As it turned out, Patel was most pleased to watch his 13 teammates score at least one basket.
“It was nice to see everybody contribute either offensively or defensively,” Eagles coach Jon-Michael Nickerson said. “This was a game where our players executed our game plan from start to finish.”
Although Gordon Central scored the game’s opening basket it was Excel (2-0) who never looked back after its 8-0 run. The closest the Warriors would ever get was an 11-6 first quarter deficit.
Nickerson began emptying his bench with Excel leading 61-36 at the end of the third quarter.
Of the 13 players who scored at least one basket for the Eagles, three finished in double figures.
Jalen Keller had a team-high 15 points, followed by Rudy Winters, 13 points, and Elijah Robinson with 11. Byran Brookshire, 17 points, and Taurus Carson, 16 points, led Gordon Central in scoring.
“A lot of our starters are seniors who have had a year to learn my system,” said Nickerson, who is two games into his second year as the head boys’ basketball coach. “They have a better understanding regarding the speed of the game and what I expect from them.”
The Eagles will try to make it three straight when they travel to play Chattooga Friday.
The boys’ game immediately followed the girls’ game in which the Lady Eagles (1-1) lost their first game of the season, 41-35, to the Gordon Central Lady Warriors.
It was 7-all after the first quarter, but cold shooting in the second quarter proved to be the Excel girls’ downfall. Gordon Central led, 20-14, at halftime.
“We just couldn’t get the shots to fall when we needed them,” Excel girls coach Michael Roberson said. “You’re not going to win when you make 7-of-31 shots.”
Already ahead by six, the Lady Warriors increased their lead to 35-26 at the end of the third quarter.
In the loss, Excel was led by Andrea Taylor and Emily Willingham, who each scored eight points. Abby Keefe and Catie Metcalf came through with seven points apiece.