The easy layup Deterrion Ware missed late in the first quarter did little to encourage the to Belleville West Maroons.
The big sophomore from Christian County, Kentucky is more comfortable at a range of about 25 to 30 feet anyway, and from there he was almost indefensible.
Ware scored a game-high 32 points, including six first-half 3-pointers, to lead Christian County over West, 75-56, at the Centralia Holiday Tournament.
"He made all the difference in the game," said West coach Joe Muniz of Ware's first-half shooting efficiency. "After his first two or three (3-pointers) I told the guys they had to get out on him a little bit more, and they still didn't."
That could be because Ware never found the limits to his shooting range. His final 3-pointer — taken from just inside the volleyball court's attack line 10 feet beyond the top of the key — put the Colonels ahead 40-23 and a spread a smile across Ware's face.
He knew he was red hot.
I don't know how many turnovers we had, but I know there are two kinds of shots you can't defend — the free throw and the breakaway layup. We gave up too many of both.
Joe Muniz, Belleville West head coach
"I hate to use that term 'he was hot' because it's ficticious — either you have the capability or you don't," said Christian County coach Frankie Smith."But, obviously, he hasn't been shooting the ball as consistently as he did tonight. He was on stride."
Christian County did without senior guard Jaylen Sebree, who has fielded college offers from Louisville, Indiana, and Oklahoma among others. The Colonels (9-0) will advance to a second round game against Champaign Central on Tuesday at 6:15 p.m. The Maroons (1-7) take on Addison Trail at 3:30 p.m.
Ware had 11 points by the end of the first quarter and the last of his six 3-pointers put Christian County ahead by 17.
But West juniors Tyler Dancy and DeAndre Jackson led a 11-4 run that pulled the Maroons within 10 at halftime. A three-point basket by Logan Betz early in the fourth quarter kept the Maroons within striking distance, 58-48.
Christian County closed on a 15-6 run to keep the Maroons at bay and capture the win.
The Maroons shot 48 percent from the field, but were just 13 of 25 from the free throw line and turned the ball over 20 times.
I hate to use that term 'he was hot' because it's ficticious — either you have the capability or you don't. He was on stride.
Frankie Smith, Christian County head coach on sophomore forward Deterrion Ware
"When you have a deficit as we did, I was proud we could cut it to 10 like we did," Muniz said. "I don't know how many turnovers we had, but I know there are two kinds of shots you can't defend — the free throw and the breakaway layup. We gave up too many of both. We're not getting stops on the defensive end. We keep scoring, but we're not getting stops."
The Maroons got a strong game from freshman A.J. Liddell who scored 22 points with seven rebounds and four blocked shots. Dancy pitched in another 16 points for West.
"They had two or three guys on them all night,"Muniz said. "We needed somebody else to step up."
In addition to his 32 points, Ware pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds. Tiavey Mason and Tyrik Edwards each had 13 points and seven rebounds.