Holding opponents under 40 points has been a routine occurrence for Conant this season.
Breaking 40 points on offense has been a bit more challenging.
Conant got its offense going on Friday against Holy Trinity, shooting 55 percent from the floor and netting its second-highest point total of the season in a 67-27 victory in the 39th annual Jack Tosh Holiday Classic at York.
The Cougars (9-5), who have won seven games in a row, completed pool play 3-0 and advance to the semifinals today at 11:30 a.m. against Riverside Brookfield (11-2). A victory in that game would sent Conant into the 8 p.m. championship game.
“We went over (our offense) this morning,” said Conant forward D’Angelo McBride, who scored a game-high 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting to go with 8 rebounds. “Coach told us to clear our minds and just play, and that’s what we did.”
“Some of the execution things on offense, we thought in that aspect we really improved today,” said Conant coach Tom McCormack, who’s team will be vying their sixth title at York today and first since 2008.
The Cougars won their first two games of the tournament by a combined six points, but they rolled from the start against the Tigers (1-12).
Robert Hudson (11 points) knocked down 2 3-pointers to open the game as Conant raced to an 11-0 lead.
Kevin Schimel’s steal and layup followed by McBride’s offensive rebound and putback made it 29-14 with 6:46 left in the second quarter.
“Bouncing up like this from how close our games have been (can help us),” McBride said. “Our rhythm and tempo has gone up a lot and we know that it’s going to show tomorrow.”
After allowing 12 points in the first quarter, the Cougars yielded just 15 the rest of the way as they didn’t allow the Tigers to score in the second half until Cortez James’ (13 points) basket with 5:13 remaining.
“We wore them out throughout the game on defense,” said Conant center Ryan Blaha, who’s 8 rebounds were part of a 29-14 edge on the boards. “And we moved the ball a lot and that tired them out.”
McBride and Hudson exited the game for good after McBride’s steal and dunk with 3:15 left in the third quarter.
Sophomore Danny Sotos added 9 points while Schimel scored all 7 of his points in the second quarter.
“When you play a lot of games in a short amount of time, you don’t get practice time in the gym and things start to erode,” McCormack said. “We like to stay on top of that.”Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.