Mill Valley forwards Patrick Muldoon and Nathan Stacy are used to seeing eye-to-eye with their competition.
But it’s a rare occasion when the duo can look down at opponents on the basketball floor.
Stacy and Muldoon put that size advantage to good use on Friday night, helping the Jaguars to a 63-45 victory at Olathe Northwest.
“Especially compared to last year when they had a 7-footer (Kentucky freshman Willie Cauley-Stein) it’s much nicer going against the 6-2, 6-3 guys they had on the court tonight,” Stacy said with a smile.
Stacy piled up 21 points and eight rebounds, while Muldoon finished with 16 points and 12 boards. It was no coincidence they teamed up on a 10-0 run at the end of the first half that effectively put the game out of reach.
“We ran everything through Nathan and Pat. Nathan is always so steady, but Pat came to play tonight,” Mill Valley coach Justin Bogart said. “He looked good offensively, obviously, but defensively, he’s really smart. He can guard a post and help out on ball screens and create some problems, so good for Pat tonight.”
Four of those points came in transition after the Jaguars forced turnovers on the defensive end.
“The fact that we could get some stops and get out in transition really did help us in the second quarter,” Bogart said. “In the second half we had to grind out some possessions on both sides and we did a good job.”
Among Muldoon’s highlights on the night was a one-handed slam that punctuated the game-changing run.
“We knew they were guard set coming in and we knew they weren’t very big down low, and our main focus was to get the ball inside and work it inside-out, like usual,” Muldoon said. “Both of us big men did a good job of taking pressure off the guards and they usually step up and have big games. We stuck it to them tonight.”
Freshman Logan Koch had a quiet 14 points for Mill Valley, which improved to 10-2 on the season.
Northwest, 5-7, started well. The Ravens jumped to a 12-5 lead and led by three points going into the second quarter. But Northwest couldn’t keep the offensive pace when it started to go cold from beyond the three-point line.
Trey Bales led the Ravens with 13 points, and Morgan Funk scored 10.
“They made a few plays and we made some bad turnovers and we had a big swing on us. I think we fought and scrapped and cut it to (eight), but we had lapses you just can’t do when playing uphill like that,” Northwest coach Mike Grove said.
Northwest’s last spurt came after Taylor Davis connected from deep with 5:38 to go. But Muldoon and Stacy responded by scoring the next five points.
And that was that.