You’d have to forgive Raytown South coach Brad Oestreich if his mind started to wander back to recent games after the first-quarter of his team’s game with Belton on Friday night.
The Cardinals, coming off consecutive games with shooting percentages in the 20-percent range, had managed just seven points until Richard Campbell’s three-point play with 1 second left in the first quarter.
And Raytown South found its missing stroke soon thereafter, using a 14-0 second-quarter run in pulling away for a 64-48 home victory over Belton. It was Belton’s first loss in seven games and its first setback in Suburban Conference Blue play.
“Early on, I definitely thought about the trouble we’ve had shooting lately,” Oestreich said. “I was happy to see a perimeter jumper go in, I can tell you that.”
The win moved the Cardinals to 12-9 overall and 3-3 in the conference and avenged a last-second loss to the Pirates earlier in the season. Belton fell to 10-10, 4-1.
“They played really well. They shot the ball and played a physical game,” Belton coach John Schaefer said. “When it’s that physical, that benefits them. We didn’t shoot the ball well, but there’s a reason for that. They guarded well around the basket and impacted a lot of our shots.”
The Cardinals kept Belton off balance by switching defenses, sometimes in the middle of a possession. It helped hold the Pirates to just 31 percent shooting, including three-of-13 from three-point range.
“We played zone, and I don’t think they expected that,” Oestreich said. “It threw off their rhythm and allowed us to pressure their two guards. They’re both good players, and they like to get to the rim. The zone put us in a position to help and deny the wing.”
Belton scored the first two points of the second quarter and grabbed a 14-10 lead, its biggest of the night. But the Cardinals got a spark from junior Bryan Trimble and scored the next 14 points. Trimble — a usual starter who came off the bench Friday — hit back-to-back three-pointers and turned a steal into a dunk for eight of his 10 points on the night.
That run extended into the third quarter and ended up being a 25-5 spurt for the Cardinals.
“I never thought I’d say it with this group, but we we’re looking for some confidence,” Oestreich said. “We needed to see the ball go in the bucket a few times.”
Belton trailed by 12 early in the third quarter before the Cardinals pushed the lead to as much as 26 in the fourth quarter. The Pirates scored 12 of the game’s final 16 points.
Tony Sisco hit four three-pointers for Raytown South and tied Tyrone Gibbs for game-high scoring honors with 15. Elijah Childs, a 6-foot-6 sophomore, added 13 points for the Cardinals.
Belton also had four players score in double figures, led by Antwon Winn’s 13. Joe Lind added 11, while Darren Johnson and Christian Asaeli each had 10.