After giving up 83 points three nights earlier, the Ankeny boys’ basketball team cranked up the defensive pressure on Friday.
The Hawks held host Johnston to 3-of-20 shooting from 3-point range (15.0 percent) and posted a 51-45 victory in a CIML Conference game. Both teams are now 1-1 in the league and overall.
“It felt good to get a win to start the season off. We rebounded a little bit from Tuesday, and now we have a little better feel for the team,” said Ankeny coach Brandt Carlson. “I thought some guys looked a little more comfortable, which is good to see. We had good production from the guys.”
Ankeny held a 23-18 lead at halftime. The Hawks extended the margin to 34-25 after three quarters, then held off Johnston’s late rally.
Ankeny’s Carson Johnson scored a game-high 22 points. Lio Aguirre had 11 points and eight rebounds, while Rio Aguirre added nine points on a trio of 3-point goals.
“Rio hit a couple big (treys) in the third quarter,” Carlson said. “And Lio had a nice game, too. It was just a good team win overall.”
Dalen Huston led the Dragons with 11 points and seven rebounds. Trovary Cavil, a transfer from Des Moines Lincoln, added 10 points.
Cavil averaged 21.1 points per game as a junior.
“Cavil is really good, and they’ve got some other good players, too,” Carlson said. “They’re a tough team and they’re going to continue to get better, so we were fortunate to play them early in the season.
“We guarded (Cavil) with Cash (Schoolen) and (Dylan) Gloviak and just tried to deny him and limit his touches. We held him to 10, and that was great. He’s really talented and super fast. He’s a guy you’ve really got to pay attention to,” he added.
Johnston is in its first season under coach Courtney Henderson, who previously coached at Des Moines Hoover.
“We were hoping we had a good game plan as far as how we like to attack coach Henderson’s teams,” Carlson said. “They’re always so disciplined and kind of get you into a stagnant pace, so we just tried to get the pace increased ultimately and we were able to do that at times. It just worked out.
“We have not typically played well at Johnston over the years, so it felt good to come away with the win,” he added.
The Hawks will travel to Southeast Polk on Tuesday for another conference game against the Rams, who are 0-1 in the league and 1-1 overall after losing to Waukee, 86-63, on Friday.