The 2019-20 Commerce boys' basketball team opened the season with a road win at Lake Oconee Academy. 

The Tigers defeated the Titans 45-28. 

Ian McConnell led the way for Commerce, recording a double-double in the win. McConnell dropped 19 points and grabbed 17 boards. 

"I thought we did a really good job of getting him the ball," head coach Russ Gregg said. "Going into the season, that's one of the focuses, getting it inside to him.

"He's really skilled around the basket, even out to 15 feet."

Dominic Ricci scored 10 points. Collin Veal added eight points. Creed Dunbar did work on the rebounds, snagging 10. 

Gregg thought the guards did a "good job" of getting the ball up the court. But it was the defense and rebounding that really caught his attention. 

"(LOA) plays a very slow style, and we had to adapt to that, and I thought we did a really good job of limiting their shots and getting it out," Gregg said, "and taking the easy shot if we had it. But, if not, getting it inside to Ian."

Gregg said, though, his group will have to shoot the basketball better, along with hitting more free throws. 

"That's probably the only down spot I can point out," Gregg said. "... we've got to learn, building a program, it just takes time to learn how to win and learn how to put teams away. Making free throws is a big part of that."

The season started with a postponement on Nov. 14. The Tigers were supposed to play at Cross Keys. Instead, the season opened Nov. 19 at LOA. 

"By that game getting canceled, it allowed us to come back and work on a few things before our first game," Gregg said. "As a coach, you're always worried about that first one.

"It allowed us to get a few more practices under our belts. I felt good about that."


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