By ADAM HOLT
SCOTT CITY — The problem — if you can call it one — with starting basketball season on the heels of a state championship in football, is that the players aren't quite in shape yet. And if like the Scott City boys basketball team, a squad is playing its third game in three nights, that can catch up to you.
Scott City had a 23-point lead over Wichita Trinity after three quarters Saturday night, but a little fatigue and some hot shooting by the Knights made it a game, before the Beavers could close out an 82-67 win in their home gym to finish the Clarion Inn Southwest Classic.
Still, the Beavers swept their three games in the Classic, which was more than they could ask for.
"I thought it was a great start," Scott City coach Glenn O'Neil said. "We talk, if we win two out of three in a tournament setting, we're doing OK. To get all three, we juts told them, it's icing on the cake to get a sweep. We'll definitely take it."
Drew Kite and Joey Meyer had success down low, Kite scoring a game-high 20 points, and Meyer adding 16. Guards Brett O'Neil and Trey O'Neil added 16 and 18 points, respectively. By the time the fourth quarter started, it was a 69-46 game.
Wichita Trinity started the period on an 11-2 run though, capped by a 3-pointer by Ben Mosley.
Matt Jones got a fastbreak layup off a steal, and made it a 75-62 game with just around the 2-minute mark. The teams traded free throws to make it 77-64 with 1:46 to play. Preston Miller responded to a Meyer dunk with a layup, drawing a foul from Trey O'Neil and cutting it to a 12-point deficit after making his free throw.
The Knights couldn't convert on their last two possessions of the game, and a Kite layup and Brett O'Neil free throw provided the final margin of 82-67.
"It's just the part of the season where we made some mistakes because we're a little tired," coach O'Neil said. "They're a team that just doesn't go away."
Scott City rolled out to a 13-0 lead to start the game, but some misses from outside resulted in empty possessions, and Trinity got hot in spurts. Jones, who had a team-high 16 points for the Knights, hit a 3-pointer early in the second quarter to make it 19-17, but a Trey O'Neil 3-pointer sparked an 11-0 run for the Beavers.
Seemingly every time Scott City built what looked to be an insurmountable lead, Trinity would manage to find its way back into the game.
"It's one of those deals where we're not yet into (basketball) shape yet, which kind of contributes to leaving some shots short a little bit, and also forcing some things," the Beavers' coach said.
Ryan Miller added 15 points for the Knights, and Tyler Burns had 11.
"Part of it's just the mental state, as far as, something goes wrong, don't let it double up and go wrong two plays in a row," coach O'Neil said. "I think that happened a little bit."
Still, there was plenty to like about the weekend for the two-time defending Class 3A champions.
"They can watch film," Glenn O'Neil said. "You watch the film, and it's theirs that they can see. You can see it. It's not, 'I thought it was different,' and the coach says, well no, this is what it is, the film's going to show it really happened. Film is the best teacher."
The Beavers return to action on Friday, when they play host to Ulysses in a Great West Activities Conference contest.
Wichita Trinity 14 16 16 21 -- 67
Scott City 19 27 23 13 -- 82
Wichita Trinity (67) — Carro 3 0-2 8, Mosley 2 0-0 5, P. Miller 1 4-5 6, Burns 4 2-2 11, R. Miller 7 1-2 15, Jones 6 1-3 16, Newman 3 0-0 6. Totals 26 8-14 67.
Scott City (82) — B. O'Neil 5 5-5 16, T. O'Neil 7 2-3 18, Hess 2 0-0 4, Habiger 3 0-0 8, J. Meyer 8 0-0 16, Kite 9 2-2 20. Totals 34 9-10 82.
3-point goals — Trinity 7 (Jones 3, Carro 2, Mosley 1, Burns 1), Scott City 5 (T. O'Neil 2, Habiger 2, B. O'Neil 1). Fouled out — none.