Anthony Lijewski gave New Buffalo a 20-point lead at halftime.
The Bison quickly opened a 31-point lead with many buckets coming off steals and beyond the three-point by Kaden Parmley, whose hot long-range shooting heated up even more in the fourth quarter.
Parmley led all scorers with 31-points. Mitchell and Shaw scored 23 and 20-points, respectively, while 6’ 9” center Zack Forker contributed 15 points. Lijewski added 13 points.
Mitchell put the Bison over the 100-point mark by nailing a three-point shot in the final seconds of the game, much of the delight of the roaring home crowd. This year, Mitchell has often rallied the Bison from his ability to run the court, pass, steal, and hit shots from all distances.
“I worked on my game and we all worked as a team. It’s all because of my teammates giving me the ball and running the system. Playing our brand of basketball,” he said.