East Stroudsburg South didn't play like a one-win team in the first half of Friday night's game against Lehighton.
On the other hand, the Indians looked a lot like a team still looking for its first victory of the season.
The Cavaliers built a 19-point halftime lead and went on to post a 58-39 Mountain Valley Conference victory.
"It's very nice to get a win," said East Stroudsburg South coach Joe Jacobs. "We've struggled to get them this season. Hopefully, this will help us get on a little bit of a roll."
The Cavaliers (2-7, 1-2) jumped out to a 23-10 first quarter lead and extended the advantage to 36-17 at halftime. Dwayne Alexander and Dan Cason sliced and slashed their way through the Lehighton defense for 11 and 10 points respectively in the opening half. Terrence Thomas also cause the Indians problems inside with seven points and five rebounds in the half.
"Their size gave us lots of problems in the first half," said Lehighton coach Michael O'Brien. "They killed us on the offensive and defensive boards (South had a 25-11first half rebounding edge) and also blocked or changed a lot of our shots."
A seven-point run to start the third quarter pushed the East Stroudsburg South advantage to 43-17 and forced O'Brien into an early second half time out.
But just when things appeared to be on the verge of getting very ugly, Lehighton began to show signs of life.
The Indians went on a 14-2 run over the next four minutes to close to within 45-31.
"I thought we came out extremely strong and focused," said Jacobs. "We did a nice job of building our lead. But it seemed like we lost that focus when we got the big lead.
"You have to give Lehighton a lot of credit for that. They didn't quit. They kept playing hard and hustling, which is a credit to the kids and their coaches."
The Indians got as close as 48-36 with 6:52 remaining in the fourth quarter and had four possession with a chance to cut into the lead even more, but all four came up empty.
By the time Lehighton (0-8, 0-4) scored again there were just :23 remaining in the game and they had missed 11 consecutive shots.
"We stepped up our defensive pressure in the second half and forced them into some turnovers and bad shots," said O'Brien. "I was happy with how we battled and fought back. We actually had quite a few chances to chop their lead under double figures. We had some open looks from three-point range that just didn't go down.
"I thought Alex Matika came off the bench to give us a spark in the second half, Nate Kresge did some nice things, really all seven or eight kids we were using made contributions. We just dug ourselves too big of a hole."
Howell 0-1-2-1, McLaughlin 0-0-0-0, Alexander 5-5-6-16, Cason 6-3-6-15, Carlos 0-0-0-0, Peck 1-1-3-3, Caldera 0-0-0-0, Franklin 0-0-0-0, Gumbs 5-0-2-12, Coscia 0-0-3-0, Thomas 4-3-5-11. TOTALS: 21-13-27-58.
Hill 2-2-2-6, Kerr 3-0-0-7, Rossino 1-0-0-3, Kresge 1-0-0-2, Markley 2-2-2-6, Guyn 0-0-0-0, Matika 2-3-4-7, Szacska 3-0-0-8, Evans 0-0-0-0, Scott 0-0-0-0. TOTALS: 14-7-8-39.
ES South 23 13 12 10 58
Lehighton 10 7 15 7 39
Three-pointers: ESS - Gumbs 2, Alexander 1. L - Szacska 2, Rossino 1, Kerr 1.