BRANDON — The Mount St. Joseph boys basketball team can overwhelm its opponents with its great mix of size and skill.
The Mounties did just that in their 66-45 win against county rival Otter Valley Friday night in the House of Noise.
MSJ provided its own noise with the how well it shot the basketball in the second and third quarters.
After starting the game on a 10-2 run, the Mounties gave up eight straight points to the Otters to tie the game.
Andre Prunty hit a late 3 to give MSJ a lead and the Mounties wouldn’t trail again.
That late 3 was a sign of things to come for Prunty. He took over the game in the second and third quarters and his team followed suit.
“(Andre) is a good teammate, a good leader,” said MSJ coach Chris Charbonneau. “I think early on he likes to defer to people to get them going, but then he says, ‘hey, it’s time to go.’”
It was go-time for Prunty all night long. On top of facilitating the offense, he scored a game-high 23 points to go with eight rebounds and three steals.
The Mounties dominated in the middle stretch of the game, outscoring Otter Valley 22-8 in the second and 21-9 in the third to open up a 29-point lead heading into the final frame.
“They sped us up in the first quarter and we played way better man-to-man defense in the second and that helped us in transition. We hit a couple shots,” Charbonneau said.
MSJ did more than just hit a couple shots. The Mounties got a high-volume of good looks and when they got them they didn’t miss.
“At halftime, I looked at our shot chart. They shot the ball 36 times and we shot the ball 21 times,” said Otters coach Mike Stark. “They shot over 70 percent in the second quarter, so they were hitting everything in the second quarter.
Otter Valley had an inspired effort in the fourth quarter, outscoring MSJ 18-10, but that middle stretch of the game did them in.
“That’s a good team. (MSJ) has great guard play and they have some bigs that are hard to defend,” Stark said.
More often than not, the Mounties have the size advantage over their opponent and Thursday was no different.
With Jake Williams and Dezmond Krakowka taking up space down low, teams can struggle to contain the duo.
Krakowka had 11 points and eight rebounds and Williams had 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Otter Valley’s lone traditional big is senior Hayden Bernhardt, and while he is a battler on the block, he still gives up a little size to the MSJ post players.
“Hayden works his butt off, but outside of that, you have Drew Pelkey and Aiden Decker. They’re just freshman and sophomores, so they don’t have that size or weight on them to push around. Dez is a big body,” Stark said.
Bernhardt led the Otters with 13 points and seven rebounds. Freshman Logan Letourneau added 10 points and Owen Thomas had eight.
Otter Valley (1-7) has another big test on Friday hosting Hartford. MSJ moved to 8-0.