A little over a week ago, the boys basketball team – the same team that was ranked No. 1 in the area in most top 10 preseason basketball polls – suffered a mystifying 11-point loss to then-unranked rival CBC, in the semifinals of the Meramec Holiday Hoops Tournament.
The hangover from that loss seemed to carry over to the next night, as De Smet lost the Meramec third-place game as well, and slipped all the way to No. 8 in the area in this week’s rankings.
On Friday though, the Spartans looked like a team still angry about last week’s loss, as they completely dismantled CBC, by the score of 64-42, in a critical Metro Catholic Conference game at CBC’s D.C. Wilcutt Gymnasium.
“It’s never fun to lose to CBC,” De Smet junior point guard Jimmy Barton said. “It’s not fun. We were hyped up for this game after losing to them. Hopefully, we can do it again.”
If Barton continues to play as well as he did on Friday, that won’t be a problem at all, as the 5’10 spunky floor general led the Spartans in more ways than one, scoring a game-high 17 points and dishing out eight assists in what clearly was a satisfying victory for the visitors.
“All week in practice we knew we were ready for this game,” junior power forward Nolan Berry said. “We just wanted to come out with a lot of energy because we thought last time they had more than us. We wanted to come out with a lot of energy and execute and do what we know we can do.”
The key stretch came in the third quarter, when De Smet outscored CBC 14-4 over the first five minutes of the period to turn a 32-24 halftime lead into a 46-28 nearly insurmountable bulge.
Berry, the 6’8 Butler University commit, who finished with 16 points, 14 rebounds, and five assists, scored two terrific layups during that stretch, and also dropped off a pair of even more impressive assists to teammate Eric Moeller that typified De Smet’s entire night.
“We weren’t happy with the way that Meramec finished,” De Smet head coach Kevin Poelker said. “We dropped two in a row, and to our guys' credit the only thing they were concerned about coming back from the break was how do we get better.
“They had a nice week at practice. They were really dialed in to what we asked them to do, and it converted to a nice game for us.”
The victory lifted De Smet’s record to 9-4 overall and 3-1 in MCC play, which is currently good for second place in the league standings.
The Spartans only league loss came to current area No. 1 Vianney (12-0) back on December 6, with the rematch and de facto MCC championship game set for February 10 at Vianney High.
CBC, which had three players score in double-figures (Jordan Barnett-12, Aarion Maxey-Penton-11, and Patrick McCaw-10), fell to 9-5 overall and 2-2 in league action.
De Smet, returns home for the next four contests beginning with Tuesday's matchup, against defending league champ at 7 p.m.
DE SMET SPARTANS REMAINING BASKETBALL SCHEDULE
1/10 vs. Chaminade 7 pm
1/13 vs. Jefferson City 7:30 pm
1/20 vs. CBC 7 pm
1/23-1/27 Ameritime Tournament @ Parkway West TBA
2/3 at SLUH 7 pm
2/4 vs. Parkway South @ Hazelwood Central Noon
2/7 vs. Hazelwood Central 6 pm
2/10 at Vianney 7 pm
2/14 at Troy 7 pm
2/16 vs. Oakville 7 pm
2/20-2/24 MSHSAA Class 5 Districts @ TBA