Slow starts have been something that has plagued Tri-County North’s boys’ basketball team in its five losses this year.
Friday, Jan. 3 against Tri-Village — the top team in the Cross County Conference — was no different.
The Panthers were outscored 23-4 during the first eight minutes and never recovered in suffering an 85-29 setback.
North was coming off a 70-44 win over Gamble Montessori in the Consolation Game of the Preble Shawnee Holiday Tournament and was hoping to keep the momentum going.
The Tri-Village quickly erased any of those thoughts as it jumped out to a quick 12-2 advantage and kept its foot on the throttle.
North couldn’t contain Colton Linkous and Tyler Cook, with Linkous scoring 10 points and Cook adding eight in the quarter.
Both continued to score in the second frame but got help from Damion Cook with six points as the Patriots increased their lead to 40-12 at the half.
Tri-County North came out after intermission and put together its most productive period, scoring 13, but was unable to defend the firepower and 23 points the Patriots added to expand the margin to 63-25.
North was led in scoring by Hunter Gleadel with eight. Ryan McAdams, Kody Cordes and Derek Booth each scored five points.
The Panthers struggled from the field making just 12-of-53 shots attempts.
Damion Cook and Mason McCabe both led the way in the frame, with seven points each.
Tri-Village continued to roll in the final stanza outscoring the host Panthers, 22-4 for the final margin.
Linkous finished with a game-high 30 points including six 3-pointers. Tyler Cook added 20 points on 10 fielders, and Damion Cook ended with 13 on the night.
Tri-County North (5-5, 4-2 CCC) will return to action Friday, Jan. 10, when they visit Newton. The Panthers will also be on the road Saturday at Carlisle.