The Couch Indians looked right at home in the opening round of the Big Spring Conference Tournament Feb. 4.
That much makes sense, with Couch playing host to the annual get-together this year.
But more than just at ease with the tourney's location, the Indians' full-court defense also provided a comfort zone in Couch's 61-32 victory over Alton.
And the second-seeded Indians spared little time in giving the seventh-seeded Comets fits when they tired to advance the basketball beyond mid-court.
Cody Roberts (six points) opened the game with a bucket for Couch, but that was quickly answered by a hoop from Alton's Brent Tackitt (three points).
Then, things got awfully quiet for the Comets.
The Indians busted out to a big lead with 11 unanswered points, keyed off their defense.
Eddie Meier started the damage with back-to-back steals and layups, followed by jumpers from Zain Hopper (six points) and Derek Orchard. Josh Carter capped the run by drilling a 3-ball with 2:42 left. Carter led all scorers with a game-high 16 points for the homestanding Indians.
Tyler Thompson (10 points) halted the Couch run with a trey of his own, but Alton found itself down 13-5.
Couch closed the book on the first period with two straight buckets, moving on top 17-5 after one.
Things continued to go downhill for Alton in the second period.
Blake Martin (13 points) tossed in the first five points of the frame for Couch, pushing the Indians to a 22-5 advantage.
A free throw from Jeff Peace (three points) at the 5:51 mark was the Comets' first points of the second, but the Comets did break off five points in a row, including a layup by Thomas Prill, to narrow the gap to 24-10.
But Couch ended the second as strong as it started it and hoops from Derrick Martin (11 points) and Chris Taylor (three points) ended a 14-2 run for the Indians, giving the home team a 38-12 cushion at intermission.
Stetson Neldon came out firing for Alton in the third period and scored the Comets' first two hoops of the second half. Neldon led Alton with 11 points.
Still, Couch refused to be swayed, and the Indians led 50-17 after three periods of play.
The Comets found their stroke from behind the 3-point arc in the last period, as Tyler Thompson knocked down a pair while brother Trent Thompson connected on one triple, but it was too late, with the Indians cruising to the finish line with a 61-32 victory.