TUPPER LAKE - The Tupper Lake boys basketball team rolled to a 69-45 Northern Athletic Conference win over Norwood-Norfolk Tuesday night.
Mitch Keniston scored 21 of his game-high 32 points in the first half to help the Lumberjacks take control of the game early.
"He played a heck of a game," Norwood-Norfolk coach Nate Plantz said. "We struggled with him all game. We kept throwing four or five different looks at him, just trying to shut him down, but he always found a way to get open."
Tupper Lake center Mitch Keniston goes hard to the basket during Tuesday night’s home game against Norwood-Norfolk. Keniston led all scorers with 32 points.
(Enterprise photo — Mike Lynch)
The Lumberjacks took control of the game right from the start, scoring eight of the game's first 10 points. All of those came on layups, which became a theme of the game. Tupper Lake created a lot of easy shots in transition and by hitting the offensive glass.
In fact, Keniston's first six points were all from offensive rebounds. The other points for the Lumberjacks during the opening 8-2 surge came when Anson Gagnier stole the ball and drove for a layup. Gagnier finished with 11 points in the game.
"I thought our transition game was really good tonight," Lumberjacks coach Steve Skiff said. "I thought we really pushed the ball up the floor very well, scored a lot of easy baskets in transition. I thought we're a little quicker than they are. Our gameplan was to really get it out and push it up the court because I knew man for man we had a big advantage speed-wise."
With the win, Tupper Lake improved to 2-1 on the season. The Flyers fell to 0-3. The teams have faced each other twice this season with Tupper Lake winning both North Division matchups.
The Flyers were led by Brandon Sawyer with 11 points. Don Devine and Kyle Martens pitched in with 10 apiece.
Keniston said the key to the game was working hard, especially on defense.
"We have a young team this year, so we're trying to get ourself set up for future years," Keniston said. "We're just going to work as hard as we can in practice and try to win games this season."
Tupper Lake travels to play Hermon-DeKalb on Saturday at 12:30 p.m.
Lumberjack girls win
The Tupper Lake girls basketball team won 37-24 over Norwood-Norfolk in a conference game Tuesday evening.
"Our key was defensive pressure on them," said Lumberjacks coach Jenn Cook. "I knew they were young - just as young as we are - so I wanted to make sure we put a little pressure on them, (to) make them work. Our defensive pressure helped create offensive opportunities at the other end."
The pressure was applied right from the start as the Lumberjacks jumped out to a 12-1 lead after one quarter of play.
"To start the game, Tupper definitely started the game hungry," Norwood coach Becky Burns said. "They were aggressive. My girls were more timid, but as the game went on we started to get more hungry for the ball and go after that."
The Lumberjacks were led by junior guard Katie Stuart, who had a game-high 23 points. She had five points in the opening stanza and nine in the second as the Lumberjacks asserted themselves.
Cook said that the team needs Stuart to step up big this year because the team is inexperienced. They lost seven seniors from last season to graduation, and Stuart, a junior, is the only returning starter.
"This has been the first time (Stuart got aggressive) and that gets a win," Cook said. "If she plays a little more aggressive, we have an opportunity to be in games."
Hannah Seguin and McKenzie McCormick each scored eight points to lead the Flyers.
Tupper Lake is now 1-2 and returns to action Thursday at home against Saranac Lake at 5:30 p.m.