The Sharks, who instituted a full-court press from the opening tip, scored 112 points against the Cobras.
In the first half, the Sharks were up by as many as 23 points. But following a wide open three-point shot by the Cobras that ripped the net at the 6:27 mark in the third quarter, Atlantic’s lead shrunk to six.
And then, the Cobras turned the ball over. Then again, and then again, suffocated by the Sharks’ stifling full-court pressure.
“We just needed to settle down,” Sharks coach David Howard Sr. said. “There were definitely some first-game jitters, but we were able to weather the storm and fight back.”
Thanks to the full-court press and consistent shooting, Atlantic torched Hudson 112-67 in the first preseason game of the year on the night of Friday, Nov. 24, at Atlantic High School. Six players broke the double-digit mark in scoring for the Sharks with sophomore guard Kendall Bean leading all scorers with 20 points, including four three-pointers.
The Sharks played full-court defense from the opening tip. Hudson’s players had difficulty even inbounding the ball, let alone advancing the ball across half court.
“If you come into this gym, any time we suit up, we’re going to full-court press you,” Howard Sr. said. “Every day, every night and everywhere.”
However, despite Atlantic’s ability to force turnovers, the Sharks were routinely plagued by turnovers of their own — many of them unforced. At one point during the Cobras’ rally in the third quarter, the Sharks turned the ball over on four-straight possessions.
“I can tell you, we’re not going to be able to compete against the better teams with that many turnovers,” Howard Sr. said. “In order to go to the places we want to go and be in the places we want to be in, we can’t turn the ball over.”
As for the scoring outburst, Bean said he thinks the Sharks are capable of putting up this kind of performance on any given night.
“We just need energy,” he said. “And when we have energy on the bench and we play together as a team, we can score a lot of points.”