By TOMMY REZAC
St. Joseph Post
The Lafayette boys came out flat Thursday, getting down 17-9 early in the second quarter. Irish coach Kevin Bristol called a timeout and had what he described as a "come to Jesus" moment with his team on the bench.
"We basically talked about not playing with energy," Bristol said. "If we come out and play with energy, those are the kind of things we can do. You always have to play with energy, especially in your house."
The Irish (6-4) brought the energy after that talk, reeling off a 15-1 run in the first half and leading 24-19 at the break. Lafayette led by as many as 21 in the second half and ended up with a 72-57 victory over the Spoofhounds at Lafayette High School Thursday night.
Lafayette's dominance was on display in the second half, as the Irish scored 48 points over the game's final 16 minutes. Senior Mikey Thomas was especially dominant, as he finished with a game-high 25 points - 19 of that came after halftime.
"We wanted to come out and have energy," Thomas said. "We love playing at home. We don't get to have very many home games. So, every home game we have, we cherish it and I think that's what gets us going."
Senior Camden Bennett scored 15 points, sophomore Antonio Williams had 10 while senior Connor Zeit had nine points on three straight three-pointers in the second half.
"I feel confident when my teammates can find me," Zeit said. "I'm always ready to knock down the shots. That's my role, so that's what I had to do."
Sophomore Peyton McCollum led Maryville (8-3) with 15 points. Junior Derek Quinlin had 13 points. Senior Caden Stoecklein and junior Delton Davis each had 10.
In a battle of top MEC contenders, Lafayette showed out on their home floor after a 1-2 showing in the Neosho Holiday Classic against top tier competition in late December.
"We pry won't see those types of teams (we saw at Neosho)," Bristol said. "So, we know that if we can compete with those guys, we know we can compete anywhere. Those were Class 6 and 5 teams (at Neosho). We were pry the smallest school down there, and we were able to compete. That's all we look for."
"That's one of the best teams in the league," Thomas said of Maryville. "That just gives us the confidence that we can run the table in the MEC."
Lafayette heads to Bishop LeBlond High School to play Omaha Roncalli (NE) in the Steve Vertin Classic on Saturday at 1 p.m. Maryville is home to Red Oak (IA) on Friday.
Maryville girls fend off late charge, survive Lafayette Thursday
Maryville led by as many as 14 in the second half before Lafayette made a great push, using a 14-2 run to tie the game at 37 with about a minute left.
Maryville senior Anastyn Pettlon, however, hit the go-ahead three-pointer with 46 seconds to go, and the Spoofhounds got four key free throws from Pettlon and senior Rylee Vierthaler in the final moments, as Maryville (5-5) held on for a 44-39 win Thursday.
Vierthaler led Maryville with 16 points. Pettlon finished with 15. Junior Talicia Byrd led Lafayette with 11 points. Junior Honor Mannings had 10.
The Irish (5-8) take part in the Kearney Invitational from Jan. 9-14. Maryville is at East Buchanan on Tuesday.
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