BONNE TERRE — North County faced another uphill battle against Sullivan on Friday night after struggling to protect the basketball in a rematch from last week’s season-opening Potosi Tournament.
Solid perimeter shooting from the Raiders was negated by 27 turnovers, including 11 in the first quarter, and the visiting Eagles prevailed 75-59 in a feisty contest that saw both teams sink nine 3-pointers.
Justin Biermann scored 19 points, Adam Weiland netted 18 and Seth Mesey added 15 in the victory. Sullivan (4-2) more than doubled the Raiders in free throws taken, making 17-of-27 attempts overall.
Dakotah Huff provided a glaring spark off the North County bench, erupting for 19 of his game-high 22 points after halftime. The junior guard drained five triples to help the Raiders reduce a 47-25 deficit at the break.
Biermann opened the game with a 3-point play in transition, and the Eagles never trailed. Ryan Juergens and Weiland each turned steals into layups, and Mesey’s strong post move created a 22-11 spread through one quarter.
North County (1-3) found attacking lanes when successfully breaking the Sullivan trapping pressure, but relied heavily on guards Jon Stabenow and Tyler Cassidy to provide offensive output.
Stabenow scored 14 of his 17 points during the first half after drilling two early threes from the right side. Cassidy located Stabenow with a driving no-look feed moments after hitting a twisting shot along the baseline.
But the Raiders could not slow Sullivan down. Senior J.C. Beckett raced to the hoop for a conventional 3-point play after swiping an errant pass, and Biermann created a 39-17 advantage with two more triples.
The Raiders faced their largest deficit at 52-26 early in the third quarter, but responded with a 13-3 run propelled both by Huff and Austin Brandon, who tallied nine points and a game-high 12 rebounds.
Sullivan opened the fourth with another Biermann three, Weiland answered a Brandon 3-point play with a key steal and layup as the Raiders looked to trim the margin below 15.
Weiland fouled out on a technical with 4:50 remaining as numerous heavy collisions caused tension to build between players throughout the night. The Eagles were comfortably ahead 68-47 at that juncture.
Huff sustained a nasty fall after being faked into the air during the closing minutes, but would return to action in the closing minutes.
Sullivan 22 25 7 21 – 75
North County 11 14 14 20 – 59
Sullivan – Justin Biermann 19, Adam Weiland 18, Seth Mesey 15, Heath Schatz 7, J.C. Beckett 7, Adam Tiefenbrunn 4, Ryan Juergens 3, Chris Erxelben 2. 3-point FG – Biermann 4, Mesey 2, Schatz 2, Beckett. (FT: 17-27)
North County – Dakotah Huff 22, Jon Stabenow 17, Austin Brandon 9, Trent Cassidy 5, Tyler Cassidy 4, Drew Forbes 2. 3-point FG – Huff 5, Stabenow 3, Brandon. (FT: 8-13)