BDN_220110_South Beloit Boys BB1

South Beloit point guard Rence Kostka drives to the basket against Scales Mound Saturday.

SOUTH BELOIT—In a matchup of two top-five teams Saturday afternoon, the South Beloit boys basketball team came up short against Scales Mound.

The Hornets, armed with an enrollment of just 70 students, entered Saturday’s game ranked fifth in the latest IHSA Class 1A AP poll and armed with a perfect 12-0 record.

They came out of it 13-0 after shutting down the normally potent inside attack of the SoBos in a 47-37 victory.

While freshman Ross Robertson and senior Bradley Knepper typically dominate their competition on the interior, the duo combined for just 15 points Saturday.

Not helping matters any was the SoBos’ perimeter attack, which went just 5-for-30 from beyond the arc.

“We knew coming into the game that they were probably going to try and pack in the paint.” South Beloit coach Matt Stucky said. “Take away the bigs as much as they could. You just have to make more shots. It’s unfortunate that this was one of those games where we didn’t make them, but they do happen.”

The game was essentially decided by two big runs by the Hornets, something Stucky said wasn’t uncharacteristic.

“If you look at their games, they are winning them by a comfortable margin, but not blowing teams out by 30,” Stucky said. “They will sit and let teams hang around, and then they’ll go on a big run or two and put the game out of reach.

“We got up on them early and they scored 11 straight at the end of the first quarter, and then they scored 12 straight at the end of the first half and the beginning of the second half. Some of those were off of turnovers and some were from offensive rebounds. If we can clean those things up, we’re going to be in good shape.”

The SoBos were led by Blake Ayotte’s 11 points.

Ayotte said the team could have played better on the defensive side of the ball, where the surrendered a game-high 17 points to Ben Werner.

“There’s definitely room for improvement, especially defensively,” Ayotte said. “And our shooting, it just wasn’t good enough either. They played really good defense, and they have a really strong team. And they played really smart. I think if we had to play them again, we could beat them.”

The SoBos trailed 28-21 at halftime before Scales Mound put up eight straight points to extend the advantage to 14. Though the SoBos would make some mini-runs as the half wore on, they never seriously threatened the Hornets.

South Beloit will be back in action Tuesday when they host Rockford Christian Life before they gear up to play in their own Martin Luther King Jr. Tournament, which begins Saturday.

SCALES MOUND 47, SOUTH BELOIT 37

Scales Mound 16 12 12 7 —47

South Beloit 9 12 8 8 —37

SCALES MOUND: Ellsworth 3 0-1 7, Foster 1 0-0 2, Vandigo 5 3-6 13, Werner 6 5-8 17, Cocagne 3 0-0 8. Totals: 18 8-15 47.

SOUTH BELOIT: Finn 2 0-0 6, Joiner 2 0-0 4, Kostka 1 0-0 2, Ayotte 4 0-0 11, Robertson 3 0-0 6, Knepper 3 2-4 8. Totals: 14 4-6 37.

3-pointers: Scales Mound 3 (Cocagne 2, Ellsworth), South Beloit 5 (Ayotte 3, Finn 2).

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