Huge first quarter paces Bloomfield in conference win over Richland
ESSEX -- Moving past the .500 mark on the season on Friday, the Bloomfield Wildcats took a 21-point lead into the half against the Richland Rebels before holding on for a 74-41 win.
"The second half I kind of thought we went through the motions a little bit at times," Bloomfield head coach Jason Karnes said. "But overall I think after the game we had Tuesday against Twin Rivers and tonight we're heading in the right direction.
"The last couple of games we've played with a little bit of a rhythm offensively and took care of the basketball a little bit better."
After coming out to a 7-7 tie early in the contest, the Wildcats (3-2) broke things open when they closed out the first quarter with a monster 19-0 run to leave the Rebels (0-4) in the rearview.
Spreading out the offense during the frame, Bloomfield got a basket from a total of seven different players with Caleb Baker and Brett Ruch leading the way with six points each.
Though the Rebels picked up the pace in the second quarter, scoring 19 points in the frame, they proved unable to make up for their sluggish start, trailing 47-26 at the half.
"It was 7-7 there in the first quarter and we had this lull that's bit us a couple of times this season," Richland head coach David Reynolds said. "They went on that 19-0 run and kind of put us away. After that I thought our kids responded, we came out and played well after that."
Still up 19 points late in the third quarter, Bloomfield started extending its lead once again by scoring eight straight point in the final 1:30 of the frame to go up 57-32.
Bookending the rally, Logan Cowart hit a pair of free throws and a basket in the paint while Thomas Forkum stole the ball before going on to score two straight buckets in the middle of the run.
Opening up the fourth, it was a 3-pointer from Forkum from the right side of the arc that kicked in the turbo clock, which came in in and out of effect the entire fourth quarter as the Wildcats stayed around a 30-point lead.
"We played hard," Reynolds said. "Bloomfield is a pretty good team and anytime you're as young as we are you just want to come out and play well.
"Anytime you have 6-10 kid (like Richard Forshee) in the middle at this level, that's their main priority, but I though our guards took care of the basketball at times and at times struggled. For the most part I'm coming out satisfied."
Leading the way for Richland, Forshee had 15 points on the night while Marcus Grayson finished closed behind with 13, including nine in the first half.
The only other two to score for the Rebels where Nick Daniels and Adam Lane, who had seven and six points respectively.
"Marcus, he missed a some shots," said Reynolds. "But he's so athletic he just needs to get to the rim and anytime you have some athletic guards it's going to open up Richard in the middle and he played well."
Leading Bloomfield seven scorers, Ruch and Forkum had 12 points each with Cowart contributing 11. Zac Goode had nine points while Baker and Austin Cooper finished with eight apiece.
After a 1-2 start, Bloomfield had now posted back-to-back wins against Twin Rivers and now Richland.
"I think these last two games are a step in the right direction," Karnes said. "We left the Bernie Tournament last week not very pleased with the way we played or executed. I thought we defended pretty well, but we didn't take care of the ball and threw it all over the place. Offensively we struggled real bad last week.
"These last two games have been good for us. We've got in a little bit of rhythm and I think when we have rhythm and run our stuff we can be a good offensive team because I think we have some weapons and we have some kids that can do some different things."
BLOOMFIELD (74) -- Caleb Baker 8, Brett Ruch 12, Austin Williamson 2, Logan Cowart 11, Tom Sanders 8, Adam Vandiver 4, Austin Cooper 8. Zac Goode 9, Thomas Forkum 12. FG 29, FT 7-14, F 22. (3-pointers: Baker 2, Cowart 1, Goode 2, Forkum 1. Fouled out: none.)
RICHLAND (41) -- Skyler Harper 7, Marcus Grayson 13, Richard Forshee 15, Adam Lane 6. FG 14, FT 11-18, F 12. (3-pointers: Harper 1, Grayson 1. Fouled out: none.)