COLUMBUS — Scotus Central Catholic used the five-day holiday moratorium as a reset on its season.
After a 1-6 start, the Shamrocks needed to get their minds right. They were a different team during the Columbus Holiday Tournament.
Scotus followed up a 19-point win over Twin River on Thursday with a 65-40 blowout of Lakeview on Friday in the championship game at Dowd Activity Center to win the holiday tourney for the fifth straight season.
“We had our best quarter of the year in the fourth quarter (Thursday) and then today we had our best game of the season,” Scotus head coach Tyler Swanson said. “We played really well.”
The biggest difference for the Shamrocks was seeing the ball go through the net.
Telegram Super Senior Trevor Kaslon, Caden Pelan and Grant Shanle combined to knock down all nine of Scotus' 3-pointers and account for 56 of the team’s 65 points in the victory.
“We haven’t hit shots in really any of our games,” Swanson said. “For Grant to hit a couple outside shots, for Caden to hit shots for a couple games in a row, that was huge. We had more 3-pointers today than we’ve had in a long time.”
On the flip side, it was a disappointing performance for Lakeview. The Vikings came into the matchup with five keys to focus on — transition defense, defensive effort, pounding the glass, taking care of the ball and finishing.
“We did not do any of them,” Lakeview head coach Bryce Roth said. “They outplayed us physically. We got outworked.”
Scotus used a 9-0 run in the first quarter to quickly establish a 13-4 lead. The Shamrocks extended the advantage to double digits by the end of the first quarter, leading 20-8.
“They came out and were hot early and, defensively, they took away anything we tried to get inside,” Roth said.
Lakeview has bounced back from slow starts in previous games, but the Shamrocks never let the Vikings settle in.
“We got out on the break and were able to get some easy baskets,” Swanson said.
Scotus scored the first nine points of the second quarter to take a 29-8 lead. Lakeview never got closer than 16 points the rest of the game.
Tyler Palmer fired an alley-oop to Kaslon to put an exclamation mark on the first half for the Shamrocks as they went into the locker room up 36-16.
The lead quickly ballooned to 30 points as Scotus scored 14 of the first 16 points in the second half to go up 50-18.
The reserves took it from there.
Shanle finished with a game-high 23 points and Kaslon added 18 for Scotus. Pelan scored 15 off the bench.
Lakeview didn’t have anybody reach double figures. Luke Rollman and Cody Schaad both had nine points to lead the Vikings.
“Cody gave us a spark tonight, we just didn’t have much else,” Roth said.
Scotus (3-6) has a week of practice to build on the two performances before playing Boys Town on Jan. 6.
“I think you’re going to start seeing the wheels roll a little bit,” Swanson said.
Lakeview (2-6), on the other hand, wants to forget about this one while trying to build off back-to-back wins coming into Friday’s game.
“We have to respond and I challenged our guys to stay together as we look on to the new year,” Roth said.
The Vikings play Thursday at Douglas County West.
Twin River 37
COLUMBUS — Twin River buried five 3-pointers and scored 20 points in the opening quarter of Thursday's Columbus Holiday Tournament game against Scotus Central Catholic.
When Mason Prososki opened the second quarter with a four-point play — the Titans' sixth trey followed by a free throw — Twin River was up 24-17 on the host Shamrocks.
Then Scotus locked down on defense, holding Twin River scoreless for the remainder of the second quarter and allowing just 13 points the rest of the way in a 56-37 victory at Dowd Activity Center.
"I thought we came out a little bit sluggish and had to play through some moratorium fatigue the first quarter or so," Scotus head coach Tyler Swanson said, referencing the Nebraska School Activities Association-imposed five-day holiday break from practices and games.
"Offensively, it looked good on the scoreboard, but it was a sloppy game the first quarter," Swanson added.
Twin River's Brandon Miller scored all nine of his points in the opening quarter on three treys and Jaxson Hinkle added two 3s, part of his eight-point effort for the game, as the Titans went up 20-17 after eight minutes.
The Shamrocks kept pace as Caden Pelan scored 10 of his 19 points in the quarter.
Pelan added the second of his three 3-pointers in the second period and Telegram Super Senior Trevor Kaslon chipped in six of his 19 points as Scotus took control following Prososki's early four-point play.
"We settled in defensively the second and third quarters and only gave up four points in each quarter," said Swanson, whose team led 29-24 at halftime. "We were creating turnovers and holding them to one shot, but we weren't valuing the basketball ourselves so we didn't get more of a lead until the fourth quarter."
Scotus held a 9-4 edge in the third quarter before pulling away in the fourth, when the Shamrocks outscored Twin River 18-9.
Grant Shanle scored eight of his nine points in the final period for Scotus, which went 10 of 16 at the free-throw line and knocked down four 3-pointers in the game.
"I think we played one of our better quarters of the year in the fourth quarter," Swanson said. "We were able to put them away by executing in the half court both offensively and defensively.
"We've been talking the last month about how important it is to close out our opponents when we have a lead. It was nice to see us do that tonight."
Twin River hit seven 3-pointers in the game, but only one came after the opening moments of the second quarter. That was a fourth-quarter trey from Prososki, who finished with seven points.