GALESVILLE — Zane Langrehr set the tone for the Bangor High School boys basketball team on the opening possession.
The Cardinals patiently probed G-E-T’s 1-3-1 zone defense and passed the ball around the perimeter until it landed in the hands of Langrehr in the right corner, and the senior guard hit the first in what became an avalanche of Bangor 3-pointers.
“I knew it was going to be a good night,” senior guard Hank Reader said of his reaction to that first 3. “Nobody can stop us when he’s feeling it, because Zane doesn’t miss when he gets on.”
Langrehr connected on five triples but wasn’t the lone Cardinal with the hot hand Tuesday night; Reader hit six of his own.
In all, Bangor combined to make 14 3-pointers, a barrage that overwhelmed the Red Hawks and helped the Cardinals run away with an 84-54 nonconference win.
“We were feeling good tonight,” Langrehr said. “The ball movement, I think, up top really opened it up for us. If you get a couple swings to break the defense down, we’ll get looks like that, and we have the players able to knock it down.”
Reader finished with a game-high 29 points, 15 of which came in the first half as Bangor built a 40-20 lead. Langrehr added 23 points, and the Cardinals improved to 4-0.
Only two games after Bangor made a point to get out and run in transition in a win over Hillsboro, the team had to have effective possessions in the half court against G-E-T (0-1) and its zone. And just as easily as the Cardinals outpaced the Tigers last Thursday, they found a rhythm on Tuesday.
Aided by having dissected a 1-3-1 against C-FC on Monday night, Bangor worked the ball to find its best shot. Early on, those shots came from beyond the arc — the Cardinals made seven 3s in the first half, including four from Langrehr.
The Red Hawks were forced to switch to man to try to run Bangor’s shooters off the 3-point line, but the Cardinals took advantage of new openings. Will and Hank Reader converted looks in the paint, and junior guard Mathieu Oesterle finished a nice drive to the basket.
And all the while, the 3s kept coming.
“I thought for the most part we did a really good job being patient and not pressing ourselves too much,” Bangor coach Jacob Pederson said. “We had a few turnovers, but really our turnovers weren’t bad passes necessarily.”
Meanwhile, G-E-T, which had only one returning starter from last year’s lineup, struggled to get any momentum on offense. The Red Hawks mustered just five points in the game’s first nine minutes as the Cardinals jumped out to a 23-5 lead.
“We didn’t run much of our offense that we worked on the last two weeks,” G-E-T coach Jared McCutchen said. “We kind of were one pass and done, and guys were just standing around. We’ve got to do a better job of moving without the basketball.”
There were still some bright spots for the Red Hawks: Freshman Cody Schmitz led the team with 18 points, and senior Sawyer Schmidt was close behind with 17.
Those two scored the first four points of the second half, but Bangor’s onslaught from beyond the arc continued.
Langrehr and Reader hit back-to-back 3s to push the Cardinals’ lead back over 20 points, and Reader connected on two more halfway through the period to give Bangor a 63-38 advantage.
The Cardinals’ lead dipped below 20 only one more time as they cruised to victory.
“We can play from anywhere. We can play up against anything, whether it’s playing against man or playing against a zone,” Reader said. “... We slowed down a little bit tonight and got a lot of open looks. I think it’s just a testament to how good of a team we really are.”