BELLEVUE – Bellevue head coach Joe Costello had to do a double-take a few times when he looked up at the scoreboard during his team’s game against St. Philip on Friday.
The seven-year coach has seen a lot of tight battles between the Broncos and Fighting Tigers over the years – but this SCAA matchup was a lopsided effort in favor of Bellevue.
Bellevue wreaked havoc on the defensive end, holding visiting St. Philip to just two field goals in the second half as the Broncos earned a 47-20 victory.
“We’ve had some good games. This is a rarity that we win big,” Costello said. “We played really good defense tonight. We don’t ever do this to them… Chaos. Just commit chaos out there, because we’re used to doing it, and other teams aren’t.”
Bellevue (4-2) used its frenzied full-court defense for much of the second half, helping the Broncos finish the contest with as many steals as St. Philip (3-4) had points.
The Fighting Tigers followed up a four-point second quarter with just one point in the third period. They didn’t knock down their first field goal of the second half until junior forward Drew Lantinga connected on an and-one with 5:54 to go in regulation.
“That was embarrassing,” said St. Philip head coach Dino English. “Didn’t make shots, didn’t make free throws… I’ll be honest with you, we played selfish basketball. Guys trying to dribble between three or four guys, not kicking the ball out, running around scatter-brained. It starts with me, I have to coach them better. But the guys have to look in the mirror too… If we don’t play as a team, this is what is going to happen to us.”
Bellevue freshman guard Gino Costello added to St. Philip’s rough night with a game-high 14 points.
Broncos’ Senior guard Cam Shaw had nine points and four steals; sophomore forward Dawson Morgan had 10 points, eight rebounds and three steals; freshman guard Wyatt Waterbury had nine points and three steals; and junior forward Danny Pluff pulled down six rebounds.
St. Philip was led by senior guard Ben Swagler with seven points.
“Bellevue is a really good team,” English said. “They moved the ball well, passed the ball well and pressed well once they got us down and we started losing confidence. We couldn’t get anything to fall – missing layups and putbacks underneath the basket. I was happy that we got 20 – it was just that brutal.”
The game was a preview of the rivals’ highly-anticipated Feb. 24 matchup at The Palace of Auburn Hills. They tip off that contest at 3 p.m. before the Detroit Pistons take on the Philadelphia 76ers – with each school required to sell at least 100 tickets.
“Everyone is stoked about it,” Shaw said of playing at The Palace. “I just want to score on the court, just one time. But I hope we win and play as a team.”
Nick Buckley can be reached at email@example.com or 269-966-0652. Follow him on Twitter:@NickJBuckley