BLOOMINGTON The scene was almost ideal as the Central Catholic High School boys basketball team huddled in the corner. As the Saints bounced up-and-down like basketballs on a wooden court, "Rolling on the River" was being performed in the background by the school band.
Rolling along is exactly what the Saints did.
From start to finish, Central Catholic dominated in every facet in a 76-33 nonconference victory over Flanagan.
"I think everybody was focused for this game," junior guard Brandon Dunson said. "Most people think we would overlook a game like this because we heard (Flanagan) wasn't good. We came in focused like any other game."
Just like the last seven.
The Saints (7-2) limited the Falcons to 28.3 percent (15 of 53) from the floor and forced 22 turnovers. More impressive was Flanagan (2-8) did not attempt a free throw until 4 minutes, 57 seconds remaining in the contest.
"They're better. They're better than us," Flanagan coach Eric Bryant said. "It's not hard to see. They're big, can shoot, can jump."
All three were exhibited.
The Saints finished 35-of-63 from the field (55.5 percent) and outrebounded Flanagan 36-30.
"I think our guards did a good job of penetrating," Paul Kebbes said. "Matt (Pelton) and Brandon and all those guys did a good job of getting inside. I mean it's just easy when you're shooting layups. ?| I think tonight our defense created a lot of offense for us."
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That rang true.
Thirty of Central Catholic's 76 points came off Flanagan turnovers. Of the Falcons' 70 possessions, 60 ended in one shot or turnover.
"We're just starting to scratch the surface at the type of defensive team we can be," Central Catholic coach Jeff Wulbrun said. "It's been an emphasis this week in practice. It was an emphasis this evening ?| to be active on the defensive end. ?| I thought the guys did a very good job tonight. I thought the activity and intensity on the defensive end was excellent."
The activity and defense created points.
Fourteen of the 15 players on the Saints' roster recorded at least one point.
"Our bench came in and played really well. It feels good when everybody gets a chance to come in and play well," Kabbes said.
Dunson led Central Catholic with 14 points, while Kabbes contributed 12. The two combined to shoot 13-of-16 from the field. Josh Brent snared a game-high eight rebounds.
Central Catholic, who last lost on Nov. 23 to Bloomington in the Intercity Tournament, is off until it faces Peoria Christian at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 27 in the first game of the State Farm Holiday Classic at Horton Fieldhouse.
"We've put the past behind us," Dunson said. "We always come forward like it's a new day, try to work hard at every practice and get results."