A big third quarter run by BCLUW spelled disaster for South Tama January 27 as the Comets defeated the Trojans in Conrad, 60-46.
The first, second and most of the fourth quarters were reminiscent of the first meeting between the two teams which ended in 78-75 overtime loss by the Trojans. But an 18-5 third quarter by the Comets was something new and too much for the Trojans to overcome, although they made a good run at it.
"The difference was -- and we talk about it, every team talks about it -- doing the little things," commented head coach Lonnie Hammond. "Boxing out on the rebounds, getting a good possession offensively, getting a good possession defensively where they take a tough shot and you get the rebound."
With just under five-and-a-half minutes left in the game, South Tama's Ricky Hopper scores in the paint to close the gap to seven with BCLUW January 27. Jose Fonseca added a three and two free throws to close it to two, but BCLUW closed the game out with an 8-0 run to win it, 60-46.
"They didn't do anything different, and we didn't do anything different. They just did the little things better in the third quarter. And then when we fixed the little things in the fourth quarter, we came back on them."
In the end, it was free throw shooting that did in the Trojans. Even though South Tama was perfect from the line (2-2), BCLUW had 28 more trips to the line, making 18 of them.
"We need to defend without fouling. They made 18 free throws tonight, and that's the difference in the game right there," said Hammond.
BCLUW was also incredibly balanced with their scoring. The Comets had six players within one point of each other, four with ten and two with nine.
The Trojans came out on fire in the first quarter. Jose Fonseca, who led all scorers with 17, tossed in a three at the 6:52 mark to open the scoring, adding another bucket a possession later. When Ricky Hopper drained a three with 4:27 to go, South Tama was in front, 8-0, midway through the quarter.
The Comets clawed their way back into it, taking a 9-8 lead after one. The second quarter was dead even at 15 apiece. The Trojans went into halftime trailing by one, 24-23.
"It was actually ugly offense because both teams were playing hard on defense," said Hammond. "If I've got to choose, if we're going to play bad offense and be down one at half because we played pretty good defense, I'll take that."
After intermission, it would take until 2:47 left in the third quarter for the Trojans to find the basket. Fonseca's basket made it 33-25 for the Comets. Fonseca added a three thirty seconds later for STC's only points of the quarter. The 18-5 period left the Trojans down 42-28.
A quick trey by Brandon Nelson followed by a basket by Kuhter cut the lead to nine, 42-33, with 7:02 to go. Over the next three-and-a-half minutes, South Tama chipped away at the lead behind the shooting of Taylor Johnson, Kuhter, Hopper and Fonseca.
South Tama was fouled only once in the act of shooting, and that came with 3:43 left in the game. Fonseca made the most of his -- and South Tama's -- only two attempts from the line to close the gap to just two, 46-44.
"At three minutes, that's a lot of basketball game," remarked Hammond.
But South Tama could only score once more when Kuhter hit with 2:15 left. BCLUW scored the last eight points of the game, hitting once from the field and going six-for-six from the line in the last 1:50 of the game.
The Trojans were charged with 25 fouls and were two for two from the line. The Comets committed 13 fouls and were 18 for 30.
South Tama is now 1-15 overall, 1-10 in the conference.
The Trojans travelled Jan. 31 to Reinbeck to play Gladbrook-Reinbeck.
They host AGWSR tomorrow night in the round house.
Scoring - Fonseca 17, Johnson 8, Kuhter 8, Hopper 5, Nelson 3, Bidwell 3, Cecak 2
Rebounds - Hopper 4, Fonseca 3, Johnson 3, Cecak 2, Bidwell 2, Kuhter 1, Evans 1
Assists - Fonseca 4, Nelson 4, Kuhter 3, Hopper 2, Evans 1
Steals - Evans 2, Kuhter, 2, Hopper 1, Johnson 1, Nelson 1
Blocks - (None)