The Concord High School pep band’s stirring rendition of “Anchors Aweigh” led the Minutemen to smooth sailing Tuesday night in a boys basketball game with the visiting Lakeland Lakers.

The Minutemen cruised to leads of 20-8 after one period and 44-13 at halftime before posting a 75-47 victory.

Concord had two players — 6-1 senior Dairese Gary and 6-2 senior Conner Burt — in double figures while 11 of 12 Minutemen who played scored.

“Through three games we have seen this team play unselfishly and play to win,” Concord coach Ryan Culp said. “The second half tonight was a great opportunity to get our bench some minutes. We may need some of those guys later in the season. It was good experience for them.

“Our offense is potent in that we are quick, but making good decisions. Any one one of our starters can score. They just need to know what is a good shot for them. Most of the time we did that. We forced very few shots.”

Concord blew the game wide open in the second period, scoring 23 unanswered points before the Lakers got a 3-pointer from 5-9 junior Skyler King with :39 remaining in the quarter.

“Concord did a good job in the first half and we didn’t,” Lakeland coach Tim Sirk said. “That is not a good formula for us. All the Concord players shot well, passed the ball well and played good defense. They didn’t miss many shots and when they did they got the rebound.

“Our defense wasn’t very good in the first half. It got better in the second, but in reality Concord had their reserves in there.”

Both teams are involved in conference games Friday as Concord (3-0) hosts Elkhart Memorial in a Northern Lakes matchup while Lakeland (3-2) visits Eastside in a Northeast Corner contest.

Gary scored 14 points, grabbed a couple of rebounds and dished out four assists while playing little more than the first half. He was 6-for-10 shooting. Nine of his points came in the second period as Concord stretched its lead.

“Dairese has been taking the shots that he should and passing the ball in situations where he should,” Culp said. “He is having a great time along with the rest of the players. This is a fun group to watch.”

Burt chipped in with 12 points on 3-for-4 shooting from beyond the 3-point arc. He tallied nine of his points in the opening stanza.

“We knew Burt could shoot last season,” Culp said. “It was just a matter of getting him some confidence. He has the green light to shoot and he knows it.”

Monty Marion, 6-1 senior, added nine points, 6-3 senior Andrew Eakle and 5-8 sophomore JaVonte Hence six for the Minutemen.

Kyle Moore, 6-2 Concord senior, had four assists, Marion and 6-3 senior Mike Meade both three.

“We talked at halftime about staying sharp and executing a number of sets,” Culp said. “There was still coaching to be done. Coach Sirk was still coaching his team in the second half. That is the sign of a great coach.”

The Lakers had scoring balance as Skyler King, 6-1 senior Josh Witham and 5-10 junior Kyle Witham netted 12 points apiece.

Respond: (574) 533-2151, ext. 326

greg.keim@goshennews.com

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