By Jon Gerardi
The Daily Item
LEWISBURG -- Sometimes a team makes it look too easy.
On Friday night at Donald H. Eichhorn Middle School in Lewisburg, the Green Dragons' offense seemed to score not only at will, but with ease against Troy.
It took only three and a half minutes into the game for Lewisburg to establish a double-digit lead and from there, it never relented.
The Green Dragons built up an impressive 21-point lead after the first quarter and rolled past Troy 64-34 to improve to 3-0 on the season.
"We came out and played real well," Lewisburg coach John Vaji said. "The guys came out and they were doing a nice job defensively talking and were aggressive on the balls. I think the talking and aggressiveness on the boards got us into some transition and some faster stuff offensively as well."
Lewisburg grabbed down 23 rebounds, 19 of which were defensive.
The Green Dragons used a 14-0 run midway through the first quarter to put Troy (1-1) in a hole it couldn't dig itself out of.
A basket by Troy's Ryan Reeves (12 points) with 6:06 in the first made it a 4-2 game. A little run by the Green Dragons then made it an 11-4 lead. By the time Troy scored again, it was looking at a 19-point deficit.
Lewisburg shot nearly 80 percent from the floor in the first quarter alone, missing just three baskets as it went 11 for 14. Troy was held to just eight points in both of the first two quarters as Lewisburg built up a 41-16 lead to go into the half.
The Trojan defense could do little to slow down senior Erich Kline, who couldn't miss from the floor -- going a perfect 6 for 6 -- and led the Green Dragons with a team-high 12 points and four rebounds.
Lewisburg spread the ball around offensively, as 11 different players scored in the win.
"Hopefully that takes some pressure off some kids. They can just go out and play, let the game come to them," Vaji said. "Right now, it's a nice luxury to have. Hopefully it keeps on going that way during the season, get different guys to step up in different games on different nights."
The Green Dragon defense kept the Trojans from attempting any sort of rally, as the team added five blocks -- three from Kline -- to their 19 defensive boards, and also recorded nine steals, four from senior Travis Conrad (5 points, 4 rebounds).
Troy had 25 turnovers in the lopsided loss, 15 of which happened in the first half, and Lewisburg kept taking advantage of them.
"What was nice when we got the turnover, we were able to capitalize on them. We were able to get in the odd man situation and for the most part, we were making the right decision," Vaji said. "Hitting the open guy, making the extra pass and getting an open look to knock things down."
Lewisburg held a 30-point lead throughout the majority of the second half, including leading by 34 with 4:39 to play and holding a 35-point lead with 2:23 to play.
Troy scored 18 points in the second half -- 13 in the fourth quarter -- but only six points came from the floor as the rest were all the result of free throws.
"I thought the kids did a real (good) job (defensively). We're trying to be a little more disciplined defensively this year, not giving up much," Vaji said. "We're trying to fight penetration and make teams have to take tough shots and, so far, the kids have been able to do that and play good pressure on the ball."
That defensive pressure from Lewisburg also kept the Trojans from sinking 3-pointers to attempt to cut the lead down, as Troy was just 1 for 13 from the arc.
Lewisburg hosts Hughesville on Tuesday for its first HAC-II game of the season.