Under normal circumstances, Tuesday night's high school basketball game between the host Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the CSAS Patriots may have been a pretty good contest, but the circumstances weren't normal and the results showed.
Notre Dame is still playing football and at least nine players have yet to join the Fighting Irish basketball team, so coach J.P. Nerbun had no other option but to play a bunch of guys with less experience.
It was close and competitive for the first six minutes, but it was all Patriots the rest of the way as the visitors from Third Street rolled to an 80-35 victory in the season opener for both teams.
Tyler Byrd was one of few bright spots for Notre Dame as he single handedly kept his team in contention during the early going.
A fast start for the Patriots created a 12-3 difference following a putback by Todd Lansden with 4:33 to play in the first quarter before Byrd scored eight straight points to get the hosts to within 13-11 with 1:50 to play.
By the time Andrew Lewis sank a jumper from the wing with 4:22 left in the first half, the difference was 26-13 and it never got much closer.
The Patriots had a comfortable 40-17 cushion at intermission.
Things really got one-sided in the third quarter as CSAS outscored Notre Dame by 26-9 for a 66-26 edge with one quarter remaining. The mercy rule was in effect when the final stanza began as both teams completely emptied their benches, but the Patriots equaled their first-half output with 40 more points in the second half to leave with the 45-point victory.
Neither coach appeared to be very pleased with what they saw.
"I liked the effort, but not the execution," said CSAS coach Mark Dragoo afterward.
"We have a young team as 16 of our 23 players are either sophomores or freshmen. We played hard, we did a good job of sharing the ball and we played decent defense at times. Our goal is to find a dozen who are about the same talent-wise, but these guys enjoy playing together and that always helps," he added.
"These guys are the future of Notre Dame basketball, but we've got to get tougher and he have to learn how to be better teammates," Nerbun said following the game.
"If we had executed the game plan and lost by 45, I wouldn't have a problem with it, but we didn't. We weren't patient on offense as we put up a lot of shots way too early, but we were trying to learn as the game went on.
"I believe in every kid on my team and I fully expect us to be more competitive on Friday when we play Lookout Valley, but we have a bunch of nice guys and that's how we played tonight," he said matter of factly.
Shunn Moorer scored 16 points to lead the victorious Patriots while Josh Carter and Darius Graves both followed with 14 points apiece.
Will Wheeler was the only CSAS player who didn't score as 11 of his teammates scored at least two points.
Byrd was the only Notre Dame player in double figures as he finished with 17 points. Westhoff was next with six.
CSAS also won the rebound battle by a 30-21 margin. Lansden had seven to lead the winners while Desmond Ratliff, Nick Moore, Carter and Graves all snagged four each.
Andrew Lewis was tops for Notre Dame with eight rebounds. Westhoff finished the evening with four.
NOTRE DAME GIRLS 57, CSAS 48: The Lady Irish had a productive first half as they doubled the Lady Patriots 26-13.
The second half was much more competitive as CSAS got to within six points late in the fourth quarter before the Lady Irish sank six of their final eight free throws to keep the game from getting any closer.
Morgan Cantrell led the way for Notre Dame with 17 points while Taelor Hill and Annie Ripper were also in double figures with 14 and 11 points, respectively.
Keturah Billen and Lennex Walker both had 11 points for the Lady Patriots while Brooke Mitchell finishe with 10.
Arts & Sciences 10 3 16 19 -- 48
Notre Dame 16 10 15 16 -- 57
CSAS (48) -- Lewis, Little 6, Billen 11, McElvain 6, Mitchell 10, Walker 11, Benn, Randolph 4, Montgomery, Kinnard, Ealey, Justice.
NOTRE DAME (57) -- Cantrell 17, Ripper 11, Wittler 4, Hill 14, Williams, Masterson, Bouchard 2, Hoffer 2, Siler, Champlin, Bombassi, Beaman 7.
3-POINT GOALS: CSAS none; Notre Dame 4 (Cantrell 3, Ripper).
Arts & Sciences 19 21 26 14 -- 80
Notre Dame 11 6 9 9 -- 35
CSAS (80) -- Carter 14, Moorer 16, Wheeler, Hamilton 7, J. Dodds 4, E. Dodds 2, Graves 14, Nelson 2, Ratliff 3, Houston 4, Moore 8, Lansden 6.
NOTRE DAME (35) -- Byrd 17, Davis, Mink, Lewis 4, Westhoff 6, N. Burch 3, Riddle, Romeo 3, P. Burch 2, Kraus, Buckman.
3-POINT GOALS: CSAS 6 (Carter 2, Moorer 3, Hamilton); Notre Dame 1 (N. Burch).
(Email John Hunt at firstname.lastname@example.org)