The Bishop LeBlond boys lived up to the celebration of courtwarming Friday, having the hot hand on offense and downing Savannah 44-39 at Grace Gymnasium.
The Eagles improved to 8-13 on the season while Savannah falls below .500 at 7-8. LeBlond senior Ben Hudson collected two wins on the night as he also won Courtwarming King.
His coach, Mitch Girres, was concerned with how his team was going to handle Savannah’s defense.
“Coming into the game, we were worried about their zone and how we going to be able to score against it,” Girres said. “We’ve really struggled at times against zone. We got off to a slow start, but we made some adjustments and I thought we attacked it really well in the second half.”
At the end of the first quarter, LeBlond led 7-4, all seven points coming from Jaren Guck. Girres wasn’t surprised with the Eagles’ play in the first half.
“With us, that’s kind of the case most nights,” Girres said. “We struggled to score at times, and we have to rely on our defense to kind of limit opportunities so we can stay in games. Our kids battled really hard tonight. We had a great crowd. We’re not shocked at the slower pace because they play at a slower pace, too, sometimes.”
Girres wants his team to be more aggressive against teams like Savannah, and it looked like the message became clear to the Eagles in the second half.
“One of the things I’ve been preaching to these kids all of year is anytime we see a zone defense is to attack more, not be so passive,” Girres said. “Really use your dribble and attack the paint. In the second half, we did that better, and it was evident from the quality of our shots. Our shot selection was better, the quality of shots were better and therefore we made more shots.”
Savannah coach Nick Kemerling is not letting his team rationalize this loss.
“We obviously weren’t ready to play tonight, and that’s on me” Kemerling said. “I think our kids are going to use an excuse of not playing for two weeks, but we’re not going to let the do that. We don’t want to take anything away from coach Girres and his bunch here. Those kids played hard.”
Guck led the Eagles with 27 points. The highest scoring Savage was junior Braden Berry with 13 points.
LeBlond will return to the court against Cameron on Tuesday, while the Savannah boys plays a make-up game at 11 a.m. today against Excelsior Springs at Springer Gymnasium.
Savannah girls 57
Bishop Leblond 40
The Savannah girls iced Bishop LeBlond’s Courtwarming celebration Friday night as the Savages handedly won 57-40, resulting in their seventh victory in a row against the Eagles.
The Savages push their winning streak to five and their record to 11-7. Meanwhile, LeBlond continues its woes, falling to 4-17.
Savannah senior Grace Stites led her team with 22 points.
Savannah heads to St. Pius on Monday to take on St. Pius X, while LeBlond will take on Cameron on Tuesday.