PENDLETON — Pendleton Heights plays a very tough schedule and rarely faces a team that is struggling like Rushville. In taking care of business, the Arabians spent little time removing any hope the Lions had for an upset.

Three Arabians scored in double figures as Pendleton Heights jumped out to a 14-0 lead and cruised past the Lions 73-58 Friday.

The Arabians came out hot on offense and suffocating on defense. Pendleton Heights shot 52 percent, including 5-11 on 3-point shots, in the first half and held the Lions to just 27 percent.

Coach Kevin Bates said his team did what it needed to do from the opening tip against Rushville (1-13).

“If we want to be considered a great team, (we) prepare and play the same no matter who they’re playing,” he said. “We wanted to come out and get off to a good start, and we did. We did a lot of good things against Rushville.”

Pendleton Heights (11-3) maintained their good shooting percentage throughout the game. They finished the game 27 of 52 overall and 10 for 24 from 3-point range.

Rushville’s tendency to play a zone defense dictated that the Arabians attack from the perimeter, something Bates said his shooters are more than willing to do.

“They came out in a matchup zone” he said. “Anytime we play against a zone, we have a tendency to live from the perimeter. We were able to get some good looks, and we have a lot of guys who can shoot from the perimeter and have the green light. As long as it was a good look, we wanted to take it.”

Mark Albers scored 19 to lead the Arabians, including four for nine from 3-point range. Sophomore Karsten Windlan made four of eight for 12 points, and Eli Pancol added 14.

Albers continued to display his versatility. Earlier in the week against Delta, he scored most of his points on the inside, while on Friday he returned to being a devastating 3-point shooter. Bates said the improvement from a year ago in his leading scorer, who led the team with three steals, can be seen in all areas.

“He’s become more of a complete player,” Bates said. “Last year, I felt like he lived on the perimeter; but late in the year, he gained more confidence going to the basket. This year, he’s really taken the ball to the basket. He’s doing a good job drawing fouls and getting to the foul line. He’s doing a great job rebounding, and what I’ve really been impressed with has been his defense. He’s playing the best defense he’s ever played here.”

Senior Eston Stull led the Arabians with four assists.

The junior varsity Arabians also beat Rushville convincingly 48-32. Sophomore Christian Jones led the way in scoring with 10 points, and sophomore Cole Dunham had four assists.