PLANO — Early turnovers and missed opportunities can be the demise of a basketball team as the Saint Bede Bruins found out Thursday night at the 51st annual Plano Boys Basketball Christmas Classic.
The Streator Bulldogs took advantage of a poor offensive first half from the Bruins to scrape by with a 55-51 victory.
The Bulldogs rode a 13-point lead into the half as they went up 28-15 on the Bruins as nothing would seem to fall for the St. Bede offense.
“Coming into tonight we were 6-46 from the three-point line,” said St. Bede coach Mike Kilmartin. “I understand they hit a couple and they were clutch but if we hit a couple earlier then we wouldn’t have to shoot those later ones. We missed a lot of short shots, two layups right in a row in the first half I mean point blank layups.”
The Bruins shook off the offensive sluggishness early on in the third quarter as they would score seven unanswered points cutting the Bulldog lead to six making the score 22-28 at the 5:10 mark of the third.
Scoring in the run for the Bruins was junior guard/forward Jack Brady scoring five of his 14 points and senior guard Jarret Olson, who added two of his game high 25 points in the run.
Streator was led by senior guard Nolan Sokal with 21 points.
“Motivation comes from within. It’s not yelling or saying something poetic. The game itself should excite our kids and getting out in the first had we played better in the first half and made a couple of short shots and didn’t have to climb a mountain we would have been right where we needed to be,” Kilmartin said.
Olson hit two three-pointers with under 25 seconds to play but it wouldn’t be enough.
Free throws were key to the Streator victory as the Bulldogs consistently knocked down their attempts from the charity stripe, finishing 14 of 16 overall. Junior guard William Phillips would be magnificent from the line in the last 45 seconds of play as he would hit 7 of 8 from the line to keep his team ahead.
“We’ve been missing shots. We were 9-19 from the free throw line and they were 14 for 16 so that basically sums that up,” said Kilmartin.
* The Bruins bounced back to beat Princeton 71-39 Friday.
Comment on this story at www.bcrnews.com