Saturday, Nov. 21, 2009 | 8:33 p.m.
IMG Academy of Florida showed up at the wrong time to play Findlay College Prep late Saturday afternoon at the Henderson International School.
Ticked that his Pilots had given up at least 90 points in two of their first three games, Pilots coach Mike Peck vowed that there would be a clamp down.
There was, to the tune of a 113-50 victory by Findlay.
The defending national-champion Pilots blistered IMG by turning 19 first-half turnovers into 27 points, and that hound-dog defense set the tone for the wipeout.
At the intermission, Findlay held a 58-21 advantage.
“I told them at the half that if we could bottle that up and keep it forever, I’d buy at any price,” Peck said. “I feel very good now about going to Peoria for three games.”
Even in the final minutes, Peck and his staff rose to their feet and clapped exuberantly when one of his players forced a Panther to travel or forced a five-second call.
He didn’t improve to 69-1 in three seasons as Findlay’s boss by not knowing what’s around the corner – trips to Peoria, and Boston and Fort Myers, Fla., in the next few weeks.
With seven of his 10 players new, Peck needs them to buckle down on defense for some top talent coming up, and they responded.
Two of those newcomers, however, have been pacing the Pilots in scoring and they continued to do so Saturday.
Junior guards Jabari Brown (23 points) and Nick Johnson (18 points) led Findlay, and power forward Tristan Thompson added 15.
Standout senior guard Cory Joseph tallied 13 points, but his biggest play of the day might have come in the morning.
Johnson scored only four points Friday against Princeton Country Day of New Jersey, and Joseph counseled him a bit over breakfast about the only statistic that matters – the victory.
The defensive effort shaved Findlay’s average yield from 88 points to 78. The Pilots have hit triple digits, averaging 123, in all four of their games this season.