NORTH CLARENDON >> The first eight minutes were slow for the Mount Anthony Union High School basketball team on Wednesday night, facing Mill River and looking for coach Dan Sleeman's 200th career win.
Like a car in the cold, it took a little while to warm up.
MAU had four players in double figures and outscored the Minutemen 42-19 in the second and third quarter of a 79-44 rout to improve to 6-0 and secure Sleeman's 200th win.
"I don't reflect enough, but there's been great players going through the program that are still involved in basketball as coaches," Sleeman said. "The [coaching] tree is growing, time keep marching on and the tree gets bigger, that's rewarding."
Sleeman got the first win on Dec. 6, 2001, against Burr and Burton Academy in the Dave Fredrickson Tip-Off tournament. 14 years later, his Patriots used the long ball to pull away to a sizeable advantage.
"We made 12 total and we were setting early for the outside shot," Sleeman said. "We have to keep getting [touches in the paint], it's still a work in progress."
Tyler Champagne led the way with 18 points, including five 3-pointers on the night. Jonas Parker, who came into the night averaging 24 points per game had 17. Damon Burgess was also shooting hot from beyond the arc with four triples and 16 points. Josh Parker had his most action of the season with a 10-point, 8-rebound effort.
"He's got a lot of confidence and he's doing a nice job, he's one of our most efficient players," said Sleeman about Josh Parker. "I was also happy with the second group, they ran the offense and played solid defense."
Mill River made a game of it on the back of junior guard Mike Morgan, who had a game-high 23 points for the Minutemen. His five points in the first quarter kept them in it at 17-12, but a nice run from the Patriots, including hitting five 3-pointers in the frame made it 41-21 at the break.
In the second, Parker was shutout, but Champagne, Josh Parker and Burgess all had seven points.
"We don't have to live and die by the three," Sleeman said. "It was a comfortable win and we've been tested in every game so far."
In the third, Morgan tried to keep the Minutemen going, scoring all 10 of their points, but Jonas Parker started to establish himself inside, with seven points of his own as MAU took a 59-31 lead into the fourth quarter.
In the fourth, both teams put in reserves and MAU outscored Mill River, 20-13, in the final eight minutes.
Afterward Sleeman said the milestone had come to the forefront.
"It's rewarding because the kids were almost more excited than I was," Sleeman said. "Great players make great coaches, you're around the kids all year long now. We have a lot of momentum going into the new year.