IMPERIAL — Running the floor at will, the Imperial High boys’ basketball team defeated Calexico High, 60-31, in a nonleague game here Tuesday night.
Imperial’s Dajon Staton had 10 first-quarter points, teaming up with Royce Freeman who dominated the boards, to jumpstart the Tigers’ fast break.
“When I see Royce get the rebound, I just run down the court and he gets me the ball … we have that kind of connection,” Staton said.
Calexico tried to run with the Tigers but couldn’t, falling behind 21-6 at the end of the first period.
“We like a fast pace because we can run, and they tried to keep pace,” said Staton, who also had two 3-pointers. “I was waiting for the ball at my spots and my teammates got it to me.”
With the score 29-19 at half time, Freeman took over the third quarter, scoring 10 points as Imperial outscored the Bulldogs 21-2 to put the game out of reach.
“I know that sooner or later my shots will come but when I see a teammate open I pass,” Freeman said. “I had to play down in the third quarter and I prefer to be on top and initiate the offense but it’s what coach wants.”
Imperial coach Dave Milan was pleased with the victory especially as an indication of how far his team has come after beating Calexico 63-52 in early December.
“The difference between the two games was, last time we were just coming out of football and we struggled,” said Milan, who has nine of 13 players that also play football. “I think we are finally into basketball now, I’m seeing it in practice and on the court.”
Freeman led all scorers with 16 points while Staton had 12 and Dexter Bell had 10 for Imperial.
Calexico (5-9, 0-1 IVL) will play an Imperial Valley League game at Central (7-10, 0-1 IVL) at 7 p.m. Friday.
Imperial (11-7, 1-0 DL) will play a Desert League game at 7 p.m. Friday when they travel to Calipatria (1-0 DL). Both teams are tied for first place.