First game of the season, the home-opener, and the Scott City Beavers were down their second leading scorer from the previous season because of injury.
Yet, head coach Glenn O’Neil’s squad persevered and found a way to beat the Wichita Trinity Knights in the first round of the Clarion Inn Southwest Classic, 66-62, on Thursday night in Scott City.
The Knights came into the game ranked No. 7 in Class 4A-II, while Scott City was ranked No. 4 in 3A.
The Knights got off to an early lead as they outscored the Beavers by four at the end of the first period and pushed their lead to 10 by halftime.
“Pretty shaky in that first half, a lot of inexperience,” O’Neil said of the Beavers’ slow start. “We had some injuries, this being our first game.”
The Beavers came out strong in the third period, though, as they scored 13 and held the Knights to only 11 and got to within eight.
In the pivotal final quarter, Scott City doubled the Knights 22-11 to complete the comeback win.
O’Neil said he felt that correcting some mistakes they made in the first half helped them to play better in the second.
“Part of it was just hanging on their shooters a little bit better than we did in the first half. Knocking down some shots that we missed in the first half also,” O’Neil said. “We just kind of got the momentum back on our side.”
Trey O’Neil was the leading scorer for the Beavers, with a game-high 30 points while knocking down four 3-point shots.
Coach O’Neil said that the win was “a good win for us to start with,” and that his team needs to play like it did in the second half to beat its next opponent of the Southwest Classic, the Kansas City-Christian Panthers in a 7:45 game tonight.
“Hopefully we play like we did in the second half,” O’Neil said. “Come out and compete and share the ball, knock down shots and get more people involved.”
Scott City—Hess 4 2-2 10, Hutchins 5 5-5 19, O’Neil 10 6-7 30, Baker 3 1-2 7. Totals 22 14-16 66.
Wichita Trinity—Carro 4 1-1 18, Johnson 1 0-2 2, Barns 7 0-1 14, Jones 3 1-2 22, Harvey 1 0-0 2, List 1 2-2 4. Totals 17 4-8 62.
Scott City 17 13 13 22 — 66
Wichita Trinity 21 19 11 11 — 62
3-point goals—Scott City 8 (Hutchins, O’Neil), Wichita Trinity 8 (Carro 3, Jones 5).