NEW MADRID --
New Madrid County Central hammered Cape Central with a stellar defensive effort Friday, 70-30.
The Eagles jumped out to a 17-6 lead in the first quarter and never looked back, overwhelming the young Tigers with their speed and athleticism.
"Defensively, we did a good job," said NMCC coach Joby Holland. "I thought the boys worked real hard and gave a good effort."
NMCC's shooting was below average against Cape Central's zone, as the team scored most of its points on transition. It was the Eagles' belly-to-belly pressure and numerous steals in the passing lanes that led to the 40-point victory over the 4A school.
"We've got some good shooters, but they really didn't hit it tonight," said Holland. "I think we're doing a better job of moving the ball against (the zone) and driving gaps. We don't mind seeing the zone as much as we did at one time."
Dereke Tipler led all scorers with 21 points and had eight steals. Ronland Ranson scored 12 points with 14 rebounds, and Derrell Minner scored eight with 12 boards.
"They're hitting the boards well," said Holland of Ranson and Minner. "With their size, it's hard for a lot of teams to match up with them. They're being aggressive and taking the ball to the basket."
Brian Murph contributed eight points, shooting 4-of-6 from the field. Tyler Wagner hit two 3-pointers in the first half to finish with six points.
No Cape Central player finished in double figures. Will Johnson led the team with six points.
"We wanted to put as much pressure on (Cape Central) as we could," said Holland. "Our defense hasn't been where it needs to be, so we've been spending more time working on it. Maybe that's why we were a little rusty on offense, but I'm not sure. A lot of the credit for that goes to Cape Central for pressuring us."
Cape Central coach Derek McCord refused to comment after the game.
NMCC (11-1) will travel to Notre Dame on Tuesday. Cape Central (3-11) will host Mehlville on Friday.
NMCC won the junior varsity game, 54-40. Vaughn Shepard led the charge for the Eagles with 15 points, followed by Brian Williams with 14 and Edgar Givens with eight.