One positive for the St. Bede boys basketball team after Friday’s game — the Bruins don’t have to face Kewanee again this season.
The Boilermakers rolled to a 79-43 victory in a Three Rivers Conference East Division game for their fourth win over St. Bede this season.
Kewanee, which also played St. Bede in a conference game at Kewanee, in the Colmone Classic and the Marseilles Holiday Tournament, beat the Bruins by an average of 35.3 points this season.
“Oh yeah,” St. Bede coach Brian Hanson said when asked if he’s glad to be done with the Boilermakers. “The third time wasn’t a charm. The fourth time we said was going to be a charm and it wasn’t, so we said, ‘Good luck the rest of the season Kewanee. Glad we’re not going to see you again.’”
After the teams traded baskets on each team’s first possession, the Boilermakers went on a 15-2 run to take a 17-4 lead and the game was never close again.
Kewanee led 21-8 after the first quarter and extended it to 46-16 by halftime thanks to four 3-pointers and 14 points in the second quarter from Niko Powe.
“We get a little star struck when we see that team,” Hanson said. “Some of the things we’ve been doing, it’s tougher to do (against them) obviously. They’re a talented team.They’re big and they’re strong. Things like catching the ball up the court and not finding the rim to see other players and being too tentative to make plays, we have to get better about that.”
While Powe was pouring in 3-pointers and Kavon Russell was scoring 13 points in the first half, the Boilermakers managed to limit St. Bede star Paul Hart — who is averaging more than 20 points per game — to just six points in the first half.
“Their length gives him trouble,” Hanson said. “One thing we need to be working on with him is just the alternate (shots). Being able to get in there under the rim and work on some counter moves and fakes and things like that. He missed three straight free throws in the first half and he doesn’t usually do that.
“They get us out of sorts. They do what good teams do. They get you playing too fast and not thinking as straight as you can on the court.”
The Boilermakers (17-4) lead never dipped below 27 points in the third quarter.
“We’ve been preaching consistent effort and I don’t think we gave it in the first half,” Hanson said. “We talk about consistent effort whether things are going good of going bad. It’s easy to be fired up and play hard when things are really going your way, but when they’re handing it to you a little bit, it’s tough to button up the shorts and keep playing hard and continue to go out there with good body language and be good listeners.”
Hart led the Bruins (7-15, 2-6 TRC East) with 18 points and nine rebounds, while Logan Link added eight points.
St. Bede returns to action Friday against Bureau Valley for a TRC East game in Peru.
“We had some lessons tonight that we need to learn. That goes for players and us coaches making sure we get them prepared for stuff they need to be prepared for,” Hanson said. “One is no matter how good we feel like we’re getting, there is always someone out there ready to knock you off your little perch. We have to make sure we’re hungry all the time to be better as a team and individually. I think there’s always a lesson with that. We’ve had some more success this year than we have. Our record is not great, but we’re competing a lot more in games. I think all of a sudden you win a game or two and you get a little comfortable. We have to get comfortable being uncomfortable. I think that’s important.
“We’re a young group and they’re a good group of guys. We’ll learn and get better from this.”