Triton men roll behind Croft’s 24 points, 88-57

Messenger photo by Britt Kudla Tray Croft of Iowa Central shoots on Thursday inside Hodges Fieldhouse. For more photos, please visit CU.messengernews.net

Tray Croft scored 20 of his game-high 24 points in the first half as the Iowa Central men opened their season with a convincing 88-57 victory over Grand View JV here Thursday night inside Hodges Fieldhouse.

Croft, who set a new single-season scoring record last year, was 11-for-15 from the field to go along with five assists and three steals. He went over the 20-point mark 25 times last year for the Tritons (1-0 overall).

Freshman Royshawn Webb had a double-double, scoring 12 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.

“I thought we did an awfully good job in the first half of taking the ball to the basket,” ICCC head coach Dennis Pilcher said. “It’s nice to get that first win, especially at home.”

Croft finished his freshman season with 772 points scored, good for fourth-best in the nation.

“We’ve got some good players around Tray and he showed that with five assists,” Pilcher said. “He shot great from the field and showed improved defense.

“(Official) Rick Hartzell (who served as the University of Northern Iowa athletic director from 2000-08) told me after the game that he is as good as some NCAA Div. I point guards right now. Not many people can guard him on the guard and he can also stop and shoot it.”

Dallas Bailey and Collin Shannon each scored nine points, with Raphael Jegede adding four points and six rebounds. Iowa Central had 13 steals as a team and committed just 10 turnovers.

Pilcher was just as happy with the first five minutes of the second half by his team as the opening. The Tritons pushed their halftime lead from 14 to 65-27 in a hurry.

“We came out and really stuck to the plan and got back after it,” Pilcher said. “That shows a lot of mental toughness because it can be difficult to keep playing hard when you have a big lead.”

For the Vikings, former Algona prep Landon Rash scored eight points and grabbed four rebounds, with fellow ex-Bulldog Jackson Helmers scoring two points and dishing out two assists. Jay Chen led Grand View with 11.

Iowa Central returns to action on Monday when they travel to Marshalltown. They next play at home on Nov. 20 vs. Dakota County.

IOWA CENTRAL 88, GRAND VIEW JV 57

Iowa Central — Tray Croft 24, Royshawn Webb 12, Dallas Bailey 9, Collin Shannon 9, Moses Jones 6, Robert Hawkins 2, Kane Kramer 3, Jacob Kephart 6, Alex Dolce 2, Kemryn Jenkins 6, Bay Etheredge 4, Raphael Jegede 4, Justin Taylor 1, Thomas Akamarmoi 0. Totals: 36-74 7-11 88.

Grand View JV — Jay Chen 11, Dallas Meinders 2, Logan Gilman 10, Donald Metoyer 4, Drew Johnson 7, Riley McCoy 8, Jackson Helmers 2, Nehemiah Chandler 2, Kyle Haynes 2, Landon Rash 8, Carter Milam 1. Totals: 20-56 12-17 57.

Halftime score: Iowa Central led 51-27. Three-point goals: Iowa Central 9-17 (Croft, Bailey 3, Shannon, Kramer, Jenkins 2, Etheredge); Grand View JV 5-22 (Chen 3, Gilman, Johnson). Total rebounds: Iowa Central 43, Grand View JV 37. Assists: Iowa Central 17, Grand View JV 10. Blocked shots: Iowa Central 3, Grand View JV 4. Steals: Iowa Central 13, Grand View JV 2. Team fouls: Iowa Central 16, Grand View JV 15. Turnovers: Iowa Central 10, Grand View JV 21.

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