STERLING – One thing Sterling boys basketball coach Jim Preston preaches is energy.
The Golden Warriors certainly displayed some on Tuesday.
Playing with a passion on offense and defense, Sterling put together four energetic quarters. All that carried the Golden Warriors to a 56-40 win over Alleman at Musgrove Fieldhouse.
"[Energy] is something we stress," Preston said. "That's what we do and that's got to be who we are. It's about generating energy. They're coming along with that."
What also spurred Sterling (2-1) to its second consecutive victory was its defense. In the middle two quarters, it held the Pioneers (1-5) to 16 points on 5-of-21 shooting. With their defense constantly getting stops, the Golden Warriors scored in transition and from the perimeter.
Twice in those spans, they scored on four consecutive possessions. The result was a 20-4 run.
"We talk about consecutive stops on defense," Preston said. "That's where it's at for us. But when you start putting five, six or seven trips of scoring together, that puts a lot of pressure on the other team."
Alleman never could get things going on either end.
"Our defensive intensity wasn't there," said Alleman coach Patrick Rangel, who received 16 points from senior guard Kevin O'Keeffe. "That has to be our identity. We have to be the toughest defensive team on the court. When that doesn't happen, it puts pressure on us offensively."
Sparking the offense was Sterling Thornton, who scored 20 points on 9 of 13 shooting with four assists and three rebounds. Zach Rehmert added 17 points and Joe Brouilette contributed 10.
The Golden Warriors converted half of their 48 shot attempts. They also had 14 assists against 11 turnovers.
"That's contagious," Preston said. "A couple of kids knock down shots, that's contagious. We also ran the floor from defense to offense. We used our defense and rebounding to generate offense. At times, we did a good job of transition from defense to offense."
Why was Sterling so steady on both ends of the court? Energy played a major part in it.
"That," Preston said, "has to be there all the time."