FREMONT - Like any good retailer, St. Joe took charges and cash.
And when it needed a little more, it would steal it.
By the end, St. Joe had racked up a number of charges and cashed in on a 62-38 Midland Athletic League victory.
The Crimson Streaks (2-0, 1-0 MAL) cashed in on 22 turnovers and turned them into 22 points.
"We've only had 13 days of practice and I thought we put it together for almost the entire game," St. Joe coach Jonathan Will said. "I can't say that I'm surprised by that, but at the same time, 32 minutes is tough to do, (to keep it up) the whole game, especially this early. They executed the game plan to perfection tonight."
St. Joe's frenetic defense caused all kinds of problems, not only with turnovers, but by taking charges and holding Seneca East to 16 of 45 shooting.
"(We) took two or three charges and I thought our press tonight was really good tonight to help build the lead to what it was early and help us cap it off late, as well," Will said.
But it wasn't just the defense that showed off. The offense was superb as well with four Streaks in double figures: Jordan Sessler (17 points), Connor Dudley (11 points), Zack Yeckley (11 points) and Luke Stierwalt (10 points). The Streaks fired at a 26-of-54 clip from the field.
"St. Joe played well. They shot the ball well early on," Seneca East coach Joe Bedingfield said. "We came out a little slow and they played a lot better than we did early on. They were the better team tonight and they came out ready to play."
The tone was set early as St. Joe came out with a 6-0 lead in the first 41 seconds and was off to the races from there. When Ben Hahler scored with 4:20 to go in the first quarter for Seneca East, it cut the lead to 8-4 but it was also the last time the Tigers (1-1, 0-1 MAL) scored for more than five minutes. In the meantime, St. Joe built up a 17-4 lead.
"The first quarter was huge because we went to watch them play at Monroeville and Seneca East got off to such a good start. ... Every one of their starters had a 3-point make in the first quarter," Hahler said. "So we had a lot of concerns about getting off to a good start. ... Playing on our home floor gives us such a boost.
There's no better home court advantage than coming here and playing. Our fans got into it early. Our kids fed off that and it lets you relax a bit once you build that big lead up."
Seneca East scored on four of its first six possessions of the second quarter to cut it to 19-11 but a 9-0 spurt by St. Joe put the Streaks up by 17, a margin they carried in halftime.
"Our kids did a tremendous job of staying in the moment tonight and executing the game plan," Will said. "We knew they were going to make a run so we told our team to limit the runs, keep the game where it's at."
Midway through the third, Seneca East cut the lead to 10, 39-29, but the Tigers got no closer the rest of the way.
"We talked about getting the ball inside and trying to get it to Hahler. We just didn't do a good job of that tonight," Bedingfield said. "I thought the pressure bothered us. We didn't make good decisions with the basketball, especially early on. Scoring four points in two quarters is not going to win ballgames. Our offense is definitely sluggish and I have to do a better job of getting the guys ready to go."
Will said the goal was to stop Hahler, who had a double-double (11 points, 10 rebounds) in the Tigers' 60-41 drubbing last season. That assignment fell on Ryan Williams. He held Hahler to seven points.
"We challenged Ryan tonight. I think I challenged Ryan more than any other over the course of the week," Will said. "Ben Hahler is one of the top posts in the area. There are a lot of good posts in the league, but he's just a match-up problem for us. He took it to us last year. We challenged Ryan this week in practice. He got after it tonight. We had great post defense and then when the ball did come in, I thought our backside help was always there."
St. Joe owned the glass, 35-25, with Williams and Stierwalt grabbing 11 and 10 boards, respectively. Hahler finished with a game-high 13 points. Both Hahler and Williams each had two blocks.
Nate Phillips paced the Seneca East scoring effort with 17 points.