BELLEVILLE — Mater Dei could hardly have picked a better time to bust out on offense.
Coming off a disappointing defeat at Central on Saturday, the Knights were 28-for-47 (60 percent) from the field Tuesday in an 80-77 victory over Belleville West.
Mater Dei (14-11), whose 80 points were a season-high, clinched the outcome by going 15-for-18 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter, including 10-for-10 in the last 37.2 seconds.
"We made enough plays, we made enough free throws," Knights coach Brian Perkes said. "It's never easy to finish a game against Belleville West, as athletic as they are, as physical as they are. We knew they were going to turn up the pressure, but we did enough things right to finish this game tonight.
"Eighty points. Sometimes it takes us three games to get to 80 points."
The Knights' bench was responsible for much of the production. Reserves Mitchell Langenhorst, Zack Deiters and Jared Kampwerth accounted for 37 points. West's bench was held scoreless.
"That's amazing," Perkes said of the bench scoring.
Langenhorst, a 6-foot-4 senior, had a team-best 19 points and three 3-pointers. Deiters, a 6-3 sophomore, had 12 points and two 3-pointers. Kampwerth, a 6-8 senior, had six points.
"I can't say enough about Mitch," Perkes said. "He's a senior who's accepted his role. He started all year last year for us as a junior. We've talked to him many times in practice about accepting his role and the importance of the sixth man. He has bought into it, and I tell you what, what a great attitude for a senior."
Senior point guard Adam Etter scored 15 points for Mater Dei and was 6-for-6 from the line in the fourth quarter, while junior Eric Vandeloo added 13 points.
West (14-7) got a game-high 25 points from senior Nick Van Osdale, 19 coming in the second half. Senior Isaiah Lewis had 20 points and four 3-pointers, senior Markkies Goodwin had 19 and senior Donnie Foster had 10, all in the first half.
The Maroons had 36 points and were 13-for-18 from the floor in the fourth quarter, but the Knights' solid shooting from the line was enough for them to hold on.
"We had a terrible game plan on my part," said Maroons coach Joe Muniz, whose team was 30-for-55 from the field (55 percent). "I didn't have my kids ready to play. We couldn't guard anybody tonight.
"Give credit to Mater Dei. They came in here and played with a lot of confidence and they played extremely hard. They executed very well. I wish we could have given them a little bit better game. They manhandled us the whole game."
Mater Dei led 64-51 on a basket by Langenhorst with 4:42 to play in the fourth quarter. West, however, stormed back and was within 74-72 on Van Osdale's three-point play with 22.2 seconds left.
But Deiters made two free throws to make it 76-72 with 16.5 seconds left. Van Osdale answered with a basket with 11 seconds to play, and the Maroons trailed 76-74. Etter was fouled and he made two free throws, giving the Knights a 78-74 lead with 7.4 seconds remaining.
After a timeout, West turned the ball over, and Etter made two more free throws to make it 80-74 with 5.1 seconds left. Van Osdale made an uncontested 3-pointer at the buzzer to provide the final margin.
Muniz found no solace in the comeback.
"We got ourselves up to play the last five minutes of the game," Muniz said. "This team hasn't (waited to do) that all year. We had a stinker up at Edwardsville (on Friday), and I was very confident they would come out and not have a stinker tonight, and they did."
Mater Dei sank 15 of its 26 shots in the first half, including four 3-pointers, and built a 34-29 lead at the break.
The Knights led 32-23 after a 10-0 run midway through the second quarter that featured 3-pointers by Zack Deiters and Adam Etter.
But the Maroons, who amassed a 7-0 lead a little more than two minutes into the game, trimmed their deficit to five on Van Osdale's steal that led to a three-point play at the 12.3-second mark.