OSSIAN – It's never easy to shut down Will Geiger, Norwell's 6-foot-5 double-double machine.
And if the rest of the Knights are hitting their shots, too, their opponent is in for a rough night.
It was that kind of night for Bishop Dwenger, which fell 69-43 at The Castle on Tuesday night in the Knights' home opener.
"I thought we did a nice job; I thought we defended well and made them work hard to get what they wanted," Norwell coach Mike McBride said. "And then I thought offensively we were pretty efficient, we had a lot of guys involved. And we kind of played through Geiger, but we shot the ball well from outside, which I think this team is going to do."
Norwell's Conner Torson grabbed the ball at the opening tip, raced to the basket and tossed in a lay up that put the Knights (3-0) up almost instantaneously. The Saints responded with a 3-pointer by Brenden Lytle that gave them their only lead of the game.
But soon enough, Geiger took over under the basket. He made five of six shot attempts from the field in the first quarter, scoring half of his game-leading 22 points in the quarter to power Norwell to a 16-7 lead. He also had 11 rebounds and blocked three shots.
"It was fun, I was saying that in the locker room," Geiger said. "It was definitely good to be back on our home court and to get a win like this against a good school, a good team. It was just a fun game all around."
When Brenden Lytle opened the second quarter with back-to-back 3-pointers to close the gap to 16-13, Norwell's Eli Riley and Luke McBride responded with 3's of their own, followed by another Geiger layup that once again stretched the lead to double-digits, where it would stay for the rest of the game.
The Knights hit seven of their 14 3-point attempts and made 61.8% of shots taken inside the arc. Riley hit four 3-pointers, accounting for most of his 16 points, and Drew Federspiel scored 11.
"We work on it a lot in practice," Geiger said. "We've got some really good shooters. I'm sure everybody's probably heard about them by now, but we've got some good freshmen who can hit it. We just have guys who can hit that shot consistently, and they just help us a ton."
Early-season defensive miscues occasionally gave the Knights an open look, but the Saints defense wasn't suffering from a lack of physicality. The Knights made four shots while being fouled, and another apparent basket was called off by the referees, who determined the foul had occurred before the shot.
"We're putting a lot more time and effort into the weight room, and we're starting to see that show with our older guys," McBride said. "Our guys that are back are more experienced now, and they understand the intensity level with which we have to play. We've been working a lot in practice on one-on-one, and I think it's helped our one-on-one defense and our one-on-one offense play.
"In years past, playing Bishop Dwenger, we'd get physically beat up. Tonight we were able to withstand that physicality and finish plays."
Lytle led the Saints, who were playing in their first game of the season, with 14 points. C.J. Pieper scored 10 points, all of them in the second half.
Bishop Dwenger had trouble moving the ball in the early-going, and it wasn't until well into the second quarter that a Saint other than Lytle scored.