Triton men roll

The Iowa Central men’s basketball team avenged a previous loss to Dakota County Wednesday night, kick-starting 2013 with a convincing 69-42 victory.

The Tritons (9-6 overall) opened up a slim halftime advantage behind the shooting of Rhys Elliot, as the sophomore scored all 14 of his points over the final 20 minutes.

David Anderson added 12 points, seven rebounds and two blocks, while Jaleel Gray posted 12 and six.

“I thought Jaleel played just a great game and really contributed for us off the bench when we needed him,” said ICCC head coach Dennis Pilcher. “We needed a game like this right off the break to kind of give us momentum.

“Now, we head to Ellsworth for a big conference game on Saturday.”

Gray and Andersen each scored eight points in the first half, while Jesse Jones dropped in seven. Iowa Central, however, led just 28-20 at the break, as Gray sank a shot at the buzzer.

That burst seemed to lift the Tritons, as they quickly worked the advantage to 43-28 courtesy of an 11-1 run.

“At times we did things really well, but we still didn’t put everything together,” Pilcher said. “We need to shore up several areas, but the production we received from guys like Jaleel, Jerel (Rose) and Chris (Tawiah) off the bench will be important.

“We’ve got a pretty solid rotation now, and if we can count on those guys to spark off when they come in, we’ll be pretty strong.”

Elliot, one of just two sophomores on the roster with Andersen, recovered from an 0-for-3 first half to hit 5 of 8 in the second. The Tritons also controlled the glass, holding a plus-21 advantage on the boards and turning 13 Dakota County turnovers into 12 points.

Earlier this year, Iowa Central suffered a 77-70 overtime loss in Minnesota to the Blue Knights. Lamar Burfeind led Dakota County with eight points.

The Blue Knights also featured Malik El-Amin, the nephew of former Connecticut star Khalid El-Amin. The elder El-Amin led the Huskies to the 1999 NCAA national title and was a second round draft pick by the Chicago Bulls. Malik scored four points.

Iowa Central (0-1 in ICCAC) returns to action this Saturday in Iowa Falls against Ellsworth (8-5, 0-0) at 3 p.m.