NORCROSS — As solid as a season-opening win over Duluth last week was for the Norcross boys basketball team, coach Jesse McMillan felt like there were some things missing he wanted his team to work on.
The Blue Devils filled in those games, and then some, in a 74-44 rout of Sandy Creek in the finale of the On The Radar Hoops Tip-Off Classic on Saturday at the House of Blue.
Three different Norcross (2-0) players posted double-doubles, with Kevon Eskridge leading the way with 20 points and 11 rebounds, while J.T. Thor added 15 points and 11 boards and Josh Taylor chipped in 12 points and 10 rebounds, and Quincy Ademokoya nearly made it four after finishing with 11 points and six boards.
But that wasn’t the aspect of the game McMillan liked the most.
“After the Duluth game, we talked about tightening up on the defensive end and being a little more focused,” McMillan said. “And I thought that we were. We had good communication and guys were in the right spots defensively, and we did a great job on Jabari Smith.”
Indeed Norcross held Sandy Creek’s five-star power forward in check most of the night.
The 6-foot-8 junior finished with decent numbers after posting 11 points and seven rebounds, but most of those came long after the issue of who would win was no longer in doubt.
And the Blue Devils also were dominant on the boards as a team, out rebounding the Patriots (1-1) 46-32.
Combined with a hot shooting night for the perimeter from Eskridge, who hit six 3-pointers to provide the bulk of his scoring, it was a strong night all around for Norcross.
“Really, it’s been (good) for the first couple of games we’ve been playing with each other against other competition,” Eskridge said. “Coach (McMillan) emphasized to the new guys that we have to play together.”
Norcross led just 18-14 after the first quarter, but broke away during a 19-4 run throughout the second quarter to take a 37-18 lead by halftime. And the Blue Devils never looked back.
In addition to Eskridge, Thor, Taylor and Ademokoya, the Blue Devils also got strong contributions from Jaden Harris (three points and a game-high six assists) and Kok Yat (six points, three blocked shots).
Immanuel Alexander led Sandy Creek with 15 points.