The Diamond Wildcats raced out to 21-2 advantage in the first quarter and never looked back, defeating Exeter 65-26 in the opening round of the Pierce City Invitational basketball tournament on Monday.
"We knew coming into this season we were going to struggle," said first-year Exeter coach Jay Allen. "We have an entirely new coaching staff and only one scorer returning from last year's squad. Diamond is a good Class 3 school, and they played extremely well."
The Wildcats consistently broke the Tigers' pressure and made the extra pass to set up an open shooter and led 42-15 at halftime.
Exeter's Kong Lee had 10 points in the first half and finished the game with 15. John Kho chipped in 5 points and Colton Stringer, Lane Pendergraft and Austin Johnson recorded 2 points each.
Diamond was led by Scott Corn with 13 points and Kyle Heman with 12 points.
"Our kids are resilient, and we will use this game as a teaching tool," said Allen. "The key for us is to keep our season in perspective, and we will be alright."
Exeter continues play in the Pierce City Tournament against Verona on Friday at 6 p.m.