Perry's boys basketball team led from start to finish Wednesday night in defeating Millennium for its sixth consecutive victory. That wasa departure from the night before.
But the best part of the triumph came with the array of contributions paving the way to its 74-60 triumph at Perry High in the Division I power-ranking contest.
The Howard brothers — senior Jordan and freshman Markus — combined for 35 points. Markus connected for 23 and Jordan had 15. They teamed up for Perry's first seven points 90 seconds in, prompting an early Millennium time out.
Then there were the many players coach Joe Babinski rotated in and out. Perry's bench tallied 27 of the 74 points with Bryce Fisher (11), Marcus Ybarra (eight), Kyle Van Haren (five) and Brandon Bidese (three). All of that made for a satisfied head coach.
“We have a good bench,” Babinski said. “It's a matter of sifting through and finding the five or six guys that can get it done. Kyle may not have scored a lot, but he made a lot of plays. (Fisher) gets out and covers. We're at our best when we turn up the heat andcan get a lot of layups.”
Perry, which opened the season by winning four games and the title of the Paradise Valley Tournament last week, has added two power-point game triuimphs iun two days. A road win at Westwood on Tuesday saw the Pumas behind by double digits at halftime only to rally for that win.
Jordan Howard, who averaged 26 points a game last year, has settled in as the primary point guard this season and has done what Babinski expects by spreading the ball around. Jordan Howard finished with 12 points, but had a subpar shooting night (3-of-12). He was most effective feeding open teammates.
A third Perry starter scoring in double figures was 6-foot-6 center Geoffrey Vredevoogd. Vredevoogd was solid in half-court sets with all 10 of his points coming in the paint. Eleven of Perry's 22 field goals were layups.
Millennium dropped its fifth straight game — three last week in the Hoophall West Classic where the Tigers faced Desert Mountain, Gilbert and Shadow Mountain. The Tigers have played with last year's top returning player, 6-9 Elston Jones, who is rehabbing from injury.
“They worried us,” Babinski said. “I'm glad we got off to a good start. They hung around and wouldn't go away. One thing we need to do is limit our turnovers. We've had too many at times.”
Millennium senior Michael Olexa led all scorers with 25 points. Olexa made 9-of-15 shots from the flloor and 6-of-6 free throws. Teammate Grant Smith came off the bench to add 13 points, seven in the second period to help keep Millennium within 10 at intermission.