Fieldcrest is in position reach the Colmone Classic title game after taking control of the Red Pool on Wednesday with a 59-41 victory over Plano.
The Knights are 2-0 in pool play and will advance to the title game with a win Friday over the host Red Devils.
In Wednesday’s final game, St. Bede routed Stark County 62-35 to lock up a spot in the third-place game with a 2-1 record in the White Pool.
Fieldcrest 59, Plano 41
The Knights never trailed after going ahead 7-5 with five minutes left in the first quarter, but Fieldcrest was unable to put the Reapers away until the fourth quarter.
Up 35-29 entering the fourth, Fieldcrest coach Matt Winkler decided to go to an all-guard lineup of Brady Sanders, Kyle Crowley, Drew Barth, Nick Panzica and Jackson Puetz when the Knights were on offense.
It paid off as Fieldcrest scored on all 12 of its possessions in the final eight minutes to outscore Plano 24-12.
“We went offense and defense,” Winkler said. “We went with our quick lineup (offensively). We had enough dead balls where we could sub out. We made some foul shots. We’re difficult to guard when we have that small lineup on the floor.
“I was pleased with the way we moved the basketball late in the ball game. I think if we have the lead with five minutes to go in the ball game and we go with that lineup, we can be a really killer-type team.”
Sanders got the Knights started in the fourth by getting to the free throw line on Fieldcrest’s first two possessions and making all four attempts to put the Knights up 39-29. The Knights made 12-of-13 free throws in the fourth quarter.
Sanders finished with 18 points, seven rebounds and four assists, Drew Barth had 16 points and seven rebounds and Crowley added 16 points for Fieldcrest (6-0).
St. Bede 62, Stark County 35
After suffering an eight-point loss to Mendota on Tuesday, the Bruins held a walk through Wednesday afternoon to improve defensively and clean up a few things offensively.
It paid off as the Bruins held the Rebels to 26.5 percent shooting.
“(We talked about) playing better defensively and communicating,” said St. Bede coach Mike Kilmartin, whose team held Stark County to just 12 points in the first half. “We did a great job on No. 12 (Tanner King).”
Offensively, the Bruins pushed the ball in transition better than they did against Mendota.
St. Bede outrebounded the Rebels 48-25 and shot 44.8 percent.
“We had a little discussion and worked on some things,” Kilmartin said. “We cleaned up some things we’ve been doing offensively. If we push the ball, we’re pretty good and it’s fun to watch.”
The Bruins pushed their lead to as many as 31 points in the second half.
“I think we wore them down a little,” Kilmartin said. “We made some good adjustments at halftime to run some other sets against their zone.”
Brad Groleau and Joe Pyszka each scored 15 points for the Bruins (6-3). Pyszka grabbed nine rebounds and Groleau pulled down six.
Kevin Chlum can be reached at 220-6939, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsEditor.