ELDRIDGE — North Scott head boys basketball coach Shamus Budde issued a challenge to his team at halftime of Friday’s Mississippi Athletic Conference game against visiting Davenport West.
His Lancers responded.
North Scott (14-3, 12-2 MAC) used a 27-1 run in the second half to take control of Friday’s contest, and the Lancers rolled from there to a 66-50 victory at The Pit.
The Falcons closed the first half on an 11-0 run to take a one-point lead into the break and Budde wanted his team to be more physical with the taller Falcons.
“We didn’t change anything (at halftime), we just got tougher,” Budde said. “We challenged our guys at halftime and said, ‘We’re in the right spots, but we’re not tough.’
"Basketball is a physical sport. It’s not easy. We just challenged them to be tougher.”
The two teams traded baskets for the first few minutes of the second half, and Brett Erwin hit a baseline jumper to give West a 33-31 lead with just under five minutes left in the third quarter. But the Lancers stepped up on the defensive end, holding the Falcons without a field goal over the next seven minutes as they built a 58-34 lead early in the fourth quarter.
“We came together more and were talking more on defense, and we brought more energy,” North Scott’s Ty Anderson said. “We limited their points in the third quarter. Six points is pretty low for them and their offense. I think that was key.”
North Scott’s defensive intensity frustrated the Falcons (11-6, 8-6 MAC) into four turnovers and nine straight missed shots during the run.
“We got away from our game plan and settled for some quick shots,” West head coach Mark Bigler said. “Then we quit playing defense. We let them get to the rim every time they wanted. Turnovers and quick shots led to layups, and the game got away from us. They played more disciplined than we did in the third quarter.”
The Lancers turned those quick shots and turnovers into easy baskets on the other end. North Scott made 12 straight shots from the field during its run.
“One of the keys was just to get it out and go and let the offense do its thing,” said Anderson, who scored a career-high 11 points — all in the second half — for the Lancers.
North Scott finished with four players in double figures. Corvon Seales led the way with 17 points, and Cortaviaus Seales scored 10 of his 14 points in the second half. Reece Sommers hit three 3-pointers and scored 13 points.
The Lancers built their lead to 10 points midway through the second quarter, but West used its big run to take the lead at the break. West’s Balene Mitchell scored five of his career-high 14 points during that stretch.
“In the second quarter we played extremely well,” Bigler said. “We were down 10 and came back and took the lead. We played defense and ran our game plan. In the third quarter we just came out flat.”
With their come-from-behind victory, the Lancers are again tied with Pleasant Valley atop the MAC standings. The fifth-ranked Spartans fell 57-45 at Davenport North on Friday night.
“Honestly, we’re not really looking at the conference race. We’re just trying to get better each day,” Budde said. “What ever happens in the conference happens. We just want to get better. We have three weeks to figure out before the second part of the season starts.”