By MIKE SHAFFER
For the Star Beacon
The first one is out of the way. That seemed to be the sentiment of both coaches in Friday’s night boys basketball matchup between Bloomfield and St. John.
The Cardinals’ rode a hot streak from freshman Cody Turner to down the Heralds, 48-29.
Both teams started sluggish in their season openers, as the first quarter score indicated with the Heralds leading 4-2 after eight minutes.
In the second quarter, however, Turner got his team going as he sparked the Cardinals (1-0) in scoring 11 of his 12 points during the period in which Bloomfield outscored the Heralds, 23-7.
“He’s definitely our best athlete,” Bloomfield coach Michael Cole said. “He’s quick and he has a great knack for the ball. It’s hard for a freshman to play against the varsity because of the speed of the game, but he’s going to be a great player for us. He works hard and he’s really a great kid.”
Turner was one of three Cardinals to score a dozen points in the game. The other two were Issaiah Noce and point guard Ian Clarion. While Turner did most of his damage in the second quarter, Clarion scored ten points in the third as Bloomfield pushed its lead to 39-17.
“With my teams, the point guard will always have a lot of responsibility,” Cole said. “I think the first-half nerves got the best of the whole team as we were just chucking up shots from everywhere. By the second half, though, (Clarion) settled down and had a nice little second half for us.”
Chris Stein led St. John (0-1) with 11 points, but his team had a lot of trouble handling the pressure of the Cardinals defense.
“Once they started putting a little pressure on us, we got sloppy,” St. John coach Ryan Harco said. “They came out in a two-three zone, but then they started pressing. It’s tough when you’re as young as we are. We have a freshman point guard. We broke it a little better in the second half, but they definitely beat us on the press.
“It’s good to have this one out of the way. We have a young team. We have three freshmen starting out there with just one junior and two seniors, but if we keep working hard, I think we’ll be OK.”
Shaffer is a freelance writer from Ashtabula.