GUILFORD — For the first time in his five years as Guilford boys’ basketball coach, Jeff DeMaio came up a winner on opening night.
DeMaio’s Indians led from start to finish with a dominating performance in a 56-34 victory over Amity Wednesday night at the Kenefick Gymnasium.
“Overall, not bad for night one,” DeMaio said. “It’s always good to be 1-0.”
Luke Dombroski (16 points and 11 rebounds) scored the first nine points of the night for Guilford as Amity didn’t stretch its defense to cover him from the outside.
“I worked on my shooting in the offseason, so I am much more confident,” Dombroski said. “I just go out there and try to score as many points as I can.”
The Indians ran off 9-0 and 10-0 spurts in the first half and took a 27-10 lead with 4:34 remaining in the first half and it was pretty much over at that point.
“We came out and played so well,” DeMaio said. “When you have seven seniors and five juniors and you have that kind of experience, it’s helpful. “They were ready from the get go.”
Amity was able to close things to 29-17 at halftime when Dave Ryan hit a runner in the lane just before the horn sounded.
Amity coach Jeff Nielsen blamed turnovers for the Spartans’ early demise.
“They were fired up for the first game and we had too many live ball turnovers that allowed them to get run outs and layups,” Nielsen said.
Both teams had a hard time finding the net in the third quarter as Dombroski scored six points in the period and Guilford took a 35-22 lead into the final quarter.
“When you’re stuck on 22 points in the third quarter and into the fourth quarter, it’s not going to cut it,” Nielsen said. “We were working way too hard offensively and couldn’t get a clean look, a post-up or an offensive rebound.”
Trips to the free-throw line were the big thing in the fourth quarter as Amity kept fouling Guilford until the final seconds to try and get back into the game. However, the Spartans failed to close the gap as they went scoreless in the first 2:57 of the quarter with Guilford pushing the lead to 39-22. Amity never closed the gap to less than 15 the rest of the way.
J.P. Barrett and Will Cofrances each added nine points for Guilford, while Ryan and Sebastian DiMauro led the way for Amity with 10 points apiece.