BONNE TERRE — Having to cancel their Homecoming last Friday due to the weather, and with no more Friday night home games on the schedule, the North County Raiders were still able to hold the celebration, courtesy of the Steelville Cardinals, who were willing to come over for a game Friday night.
The Raiders held their Queen coronation and Senior honors before the varsity game and then added a 72-53 win to the celebration.
Steelville was able to play with the Raiders for the first four minutes of the game, but North County’s defense held the Cardinals’ shooters to only one more basket the last four minutes, while on offense the Raiders began to connect from anywhere on the court.
Tanner Beers hit a three at the buzzer to lift North County to a 10-point advantage.
Steelville had trouble handling the ball in the second and third quarters, committing 12 of their 17 turnovers in the middle quarters. North County (9-12) worked the ball on offense to set up three-pointers in the second quarter by Derek Emily and also Jordan Thompson, also at the buzzer.
Thompson’s three gave the Raiders a 20-point half-time lead and the lead stayed at that margin all through the second half.
Thompson’s last-second three gave him 13 points in the first half, and he would end up leading all scorers with 21 in the game, slashing his way into the basket for lay-ups against the taller Cardinals.
Steelville had three players in double figures with Ethan Farr leading the way with 16 points. Jacob Becker scored 13 points and Clayton Earhart had 11. The individual scoring dropped dramatically from there down to five points.
The Raiders received 24 points from the bench to Steelville’s six. Beers led the way with 10 points, hitting his second three in the third quarter, and Aaron Parker had eight points, all in the fourth quarter.
Robert Holland led North County in rebounding with six boards, and Will Swofford put an exclamation point on the scoring by the starting five with a defensive rebound and a coast-to-coast drive for two.
The Raiders turned the ball, over only nine times to Steelville’s 18, and they were 30 of 63 from the floor, for 48 percent.
North County will play at Fredericktown tonight at 8:30 p.m. against the Blackcats in the MAAA Tournament.
Steelville 11 7 17 18 – 53
North County 21 17 18 16 – 72
Steelville – Farr 16, Becker 13, Earhart 11, Mahurin 5, Whitson 2, Mortenson 2, Warden 2, Fester 2. 3-pt. FG – Farr, Becker.
North County – Thompson 21, Beers 10, Martinez 8, Emily 8, Parker 8, Holland 6, Swofford 5, Jaco 4, Caldwell 2. 3-pt. FG – Thompson 2, Beers 2, Martinez, Emily.