Yoe defense smothers Holland in home win

Defense wins championships. It’s a phrase you hear a lot on the gridiron, but the same principles are being applied by first year Yoe basketball coach Nick Burns on the hardcourt. On Tuesday, Cameron proved that they were capable of playing high quality defense in a 55-30 win over the Holland Hornets.


The Yoemen, which improved to 2-0 on the season with the victory, allowed only 9 first half points and managed to turn over Holland 29 times throughout the game.


“Defense is Coach Burns’ bread and butter,” said returning post La’Rondre Booze, which had 13 points on the night. “He wants us to run up and down the court. All we do in practice is run so we can have better defense in games. He likes a fast paced game and playing defense.”


Booze made the opening bucket of the game, and his teammate, Keanu McCarter, followed suit on the next time up the court with a layup to put Cameron up 4-0. That duo continued to shine the rest of the night as Booze’s 13 points was second to only McCarter’s team-high 16 points. 12 of those points came from beyond the arc.


“I have good confidence in my three because I come after school every day and shoot,” McCarter said. “Coach opens the gym and allows us to shoot. I just want to help my team to victory. I have been working hard on it.”


McCarter nailed one of his four long-range shots right before the end of the second quarter to give Cameron a 24-9 lead - their biggest up to that point in the contest.


The Yoemen started slow out of the gates from the floor in the third with an 0-6 shooting slump. Booze ended the streak with a 15-foot jump shot, which was followed by buckets from Dondrick Moore, Kobe Young and Levi May to put Cameron up 32-14 midway through the quarter.


Moore had a strong night on the boards, with 5 offensive and 3 defensive rebounds to go along with 5 points. Thomas Melton, Kobe Young and Levi May all came in with 7 points.  


Holland’s team was not complete, but they had their best playmaker on the court in 6’5” junior center Luke Frei, whom scored 16 of his team’s 30 points and made 7 of the 11 shots for the Hornets on the evening.


“We will take a W for sure,” said Burns. “I will say that Holland was still in football so they were not at full strength, but they had their best player. I watched tape from last year when they took us to overtime.”


Other than the strong defensive effort, Burns was pleased with other areas of his team’s performance, including rebounding.


“I felt like we rebounded well tonight,” Burns said. “We know every team we play is going to 2-3 zone us so we are working at getting better at it. I know in the past our post did not touch the ball a whole lot and I know tonight they did a lot and I like that. We have to get better at scoring in the post. We have to finish.”


McCarter followed suit with his coach, stating that his team was going to have to find ways to beat the 2-3 zone defense that normally restricts quality looks inside the paint.


“We have to keep working on defense and our rebounding,” said McCarter. “We need to work against the 2-3 zone in practice, but defense and rebounding is going to keep us in the ballgame. The offense is going to come, we just have to work on our shooting.”


Cameron rotated in a multitude of lineups throughout Tuesday’s win, and the plan is to continue to do that until the right combination starts to click.


“We are still looking to see what group of guys work best together and have the best chemistry,” said Burns. “We had a lot of kids in tonight. The big thing is we have to improve our defense. We got some good looks under the rim, but we have to finish. We scheduled a pretty hard non-district schedule. I think this will give us a real good idea of where we’re at because of the stiff competition.”