Belleville West broke open a tight game Tuesday night with a 12-1 run to start the fourth quarter that helped produce a 58-44 victory over Mater Dei.
The Maroons (14-7) led just 39-34 after three quarters, but sophomore EJ Liddell scored their next 11 points to put them in the driver’s seat at 50-35. Senior Tyler Dancy finished off the surge with a free throw as West won for the fourth time in five games.
Liddell, battling a headache, led all scorers with 24 points.
“I started off real good,” said Liddell, who scored 12 points in the first quarter as West took a 19-12 lead. “I didn’t feel bad until the end of the game when my headache started hurting.”
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Mater Dei (13-10) was unable to overcome foul trouble on 6-foot-8 senior Mason Toennies and 6-5 senior Cordell Beckmann. Both were in and out of the game because of fouls.
“They’re better than us, I guess,” Mater Dei coach Ron Schadegg said. “They played better than we did. We competed; we did the best we could. They’re a little bit better than we are.”
Officials called 31 fouls, 19 against Mater Dei.
“We had four guys sitting in the first half because of foul trouble,” Schadegg said. “It’s difficult to overcome, but our kids kept it together and held their composure.”
The Maroons led 28-21 at halftime as Toennies was on the bench for 10:53. He picked up his third foul with 7:08 to play in the third quarter, then returned to start the fourth quarter.
But with 6:48 to play, Toennies was whistled for his fourth foul and again headed for the bench. Liddell had a dunk on a runout with five minutes left, making it 43-35.
Toennies returned, but Liddell made three free throws to make it 46-35. Schadegg received a technical after senior Noah Gerdes was called for a foul against Liddell.
Liddell made four straight free throws to make it 50-35 with 3:24 remaining.
“Obviously, our strength is our size,” Maroons coach Joe Muniz said. “We were able to get the ball in there. Mater Dei is a really good team. Very aggressive, very strong.
“I knew Toennies was strong, but their other guys are strong, too. It was a good win for us.”
Mater Dei had won the past two games against the Maroons in Belleville — 83-72 in 2015 and 80-77 in 2013. West has won the past three games in Breese.
Dancy finished with 13 points for West, and junior Will Matthews had 11. Senior Nolan Robben topped Mater Dei with 14 points, while Gerdes had 10 and Toennies had eight.
The Knights committed 15 turnovers, nine in the second half. West had nine turnovers.