SIMPSON – In the middle of Christmas break, Simpson came out of the gates sluggish, but the defense spurred a quick turnaround.
The Broncos held Elizabeth to 22 second half points as they continue their strong season with a 76-51 win Friday night.
"We talked about effort," Simpson head coach Jade Losavio said about his halftime speech. "I thought we were kind of lackadaisical with the basketball, and defensively, I thought we could play a lot harder. They did a good job of hitting shots. We made a few adjustments, and it worked out in the end."
The win puts Simpson at 24-1 for the season as the Broncos stay near the top of Class C.
"You have to be consistent," Losavio said. "If you play defense, it gives you a chance. When you try to outscore people and your shots don't go in, you struggle. But, if you play defense, you have a chance.
"Everybody knows their roles. We have post players, shooters and role players."
The Broncos led 32-29 at halftime but a 12-0 run, with six points from forward Landon Hall, gave them the spark they were searching for.
Hall led Simpson with 26 points by dominating the inside and converting on second chance points.
"You can pencil in Hall to get you a double-double every night," Losavio said. "He gets you offensive rebounds and steals and keeps balls alive. He's the glue guy. He's the Draymond Green of Simpson. He doesn't get the fame and fortune, but you need a guy like that."
Despite the run, Elizabeth's shooting kept the Bulldogs within striking distance, cutting the deficit to six after back-to-back 3s by Aidian Soileau with 1:27 left in the third quarter.
However, the Broncos end the quarter on a 10-0 run, highlighted by back-to-back and-1s by Cameron Bettez and Hall.
A one-handed floater from the baseline by Zach Vargas gave the Broncos a 21 points lead with 5:13 to play as Simpson sealed the win.
Bettez finished with 19 points, and Rhett Petre added 11.