By PAUL HINES
MT. VERNON —
The Rams offense exploded in a 80-41 win against Cairo on Tuesday night.
Mt. Vernon attacked the Pilots defense and hit numerous layups, finishing 33 of 55 from the floor. The Rams also piled up a massive rebounding edge.
“Offensively I’m really happy with what we did,” Mt. Vernon coach Scott Gamber said. “I thought we got easy baskets. I thought we attacked the rim. I thought we were aggressive. All those things I really like.”
Trevor Flota led all scorers in the game with 21 points. He attempted just one 3-pointer on the night, preferring to drive to the hoop.
“He’s getting to the rim, that’s nice,” Gamber said. “It’s nice to see him scoring that way.”
Jarron Liddell and Shakari Hawkins both added 11 points. Braden Fitzjerrells finished with 10.
Fitzjerrells ended the opening quarter with a bucket to put the Rams up 15-8. Mt. Vernon took a 28-19 midway through the second quarter and appeared to be controlling the game before a technical foul on Gamber and a Cairo run closed the gap. Cairo’s Terion Taylor hit one of the technical free throws to cut the deficit to 28-24, and Mt. Vernon’s advantage dwindled to 28-26 later. But the Rams answered with a big run to close the half with a 37-26. Gamber said he would like to see the Rams improve defensively.
“We can’t do that,” Gamber said. “You can’t give up (26) points in a half if you want to beat good teams. We needed that to be about 15 to 16 points.
“Some of that was they hit a couple tough shots. Some of it was we were just closing out 50 percent.”
Mt. Vernon piled up the points in the second half. Liddell stole the ball on consecutive Cairo possession and scored to put Mt. Vernon up 52-31. The lead swelled to 30 in the final quarter after a Flota basket.
Mt. Vernon is 7-3 this season and travels to Marion on Friday.