Photo by James Parrish
Mark Mayfield of St. Pat's guards Justin Corfield of Paxton.
The North Platte St. Pat's boys' basketball team defeated Paxton 49-22 on Tuesday at the McGahan Activities Center to end a two-year losing streak against the Tigers.
"It's always difficult playing Paxton," St. Pat's coach Bill O'Malley said. "They're disciplined and they make you earn it. They play good basketball so this was a good win."
The Irish (19-1) scored the first five points of the game on a three-pointer by Bryce Byrn and a layup by Mark Mayfield that came off of a steal.
Justin Corfield then scored the first two points for Paxton (15-4). But St. Pat's rallied back and kept the Tigers on their toes. Mayfield made a three and then Alex Harms got his first basket before Byrn hit his second three of the game to make it 13-2.
Drew McClellen then drove in for a layup and then with six seconds left in the first quarter, Andrew O'Neill made one of two free throws after he was fouled on the last of several putback attempts during the possession and the Irish led 16-2 after one.
"It was really key to get off to a good start and we had a good rhythm," O'Malley said.
In the second quarter, Paxton slowly crept back into the game. The Tigers held St. Pat's to just four points in the period and they trailed just 20-13 at halftime.
O'Malley said he was glad that his team was up by as much as it was.
"We continued to play good defense in the second quarter and that was big because we only scored four points," he said.
But the Irish hit the ground running coming out of the break. McClellen scored the first basket and then O'Neill made a pair of free throws to push it back into double figures.
O'Neill then scored inside to make it a 26-13 lead and then Mayfield finished the 10-0 run off with back to back steals that he turned into layups.
O'Malley said that Paxton's zone defense gave St. Pat's trouble in the second quarter. But one way to beat the zone is to get opportunities before it has a chance to set up, which is what the Irish did.
"We tried to get people in different places against the zone," O'Malley said. "We got a few runouts and we beat them down the floor in transition."
St. Pat's rolled the rest of the way as they finished off the Tigers.
Paxton 2 11 4 5 - 22
St. Pat's 16 4 15 14 - 49
Paxton (22)-Connor Merrill 4, Justin Corfield 10, Cam O'Connor 1, Chance Morland 7
St. Pat's (49)-Bryce Byrn 9, Drew McClellen 6, Cory Clinch 5, Andrew O'Neill 9, Adam Mackley 2, Alex Harms 7, Mark Mayfield 11
Free Throws: P 3-7, SP 12-19; Three Point Goals: P 1 (Morland), SP 3 (Byrn 2, Mayfield)