By MIKE MONTFORT (Photos By Keith Speer) —
The start of the 2015-16 basketball season already had been delayed, but Monday night’s long-awaited opener almost came to a complete stop.
A three-man officiating crew called a total of 73 personal fouls in the regulation 40-minute game, but coach Michael Landers’ Bulldogs somehow survived ProVision Prep Academy with a 95-90 win at the Wolens Special Events Center.
Quick math: almost 2 fouls per minute in this slow-drip, water torture game.
Coach Gilbert Good’s ProVision Warriors were whistled for 44 fouls and six players fouled out. Navarro was whistled for 29 infractions, and only one player on its shorthanded squad of 10 players Monday was disqualified.
After that two-hour and 20-minute look in the first game, it’s still hard to get a read on what Landers’ Bulldogs might be this year.
There were promising signs, however.
Six Bulldogs scored in double figures. Two players recorded double-doubles, and a third was one rebound away from joining the group. Unofficially, they cleared 48 rebounds (14 offensive and 34 defensive). The Bulldogs hit about 50% percent from the floor (28-of-57), with a breakdown of 19-of-36 inside the arc and 9-of-21 beyond. And then, this: they also hit 30 free throws in the contest, but, unfortunately, also hit 50% from the foul line.
That’s right. They hit 30, but they also missed 30 in this five-point win.
Buffalo, NY, sophomore Keir Anderson scored a game-high 19 points to pace Navarro scoring. Anderson came into the game on three occasions to quell ProVision rallies and responded with big baskets to keep NC ahead.
Brooklyn, NY, freshman guard Saint Hilaire produced one of two double-doubles for NC with 17 points and 10 rebounds, plus three assists and two steals.
The other double-double came from Toronto sophomore Jamar Martin — the first of his NC career. Martin hit 17 with 11 boards and two assists. The 6-foot-5 guard was 6-of-8 shooting inside the arc.
Houston freshman Neek Mukoro added 14 points, two rebounds and two steals off the bench.
Freshman Bahamians Calvin Anderson and Nate Bethel pumped in 10 points apiece. Bethel also had nine rebounds; Anderson, three assists.
ProVision got a game-high 21 points from Jordan Lewis, including 18 in the second half. Devane Saxon scored 15 and J.J. Anderson pitched in 11 for the Warriors, who trailed 54-38 at halftime.
Terrion Miller was the first Warrior to foul out — at 16:04 of the second half. Five other players followed suit inside the final 4:00.
Navarro plays Wednesday at Temple against coach Kirby Johnson’s high-coring Leopards. Like Navarro, Temple opened its season Monday with a 138-82 win over Greater Houston Prep.