CLEARWATER — East Lake coach Joe Bloznalis has the luxury of having five starters who are tremendous shooters and can run.
Every possession is a potential fastbreak and the chance to spread the wealth. Who defers to whom on their way to the basket is usually worked out by the time they get there.
The Eagles' up-tempo pace ran so well Tuesday night that Countryside defenders might as well have had folding chairs for all the opposition they presented in a 68-32 East Lake victory in which a running clock was used in the final three minutes.
"I'm really pleased with the offense," Bloznalis said. "We've got guys who can shoot. When they're on, we're tough to guard."
The Eagles (2-0) played splendid defense, passed efficiently and rebounded well in their first road game.
But what East Lake did best was shoot in an aggressive style that crushed the Cougars in a matchup of unbeaten teams.
"We have three really good perimeter players," Bloznalis said. "They have great chemistry together, and they know where each other is going to be."
The Eagles made sure-footed 3-pointers and off-balance 3-pointers. They tossed them in from the corners and from the wings, and the shots kept falling.
In all, East Lake hit eight 3s. Those long-range shots helped the Eagles open with a 15-4 run. East Lake led in every quarter and was able to play reserves in the fourth quarter.
"We're off to a good start," said Eagles guard Blake Grimm, who scored 15 and had two 3s. "We have a lot of confidence, and everybody is contributing so far."
About the only thing East Lake was unable to do was maintain its scoring average.
"We've been averaging 80 points (in the preseason and regular season)," Bloznalis said. "So it was a little surprising to see us only have 50-something points in the third quarter.
"But overall it was a good win. And a good test for us because we have Largo and St. Petersburg on the road later in the week."