Arbor View boys basketball coach Kyle Hageness knows he won’t have any trouble finding players who want to score.
On Monday, he didn’t have any trouble finding defenders, either.
The Aggies forced 37 turnovers and had 17 steals as they rolled to an 80-35 road win over Desert Oasis in the season opener for both teams.
“Every kid loves to play offense, but the great ones, the really good ones, they play defense and turn that into offense,” Hageness said. “And that’s what we need to have our kids do.”
That was Arbor View’s formula Monday, as it turned the Diamondbacks’ turnovers into 33 points.
Terrell Butler, a 6-foot-2-inch junior guard, led the defensive charge with four steals, to go along with his eight points and seven rebounds.
“Terrell Butler has real long arms and has great upside as a defensive player and a rebounder,” Hageness said. “I think he had some great rebounds tonight. From the guard position, four steals and seven rebounds, we love that. Terrell really helped to jump-start us on offense with his defensive play.”
The Aggies had eight first-quarter steals as they sped to a 17-5 lead. That defensive intensity helped the team get some easy baskets in transition.
“That’s what we try to preach is turning defense into offense,” Hageness said. “Our kids are buying in and they’re understanding that the more you play defense, the better looks and opportunities you have on offense.”
Senior Justin Burks led a balanced offense with 16 points. Navonte Hill scored 13 and Charles Porter had 11 for the Aggies, who were 29-for-57 (50.9 percent) from the field and 22-for-26 (84.6 percent) from the foul line.
“We were able to get out in transition a lot and get some easy baskets,” Hageness said. “I thought our kids played unselfishly, too, and shared the ball. We talk about it doesn’t matter who scores, as long as Arbor View scores.”
Dustin Schwartz led Desert Oasis with 10 points, and teammate Kodi Leslie added eight points and three blocked shots.
Eleven of the 12 players that played scored for Arbor View, and seven had at least seven points.
Arbor View struggled at times with its ballhandling, however, turning the ball over 21 times.
“We need to tighten some things up, and there’s always room for improvement, but the intensity that our kids played with from the start, I’m very pleased with that,” Hageness said.