The Independence boys basketball team began the 2012-13 season with a 71-66 win over Hough High, thanks to strong performances from junior guards Tayon Gleaves and Marcus Graves.
Gleaves played the entire game while scoring a team-high 26 points and contributing five rebounds and four steals. Graves added 21 points.
The Patriots, who won just two games a season ago, didn’t get their first victory until the 10th game of the 2011 campaign and endured losing streaks of 10, nine and five games. They lost 19 games by 10 points or fewer.
“I told the guys before the game that they were ready to take the next step this year,” said Patriots coach Preston Davis. “They were focused and ready to go, and it showed.”
After the third quarter, and with the score tied, Davis gathered his players in the huddle.
“I just told them we’ve been here before and now it was time to see how much they wanted it,” Davis said. “We have to build on this, stay humble and hungry and continue to grow. But, yes, it’s great to get that first win.”
Independence plays its first four games at home, with the next opponent being Harding on Friday, Nov. 30.