Sophomore point guard Brian Griffith erupted with 27 points and set the tone early to drive Owensboro Catholic past visiting Apollo 72-52 before a good crowd Friday night at the Sportscenter.
The 5-51/2 Griffith scored nine of his points in the first period, as Catholic built an early 17-11 lead -- and the Eagles could never recover.
"We want to get it out and go, get some easy baskets in transition," Aces coach Tim Riley said. "We want to get stops, get rebounds, and run the court when we can.
"Griffith is a tremendous little player. With the basketball, he's one of the fastest guys I've coached."
Catholic got five more points from Griffith in the second period, helping extend the Aces' lead to 37-24 at intermission.
Griffith was 3-for-3 from the floor in the third period, including a 3-pointer, and his floater at 0:03 pushed Catholic in front 51-36 entering the final eight minutes.
Two free throws from Griffith and consecutive layups by Gray Weaver and and Drew Hartz made up a 6-0 Aces blitz in the first minute of the fourth period, and Apollo never seriously threatened thereafter.
Catholic took its largest lead of the contest on a free throw by Andrew Riney at 2:46 that made it 68-43.
Griffith finished 9-of-12 from the floor, including three 3s, adding four assists. Fellow sophomore Ji Webb produced 11 points and eight rebounds, including a pair of dunks off lob passes. Riney also dished four assists.
Catholic (3-1) blistered the nets at 61 percent from the field (25-of-41) and made 15-of-22 free throws (68%). The Aces narrowly won the rebounding battle (26-25) and turned the ball over 16 times.
Apollo (0-4) was by Ryan Ash, who climbed off the bench to score 14 points. Landon Hamilton, Malik Wilson and Dan St. Claire each secured six rebounds.
The Eagles were 15-of-43 from the field (35%), made 19-of-26 foul shots (73%), and committed 15 turnovers.
APOLLO 11-13-12-16 -- 52
OWENSBORO CATHOLIC 17-20-14-21 -- 72
Apollo (52) -- Ash 14, Wilson 9, St. Claire 9, Hamilton 6, Denton 4, Bowman 3, Barker 3, Smith 2, Weedman 1, Frantz 1.
Owensboro Catholic (72) -- Griffith 27, Webb 11, Weaver 9, Riney 8, Scales 6, McFarland 5, Munsey 3, Hartz 2, Jones 1.