BETHALTO — Doug Carey stresses consistency for the Civic Memorial boys’ basketball team.
The Eagles could have used a healthy dose of it Tuesday.
Visiting Breese Mater Dei scored a 61-49 victory over CM in a nonconference game and improved to 15-4. CM, which dropped its second in a row, fell to 14-6. The Eagles started slowly and made a spirited comeback, but it wasn’t enough.
“It was too little, too late,” said Carey, the Eagles’ fourth-year head coach. “We weren’t ready to play. We got down 13-1 to start the game and there’s no excuse for that.”
Mater Dei made 6 treys in the first quarter and led 24-10 after blitzing the CM defense with 9-for-12 shooting. The taller Knights stretched their advantage to 34-16 and led 34-18 at half before the Eagles regrouped.
They closed to within 38-34 with 1:17 remaining in the third quarter, but Mater Dei refused to buckle. The Knights did a bit of reorganizing themselves and regained their footing in the fourth quarter.
“We were fortunate to get out of here with a win,” Mater Dei coach Ron Schadegg said. “CM’s a good team, so it was important for us to get out to a quick start. If we didn’t shoot it well like we did in the first quarter, it could have been a different game. We could have had a loss.”
Garrett Boeckmann, a 6-foot-2 senior, kept the Knights focused. He scored a season-high 23 points, including 8 in the fourth quarter. Teammate Nick Pollmann pitched in 14 points, including a trio of treys in a 9-point opening quarter.
“It was his (Boeckmann’s) first time in the starting lineup,” Schadegg said. “He’s an offensive-type player and he gave us a good jump start.”
David Lane’s 13 points paced the Eagles, who mostly relied on pressure defense to nip at the Knights. They forced eight Mater Dei turnovers in the third quarter. Lane scored all of his points in the second half and five in the third quarter when he combined with Adam Hill and Brett Lane for all of the Eagles’ points.
Curiously, Hill logged all of his seven points and Brett Lane punched in every one of his eight points in the third quarter.
“We need to be more consistent and play a full 32 minutes,” Carey said. “We got back into the game, but I don’t have a clue why we had such a slow start. We just didn’t have enough intensity.”
He added, “Mater Dei is a good team, they play a good schedule and there’s a reason they have won 15 games. Now, we have to turn the page and get ready for a couple of road games this weekend.”
The Eagles resume Mississippi Valley Conference competition Friday at Waterloo and then go to Collinsville’s Vergil Fletcher Gym for a nonconference game Saturday.
“We’re in a tough stretch where we play eight games in 17 days,” Carey said. CM finished second last Saturday in the 49th annual Litchfield Tournament, while Mater Dei took third in the Nashville Tournament.
“We had a little bit better (scoring) balance to start this game, but then we had to grind it some in the second half,” Schadegg said. “We got a little complacent at times in the second half and it’s never easy against a good team. They haven’t won 14 games by accident.”
Both teams are cast in Class 3A regionals, thus Tuesday’s outcome might have an effect on postseason pairings.
“There were big-game implications on it,” Schadegg said, referring to possible seeding purposes. “It was important for us to win it.”
The winners made 20 of 37 shots, though they were only 13 of 23 from the foul line. However, they sank 12 of 17 free throws in the fourth quarter. The Eagles made 20 of 50 shots, including 5 treys, to go along with 4 of 7 free throws. Both teams had 12 turnovers.
MATER DEI 61, CM 49
Mater Dei 24 10 8 19 — 61
CM 10 8 18 13 — 49
Mater Dei (15-4) – Nick Pollmann 14, Jordan Kampwerth 4, Lucas Theising 3, Spencer Broeckling 3, Garrett Boeckmann 23, Joseph Heimann 7, Brendan Timmermann 7. 2G-12 3FG-3 FT-13 PF-9
CM (14-6 – Brandon Hampton 3, David Lane 13, Adam Hill 7, Brett Lane 8, JaQuan Adams 2, Geoff Withers 6, Caden Clark 5, Justin Williams 5. 2FG-15 3FG-5 FT-4 PF-20