WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP — For Scott Bowersock's Washington Township teams, the plan is always first and foremost about relentless energy and effort.
The Times No. 10 Senators showed it from the tip Tuesday, taking the game right to Marquette Catholic in racing to an impressive 72-57 victory at Dold Gymnasium.
"That's Senator basketball," said junior Colin Burton, who poured in a game-high 23 points. "We were ready. We knew this was probably going to be our toughest test all year. They haven't won a lot of games, but they play a lot of 4A teams and we play a lot of 1A teams. People didn't know how legitimate we are. With this win, it showed."
The Senators (10-0) struck with a Mike Tyson first-round flurry, beating Marquette on the boards and to all the lose balls. It used a 12-0 run to seize early control, stretching the spread to 19 in the second quarter with a 10-0 point push.
"This was the kind of game our guys want, to play against a very good, battle-tested team," Bowersock said. "To be able to win showed resiliency and our belief in what we do. Our defensive effort the first half was phenomenal."
Marquette managed just 13 first-half points on 5-of-24 shooting.
"We practiced defense all week," said Burton, who matched up with Blazers star point guard Colin Kenney. "We had to make sure we got into the pockets of the shooters. Once we got up, we knew we could hang with them."
With the Blazers trailing 27-11, Fred Mooney pulled his entire starting five in the second quarter to deliver a pointed message. The Blazers (4-9) spent nine of the 10 halftime minutes in the locker room.
"The guys I put in aren't as talented, but they put forth the effort and I can live with that," Mooney said. "It's a wake-up call. It was ridiculous. Our attitude, we weren't ready to play. It's like we weren't even interested. We've got to find out who we are, what we're going to hang our hat on. Right now, there's nothing."
Marquette showed some life in the second half, but it had no answer for Burton, who took over in the third for the Senators with 13 points, including a pair of deep 3s as the spread reached 20.
"We knew they were going to make a run. They're too good of a team," Bowersock said. "The question was how big a run and how we would respond. Colin stepped up and hit some timely shots, and that kept our confidence up, We were getting stops. If they work their tails off on the defensive end, we're going to give them some freedom on the offensive end."
Kenney scored 18 points, 16 coming in the second half, and was 0-of-7 from the arc. Chandler Goodwin scored 15 for Marquette, which plays Andrean today.
Zach Little backed Burton with 16, 13 of those coming in the first half when he hit three 3s. Dylan Clem added 10 points. Washington had eight treys with Jared Armstrong and Zach Brys also getting in on the act.
"We're not deep, but I absolutely love our sixth man," Bowersock said of Brys. "He's one of the premiere sixth men in the state of Indiana. He does whatever we need him to do. That's what's unique about this team."