AUBURN – St. Dom’s has been trying to shake two bad habits in this young basketball season – slow starts and poor outside shooting.

Saturday afternoon, they solved both problems and picked up their first win of the year, a convincing 73-47 rout over Old Orchard Beach.

Using a combination of solid outside shooting, good interior passing and tough pressure defense, the Saints jumped out to a 14-0 lead and never looked back

“That’s been our weakness all season, not being able to get off to a strong start. We finally did, and it just went from there,” said St. Dom’s senior forward Joe Bonneau.

Bonneau led a balanced scoring attack with 20 points and six rebounds. Dave Roux added 12 points, and Andy Allen, Austin Fuller and T.J. Ustach chipped in with nine apiece.

“We have five guys on the floor that have the ability to score,” said head coach Ryan Deschenes, who picked up his first varsity win. “We certainly have three big guys that can put up double-digits on any night, and now our guards are starting to shoot the ball a little better. The first couple of games, we weren’t shooting the ball well. If we cant shoot the ball, it will start to stretch the defense out.”

Starting guards Fuller and Roux stretched OOB’s 2-3 zone with 3-pointers on two of the Saints’ first three possessions. That allowed Bonneau and Billy Colasante to work a nice two-man game inside for a couple of hoops that gave them their early 14-0 cushion.

“We’ve been working a lot against zone, and the key is to get the ball in the middle,” Bonneau said. “Andy Allen had a couple of nice flashes to the middle. That was open all day, and that allowed the guys on the baseline to cut to the hoop.”

Old Orchard (0-3) missed seven shots, two free throws and turned the ball over four times before Dean Perrone finally got his team on the board on a putback with 3:05 left in the first quarter. The Seagulls made just one of their first 15 field goal attempts and shot 20 percent in the first half. They turned the ball over 27 times for the game against St. Dom’s fullcourt press.

“We knew we could press them. We have the athletes to do it,” Deschenes said. “We forced a lot of turnovers and were able to get some points on the board early.”

St. Dom’s led 32-20 at the half and saw the margin go under double digits just once, when OOB scored three straight baskets early in the third to make it 33-24. But hoops by Colasante and Bonneau sparked an 11-0 Saints’ run that essentially put the game out of reach.

“We had our moments (against the zone),” Deschenes said. “We recognized the openings in the zone early in the third quarter, and that’s when we pushed our lead back up.”

Sam Lewis led the Seagulls with 12 points, while Perrone added nine points and nine rebounds.


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