"One of the best aspects or the most positive things about our team is that we are so deep and have so many guys that can play," Bulldogs head coach Brad Gray said. "And one of the biggest problems is getting players enough time and enough minutes.
"That's one of our biggest problems, but it's a good problem to have."
New Albany took care of business early in Monday night's Division 1-4A contest against North Pontotoc, allowing for Gray to empty his bench.
The Bulldogs' 56-38 halftime lead blossomed into an 81-63 home win over the Vikings (7-6, 1-3). Tadarious Coburn scored a game-high 17 points to lead New Albany, while teammate Daniel Drummond added 12.
"Offensively, I thought we played well," Gray said after his team improved to 10-2 overall and 3-1 in the division. "We finally got our rhythm back, got the tempo up to where we wanted it and played more of an up-pace game."
Coburn's three 3-pointers in the opening quarter helped build the Bulldogs' lead to as many as 18 points before the end of the first period.
Malcolm Spears' basket in the final minute of the second quarter gave New Albany its largest lead of the opening half at 54-32.
Spears, who had started the previous two seasons for the Bulldogs, scored all of his 15 points off the bench in the first half.
"Malcolm played very, very well tonight," Gray said. "He looked like the kid that has played for us the last two years.
"Earlier this year he hasn't really been playing like himself, but he bounced back tonight and I was really proud of him."
New Albany led the Vikings by as many as 26 points in the third and by 27 nearly halfway through the fourth.
Sophomore big man Moses Kingsley really got the home crowd into the game less than a minute into the fourth quarter.
Kingsley followed his own miss on an one-and-one with a dunk to give his team a 74-50 advantage with 7:18 left in the game.
He also had three pretty big swats in the game and had a breakaway steal that resulted in a flagrant foul against D.J. Mayfield, who fouled out on the play with a team-high 11 points.
Javonnis Garmon and Caleb Mills each had 10 points for North Pontotoc.
"I thought we played with good effort and good intensity," Gray said. "We fouled a little bit too much - doing a little too much of reaching and not moving our feet well enough on defense.
"But I thought, for the most part, our effort was good."
(G) New Albany 72, N. Pontotoc 39
The country's 21st-ranked team was just too much for its division foe.
The Lady Bulldogs (11-0, 4-0 Division 1-4A) only allowed two Lady Vikings players to score in the first half as they led 31-23 at intermission.
Then, a 30-8 outscoring of North Pontotoc in the third period put any chance of the Lady Bulldogs being upset on hold for another day.
Porche White (14), Nyambi Penson (13), Jazmine Spears (10) and Caroline Stroud (10) all reached double figures in points for New Albany.
Andrea Lewis scored a game-high 18 for the Lady Vikings (4-9, 0-4), while teammate Arriann Henry added 11.
Contact John Wilbert at 678-1572