Basketball smashes the Spartans

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Basketball practice does not usually focus on running laps. Maybe it should after the Atoms seemingly ran circles around the West Springfield Spartans in their 77-44 win on Friday.

“We ran a lot [in the game],” said senior guard Chris Sheehy, who scored five points in the game.”Their defense was pretty bad and pretty small so that made it easier for us.”

After a relatively slow start, the Atoms exploded for 25 first quarter points. The team kept the intensity up through the second quarter and were able to extend their lead to 25 by the half, 48-23.

“We started off slow for the first few minutes,” said head coach Anthony Harper. “We were kind of playing down to their level but then when we picked up our defensive pressure, everything else picked up with it.”

The Atoms continued their strong play in the second half, seemingly scoring everytime down the court. The team outscored the Spartans by eight in the second half, bringing the game to its final margin of 33 points. The Atoms scoring was very well-balanced, with 12 different players contributing points for the team. Junior Melvin Robinson led the team with 14 points and 11 rebounds, and junior Karl Ziegler and senior Jon Williams added 12 and 9 points, respectively. Even with the dominant performance, there is still room to improve.

“We need to work on our defensive pressure in the half court set because once [the opponent] breaks our press, we’re letting them get comfortable,” said Harper. “We can also be more patient and work the ball around more on offense.”

With the victory over the Spartans, the Atoms overall record currently stands at 6-4, with a 3-3 record in the Patriot District.

“We want to play the way we played against Woodson and West Springfield, the rest of the season and finish strong,” said Harper.

The Atoms played rival W.T. Woodson on Monday, Jan. 11 and easily won the game, 67-43. Ziegler led the Atoms with 17 points, while Robinson and fellow junior D’Angelo Boyce added 12 points apiece.

The team’s next game is tonight at 7:30 when they host the Lake Braddock Bruins.