BETTSVILLE - Expectations were not overly high as Bettsville prepared this week for Friday's season-opener against Emmanuel Christian.
That is, unless one compares the outlook with that of a little more than two weeks ago when, by all appearances, there wasn't going to be a Friday night season-opener.
So success will be measured in portions for the time being. Meanwhile, Christian laid a heaping helping of trouble on the Bobcats in scoring a 75-21 win.
"Two weeks ago, four of the five starters who played all 32 minutes tonight, they were just coming back with us," first-year Bettsville coach Chad Garberich said, noting they were not going to participate but had a change of heart. "For what we have in, with what little we've been able to work on defensively and the little bit of offense we have right now, we did all right.
"The biggest thing right now is we wanted them to give us 32 minutes and play hard," he said. "I thought we did that. To their credit, they did that. We'll get better as the season goes on."
The visiting Warriors were looking good from the start. Ryan Creech's strong post move nine seconds into the game started a 15-0 Emmanuel Christian burst in a matter of a little more than three minutes.
Creech and fellow 6-foot-2 insider Trent Groenhout gave the Warriors an inside presence the Bobcats couldn't handle.
Logan Robinson hit a jumper in the lane to get Bettsville on the board at the 3:36 mark and Jacob Grine's 3-pointer closed the first-quarter scoring, but by that time, Christian had built a 24-7 lead.
Robinson scored on an inbound play to start the second period, but the Bobcats were shut out the rest of the half.
At the other end, Creech netted 12 to put the finishing touch on a 22-point, eight-rebound night. The Warriors scored the final 23 of the quarter and had the game well in hand at 47-9 at halftime.
"I thought the guys played hard and ran the floor pretty well," Christian coach Bill Regnier said. "It was a nice first game. We played hard and we were unselfish. It was a little sloppy at times, but that's going to happen when games get a little out of hand like this.
"The biggest thing we wanted to do tonight was to try to develop a little depth," he said. "We needed to see who doesn't panic out there and this was a good game for that."
All 10 Warrior players scored though Creech was the only one in double figures. Groenhout (seven rebounds) and Bobby Behan each added nine points and Leland Snyder contributed eight points with six assists.
Emmanuel Christian had a 38-16 edge in rebounding and pressured the Bobcats into making 34 turnovers.
"Our ball skills aren't real good yet and we don't see a whole lot out there," Garberich said. "We've got to all get on the same page.
"But the other thing is Emmanuel Christian is a very good team," he said. "They returned something like eight seniors and (Creech) is a really good player.
"With eight seniors, they've been running the same thing for four years and we've been running the same thing for seven practices," he said. "So, when you put everything in perspective, I'm pretty happy with the way we played and how hard we played."
Robinson led the Bobcats with eight points. Tommy Kipps added five points and four rebounds.