ROSEPINE – Hicks jumped out to a 10-point lead and never looked back during its win over Rosepine Tuesday night.

The Pirates found success in the paint to pick up the 57-28 victory at Rosepine High School. 

"I thought we did well, especially coming off a tough road game against Florien," Hicks head coach Neil Standifer said. "I was worried about our stamina and energy coming in to tonight. We played defense well in the first half and that's where are runs came in the game. We held them to just one shot and pounded it inside to our guys."

Hicks is coming off a Class B State Championship game appearance but lost a lot of its production from last season. Despite the loss of the talented senior class, the Pirates are out to a 17-4 start.

"We are off to a better start than I expected because we lost four starters from last year," Standifer said. "We have a lot of guys getting playing time that don't have a lot of experience in high school games. A guy like Zayne (Earl) has stepped up this year and is doing a great job."

Rosepine (2-11) has struggled on offense this season, although its defense has been solid so far this year.

"We are getting good shots, but we just aren't making them," Rosepine head coach Gary Hahler said. "I have one freshman, two juniors and two seniors starting. We just lack some intensity, I think. Defensively, we're playing better than we've ever played. We have held most teams around 50 points, and we feel like if you hold a team to 50 points, you should win more. We're shooting between 30-33 percent."

Hicks led 17-5 after the first quarter and started the second quarter on a 16-0 run to go up 33-5.

Rosepine answered with 7 straight points but trailed 36-12 at the break.

"The last few years, we have been guard oriented and pushed it up-and-down the court," Standifer said. "This year, it's slower paced, and we are more precise with our offense and work on getting the ball inside, which we haven't done as much in the past."

From there, the Pirates maintained their lead and cruised to the road win.

Zalen Goodwin, Earl and Skylar Phillips each finished with 10 points in the win. Despite having an almost brand new team, Hicks' aspirations for the 2019-20 remain high.

"They are really motivated," Standifer said. "We have taken some hits on the chin this year, which was expected, but they've learned from each one. They know that even if we're playing well, we still have a long ways to go if we want to compete at that level."

Kyle Bosley led Rosepine with a game-high 11 points.

"We do need to have a better transition game," Hahler said. "We have to be even more patient on offense. I have a group of kids that traditionally got the ball down the floor, two passes and shoot it. We're trying to change that mindset, and that's probably been our biggest battle. This has been a two-year process. Everyone expects you to change things in a year but it usually takes three years. Next year, we'll have a pretty decent team. It's having them buy into that philosophy that we have."