Effingham Daily News
For about eight minutes, it was relatively clear that Altamont was playing its first game of the season Tuesday against Cumberland.
The Indians and Pirates played an evenly-matched first quarter, with Altamont taking a slim 14-11 lead to the second quarter after a last-second layup by Cole Borders.
Eight minutes was enough for the Indians to get their legs beneath them, as they raced out to a definitive 71-35 victory over the Pirates to start their season.
"We were kind of tight, first-game jitters," said Altamont coach John Niebrugge. "After we adjusted and stopped fouling them, we got some easy buckets out of it."
Justin McGinnis kickstarted the offense in the second with a putback and a layup, and Altamont would push its lead to 30-16 with a 16-4 run that spanned the first five-and-a-half minutes of the quarter.
It'd keep up from there, as Altamont ran and ran and ran some more.
"Our conditioning program took control, it wasn't more or less what we did or they did, it was just getting after it a bit more," Niebrugge said.
Cumberland coach Justin Roedl agreed with Niebrugge's assessment.
"You saw the team that was in better shape," Roedl said. "They go deeper than we do, and they kept bringing guys in and out, and running the ball up and down the court."
The Indians got it going again in the third, starting the frame with an 11-2 run with some easy layups set up by point guard Garrett Ziegler's outlet passes.
It was a promising sign for the Indians, as McGinnis led the team with 17 while Ziegler got everyone else going.
"I don't think (Ziegler) scored as much as he normally does," Niebrugge said. "He's looking to get easy buckets for his teammates. He did a good job of that."
Griffin Jackman had 10 points off the bench for Altamont, while freshman Ryan Armstong tallied nine points and Ziegler had six.
Cumberland was led by Caleb Brumleve's 12 points, and Gunnar McMechan had six off the bench.
In addition to the conditioning, it was a difference in experience. Altamont started five seniors, while Cumberland had three sophomores and two juniors in their starting lineup.
"They're not ready for that level of basketball yet," Roedl said. "They're learning. Once we understand what it takes to play like that for four quarters, we'll bring it into practice and it'll translate into games."
Cumberland (1-5) heads to Oblong Friday night.
Altamont (1-0) has a week off until they head to Windsor next Tuesday night.
Altamont 14 19 17 21 71
Cumberland 11 7 4 13 35
Altamont: Jackman 10, McGinnis 17, Ziegler 6, A. Goeckner 4, Armstrong 9, Seidel 4, Kuhns 6, Jahraus 5, Wolff 6
Cumberland: Beard 2, Brumleve 12, Bauguss 5, Swingler 3, McMechan 6, Napier 4, Shaon 1, Cutts 2