Zach Dragoo can see, even early in the season, that the Arts and Sciences boys' basketball team has massive potential.
After all, the Patriots have a 6-foot-7 versatile big man in Louis Bell to go along with a crafty and explosive point guard in Jarius Cameron and one of the area's top rising scoring threats in Justin Brown.
Despite CSAS improving to 5-1 overall on the season with Monday's 74-57 home victory over Grace Academy, their head coach seeks more out of a talented group which has plenty of weapons including 3-point sniper Chase Pride.
"We are extremely blessed with a bunch that I would put up against anybody," Dragoo said. "But we are not playing basketball the right way all the time. We need to be accountable with each other. We need to take our game to another level. That means guys coming out of their comfort zones to lead this team and help us play a complete game. So far this season we have only been good in spurts."
The Patriots showed their elite potential early as they jumped out to a 17-6 lead in which Cameron had a pair of sharp assists to Pride for two of his game-high four 3-pointers. Brown had one of his four steals lead to a fastbreak dunk while Bell swatted away a shot that landed at midcourt for easy transition points.
However, Grace Academy did not back down as Mason Long made tough buckets seemingly all evening on his way to finishing with 18 points. Cooper Knecht's shot off the glass gave the Golden Eagles a 20-19 lead two minutes into the second quarter.
CSAS built a 37-22 halftime lead with Brown's help.
The talented 6-foot-3 guard scored 10 of his game-high 20 points in the second quarter in which he added his second dunk and made six consecutive free throws. Pride had 14 points while Bell added 10 in the victory. Eli Ibrahim scored 13 points for the Golden Eagles who could not put defensive stops together late.
Notre Dame 65, Central 21: Emily Steere made four second-half 3-pointers to finish with a game-high 16 points for the Lady Irish who also got 11 points from Dayonna Perryman and 10 from Kenzie Campbell.
Chattooga 50, Gordon Lee 48: Naveah Morgan had 16 points, with 10 coming in the third period, as the Lady Indians won the nonregion game. Sada Williams added 10 points for Chattooga, while Emma McGraw led Gordon Lee with a game-high 25 points, with 14 coming in the third quarter.