At the end of the first quarter of the McDowell Titans’ season opener against the East Burke Cavaliers Tuesday, a Titan fan in the stands extrapolated the score and came up with a final.

“If it keeps up like this,” he said, “it’ll be 80-4.”

It wasn’t quite that bad, but the Titans’ 20-1 start did lift them to a 69-33 win over the Cavs (0-3). The game was never close and the mercy-rule clock ran for the final 9:08 after the margin hit 40 points late in the third quarter.

The Titans’ starters played about half a game each and exited for good in the third period, but their contributions fueled the initial scoring outburst that sealed the deal early.

Guard Antoine Lindsey tossed in a game-high 15 to go with six steals. Skyler McKinney scored all 10 of his points in the first quarter and finished with 10 boards, five assists, two steals and two blocked shots. Point guard Kevin Silver added 11 points, four boards, three assists and two steals.

The other starters, Travis Corpening and Caden Davis, chipped in seven and five points respectively, and each pulled five rebounds.

McDowell shot a red-hot 53 percent (27-of-51) and held East Burke to 20-percent shooting (12-of-59). The Cavs were just 1-for-29 from 3-point range.

“I thought the intensity level was great, especially early on,” said Titans head coach Brian Franklin. “That was not a surprise, because those guys were ready to go. That was our first game, playing at home and there was a good crowd, so we had no excuse not to be sky-high. We just worried whether they would funnel that energy and use it properly, and I thought we did.”

The Titans’ opening run was methodical rather than incendiary, beginning when McKinney made one of two free throws at the 7-minute mark and ending when the senior wing canned a 3-pointer off an assist from J.C. Olivo with 52 seconds remaining in the quarter.

But the rally showcased McDowell’s all-out style of play, as well as the Titans’ unselfishness. McDowell made 8-of-16 shots in the period, and pulled offensive rebounds on seven of its misses.

Even thought the Titans had only one offensive board the rest of the way, it didn’t matter.

“I thought Antoine really played well,” said Franklin. “He didn’t force things; he just took what was there and made some really good passes. I thought Kevin was great in the second half, and then Skyler was just solid in every way.”

The Titans led 41-15 at the half and then outscored the Cavaliers 21-5 in the third quarter. Jordan Kehler made a three-point play off an assist from Dylan McRary to push the lead to 62-20 with 1:08 left in the third quarter to invoke the NCHSAA’s 40-point mercy rule.

McDowell is on the road at Mitchell tonight.

 East Burke (33) Tyler Lowman 1-4 0-0 3, Andrew Gilbert 1-7 1-2 3, Caustin Dillon 1-7 4-6 6, Tanner Melton 1-1 0-0 2, Cody Kistler 1-9 0-1 2, Ayden Lail 1-7 0-0 2, Aaron Morrison 2-5 2-2 4, Austin Teague 2-5 0-1 4, Aasin Lor 1-8 3-4 5, Mason Weaver 1-4 0-0 2, Gavin Cox 0-2 0-0 0, Chase Smith 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 12-59 10-16 33.

McDowell (69) Caden Davis 2-2 1-1 5, Travis Corpening 3-6 1-2 7, Skyler McKinney 4-6 1-2 10, Antoine Lindsey 6-10 2-3 15, Kevin Silver 3-9 4-5 11, Dylan McRary 2-4 0-0 5, Adam Randolph 1-2 0-0 2, Andruw Randolph 0-0 0-0 0, Andrew Davis 0-1 0-0 0, J.C. Olivo 1-2 0-0 2, Cole England 3-4 0-0 6, Jordan Kehler 1-3 1-1 3, Nick Grande 0-1 0-0 0, Trenton Gragg 1-1 0-0 3, Ian Elliott 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 27-51 10-14 69.

 

East Burke                   01   14   05   13 – 33

McDowell           20   21   21   07 – 69

 

Rebounds: EB (36) McDowell (36) Rebound leaders: EB (Cox 6) McDowell (McKinney 10) 3-point goals: EB (1-29) McDowell (5-13) EB (Lowman 1-3, Gilbert, Dillon 0-4, Kistler 0-5, Lail, Teague, Lor 0-3, Morrison, Weaver 0-2) McDowell (Silver 1-4, Lindsey 1-3, McKinney, McRary 1-2, Kehler 0-1, Gragg 1-1) McDowell assist leaders; (McKinney 5) McDowell steals leaders: (Lindsey 6) McDowell blocked shot leaders: (McKinney 2) Turnovers: EB (20) McDowell (17)

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