COLE CAMP — A third-quarter run followed by a fourth-quarter run turned what had been a one-point Cole Camp lead at halftime into a 70-48 win over Crest Ridge Tuesday on the Robert Farrington Court.
The Bluebirds led 28-27 at halftime but went on a 10-0 run in the third. Cole Camp limited the Cougars to seven points in the fourth quarter to pull away.
“We were just playing basketball the way we should, playing with confidence, making shots, playing good defense,” said Alex Pritzel.
Brady Smith opened the third quarter with a jumper but Crest Ridge got a pair of baskets from Connor English to take a 31-30 lead with 6:44 left in the third. The lead lasted only a few seconds as Trace Brandes put the Bluebirds in front with a putback on the next trip down the floor and they never trailed again. Unser Brockman scored on a putback after a missed free throw moments later, then scored another basket in the paint to make it 38-31.
“I think consistency is the key there,” said Bluebirds coach Dan Schnell. “We were able to safely get the ball up the floor and get a good shot. Defensively we started to get a little bit more active. We were standing a lot. We had opportunities to make plays but weren’t doing that. In the third quarter we were able to do that and get a good win.”
Cole Camp then outscored the Cougars 24-8 in the fourth quarter. The Bluebirds opened the quarter scoring on their first four possessions with Pritzel hitting a basket in the paint and a pair of jumpers.
“When Alex is shooting well, the other teams have to respect that and have to really come out and defend,” Schnell said. “That should open up our other guys. Now we’re hoping that we have everybody back we can pick up the pace and get that compliment to Alex, looking for their scores too. He draws so much attention and somehow gets his points.”
Pritzel finished with 28 points including 10 in the fourth quarter.
“I’ve been struggling the last couple games,” he said. “I stayed confident in myself. That’s basically it, just relax and just play.”
Cole Camp came away with a 40-25 rebounding edge and had 27 second-chance points as Pritzel said the Bluebirds were “moving around, trying to get in front of our man, right place at the right time, a lot of it luck, a lot of it work.”
Crest Ridge opened the game hitting 4 of its first 5 shots from the field but also turning the ball over five times as Cole Camp built a 13-7 lead with baskets from Pritzel, Brandes and Brockman.
Cole Camp led by as many as eight in the second quarter before the Cougars pulled within one as Noah McCune hit a layup and 3-pointer to cut the Bluebirds’ lead to 26-25. Crest Ridge had the ball seconds later with a chance to take the lead, but Pritzel picked up a steal — his third of the game — and a layup. The Cougars answered with a basket in the paint to end the half.
Cole Camp won the junior varsity game 53-21.
The Bluebirds (6-3) will face Rich Hill Dec. 29 in the W-K Shootout at the Fred E. Davis Multipurpose Center.
Eric Ingles can be reached at 660-826-1000, ext. 1483 or on Twitter @Eric_Ingles