Warriors hammer Blue Knights 83-58

MOUNT CARMEL — Wabash Valley led throughout the entire game during its 83-58 Great Rivers Athletic Conference rout of Olney Central on Wednesday at the Spencer Sports Center.

The Warriors (5-2 overall, 2-1 GRAC) took an 18-5 lead in the first 7 minutes of the contest and were never threatened. WVC constructed a 47-16 advantage at halftime.

"I'm really proud of our kids' effort on defense in the first half, especially keeping (Olney Central) out of the lane," Wabash Valley coach Mike Carpenter said. "We had a high level of energy. We defended, we guarded and we rebounded."

A baseline jumper from Denzel Smith put Wabash Valley up 18-5 with 13 minutes left before halftime. He scored all six of his points in the first 7 minutes of the contest to help kickstart the Warriors, who controlled the game in rebounds (40-28), steals (9-2) and blocked shots (4-0).

WVC made an 11-0 as the Blue Knights were held without a field goal for a little more than 8 minutes until OCC's Dominic Jackson (19 points) produced a layup with 2:08 left in the first half.

The Warriors shot 62 percent from the field in the first half and limited the Blue Knights to 15 percent. WVC, which received solid ball rotation, led 16-5 in assists.

"We shot the ball really well, but it's hard to sustain that for an entire game," Carpenter said.

Wabash Valley, which finished with 56 percent shooting overall and 47 percent shooting from 3-point range, received a lift from Sam Thompson, who returned to the Warriors lineup after being sidelined with an injury to begin the season.

"He's had one day of practice," Carpenter said of Thompson. "For him to come in and score 18 points and have six assists, Sam brings another dimension to our team."

Thompson's points and assists were team-highs for WVC.

Jaquan Lynch (15 points) and Mike Donaldson (13 points, eight rebounds) also scored in double figures for the Warriors, who play at NJCAA Division I No. 1-ranked Vincennes at 6 p.m. Saturday.