After starting the season with consecutive home victories, the Missouri Military Academy varsity boys basketball team played the first of five straight road games on Tuesday at Battle.
The Fighting Colonels were well aware they were facing an uphill challenge against a much larger school. Their response was to attack their hosts with Gabriel Penha, and because he hit 11-of-23 field goals for 28 points, three assists and two rebounds, the strategy seemed sound. Because head coach Kevin Bissmeyer also got 20 points, eight rebounds, four assists and a steal from Pedro DaRocha, it would appear as though MMA was able to make a stand.
Instead the Colonels got outscored 24-12 in the first quarter and 27-24 in the second to head into the half trailing 51-36. MMA then wound up on the wrong side of a 38-35 scoring advantage in the second half to fall 89-71.
"(Battle) pulled away late in the first quarter when they went on a 12-2 run, which gave them a 24-12 lead at the end of the first quarter," said Bissmeyer. "The lead ballooned to as large as 20 at one point early in the second quarter before a few personnel changes were made to our lineup. Twice during the second half we were able to narrow their lead to 10 points but were unable to get over that hump. They did a great job of executing for the entire game and not giving us the chance to get back in it."
With nine players charting stats for the Colonels in this contest, Omena Oberuvwu came through with 16 points, 14 boards, four assists and a block, Nyamku Chingun scored three with four rebounds and two assists and posting two points each with a combined 12 rebounds were Victor Leon and Bruno Pozzani. Jordan Hornick also chipped in with four assists and two rebounds and contributing a baord apiece were Kalisa Clovis and Donald Williams.
"We did a great job of playing hard for the entire game tonight. They did some things that really gave us trouble early in the game and we continue to shoot ourselves in the foot with turnovers, committing 26 for the game," Bissmeyer said. "We need to do a better job of playing with discipline in order to take advantages of big stage opportunities like this game. The game was a fast paced show of athleticism. Both teams possessed athletic scorers who could get up and down the floor."
MMA, 2-1 overall, was at Wright City on Thursday and is at Prairie Home on Dec. 11.