Chris Drenning's first game as head coach of the Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic High School boys basketball team is in the record books, and it was one he won't soon forget.
Drenning's Marauders mercy-ruled Westmont Hilltop, 61-22, in a Laurel Highlands Conference non-section game Monday night at the Pleasant Valley gym.
"Our guys were really ready to play," Drenning said.
That was an understatement. BG scored the first 10 points and led 27-2 after one quarter. It was 48-7 at the half and Westmont actually outscored the Marauders, 15-13, with a running clock the entire second half.
The Hilltoppers were without two starting senior guards who were injured in the Homer-Center Tournament last weekend. Coach Dave Roman Jr. was forced to use two freshmen instead and the young backcourt was no match for the veteran Marauders, who return several experienced players.
Drenning did all he could to keep the score down. He substituted for his entire starting five just four minutes into the game and cleared his bench - 15 players - early in the second half.
The Marauders used a half-court man defense but quit pressing and trapping after the first quarter.
"We have a lot of depth," Drenning said, "and we wanted to try and get everybody some minutes, utilize our depth and do the things that we do well.
"We can press and trap, and we have pretty good quickness," he said. "We shot the ball exceptionally well the first quarter, and that makes you look smarter sometimes than you really are."
Drenning's son, senior sharpshooter Brandon Drenning, nailed four 3-pointers and finished with 14 points. C.J. Fulare and Sam McCloskey chipped in with nine points each.
"It feels good to come out, get the first win and get the nerves out," Brandon Drenning said. "It's pretty special [being part of his dad's first win], but, really, it's just like another game. He treats me just like another player."
Guard Pat Irwin chipped in with six points and was the point man on BG's offense and defense.
"We've been working all summer on speeding up this year," Irwin said. "As soon as I catch it, I'm supposed to look down the sideline. We were subbing a lot of guys - five in, five out - and it seemed like they [Hilltoppers] were a little tired. Everything just seemed to go our way from the beginning."
Chris Drenning was quick to credit his players.
"They worked real hard in the off-season. It was a good start, but this is a really, really good conference and we've got a lot of work ahead," he said.
"We were fortunate to get out to a hot start tonight and we took advantage of that," he added. "The kids work real hard and it's nice to see them rewarded. It doesn't always work out that way, but [Westmont] had some kids hurt. Plus, they're young and they're building.
"We weren't expecting anything this lopsided," the BG coach said. "We shot the ball well, turned them over, got some easy shots and it just snowballed."
Roman made no excuses for his team's performance.
"We came in here short-handed in a tough environment," Roman said, "but that's not an excuse. Our effort was bad. It doesn't matter what grade or class you're in or where you are on the depth chart, you've got to play hard, and we didn't."
The Marauders visit Bellwood-Antis on Wednesday and travel to Bedford on Thursday.
WESTMONT HILLTOP (22): Kleinmeyer 0 0-0 0, Dluhus 1 0-0 2, Mendelson 3 0-0 8, Dragovich 2 0-0 4, Z. Vliet 2 2-2 6, Miller 0 0-0 0, Brant 0 0-0 0, Yonko 1 0-0 2, Davis 0 0-0 0. Totals - 9 2-2 22.
BISHOP GUILFOYLE (61): Drenning 5 0-0 14, Irwin 2 2-2 6, Patterson 2 1-2 5, Koehle 3 0-0 6, Fulare 4 0-0 9, McCloskey 3 1-2 9, Rickens 3 0-1 7, Wolf 1 0-0 2, Kibler 1 0-0 3, Brumbaugh 0 0-2 0, Chadbourne 0 0-0 0, Nardelli 0 0-0 0, Baldessaro 0 0-0 0, Fiore 0 0-0 0, Little 0 0-0 0. Totals - 24 4-9 61.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Westmont Hilltop2 5 4 11 - 22
Bishop Guilfoyle27 21 6 7 - 61
3-point goals: Westmont Hilltop 2 (Mendelson 2); Bishop Guilfoyle 9 (Drenning 4, McCloskey 2, Fulare, Kibler).
Officials: Jim Klausman, Keith Redfoot, Jim Cushion.
Records: Westmont Hilltop (1-2); Bishop Guilfoyle (1-0).
JV: Bishop Guilfoyle, 49-26. High scorer-Matt Gormley, BG, 12.