Sacred Heart’s boys’ basketball team left little doubt about where their focus level was for their 2A semifinal sub-state match-up with Smith Center.
The Knights scored the first 13 points of the game on their way to a 67-27 blowout over the upstart Redmen.
Sacred Heart came in to Friday night’s game in Belleville disappointed with their first round performance against Ell-Saline. Although the Knights got the win, head coach, Pat Martin wanted his team to be more sharp with it all on the line.
Meanwhile, Smith Center, the 5-seed, upset the 4-seed Valley Heights on Tuesday and came in to Friday night’s game dangerous, as the Redmen had won six of seven game.
The Knights laid the hammer from the start against Smith Center and did not look back.
After leading 16-8 midway through the first, the Knights would pull away for a 24-9 first quarter advantage as Caleb Jordan scored 13 of his 23 points in the period.
The Knights got in to some foul trouble, though, in the second stanza. Caleb Jordan, Blake Palen and Cole Elmore all picked up two fouls. However, led by Trace Leners’ defense and Grant Herrenbruck’s passing, Sacred Heart would extend their lead in to halftime at 39-17.
Sacred Heart clamped down defensively in the second half not giving Smith Center anything and holding the Redmen to just 10 points in the second 16-minutes.
Smith Center (10-13) ends their season in the sub-state semis. The Redmen saw no scorer in double-figures and were led by Brett Meyer and Trace Haven with six points each.
Sacred Heart (19-3) advances to their third-straight sub-state championship game. The Knights were paced by C. Jordan, while Charlie Skidmore chipped in 14 points on the night.
The Knights will play on Saturday night against the winner for the Bennington/Republic County semifinal. The winner of Saturday night’s championship game advances to the 2A State Tournament held in Manhattan.
Coverage of Saturday night’s sub-state championship will be live on FM 104.9. Pregame at 7:15, with tip-off following at 7:30 p.m.