Belleville West used a 12-2 run at the start of the second half to pound the O’Fallon Panthers 80-46 in a Southwestern Conference game.
“I don’t necessarily like it,” Belleville West coach Joe Muniz said of facing his brother, O’Fallon coach Brian Muniz, even though he’s been doing it for years when Muniz was coaching on the underclass level.
West won the first meeting this season 60-55 on Dec. 20, the first time the brothers faced each other as head coaches.
“It is what it is. We’re going to play each other two, three or four times a year,” Joe Muniz said. “I’m really proud of the job that he’s done this year. His team has been playing very well. We just caught them on a bad night tonight. I know what type of person he is, and I know what type of team he’s got and what type of kids he’s got.”
O’Fallon takes on Vianney at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the Bank of O’Fallon Shootout.
West (13-7, 7-3) overcame 15 first-half turnovers and 21 in the game against the Panthers (13-8, 4-5).
The Maroons got 14 points from sophomore E.J. Liddell, while Tyler Dancy, Keith Randolph and Ian Parker contributed 10 points each in a game that was never really close.
Liddell also threw down several wicked dunks.
O’Fallon got seven points each from Jalen Hodge and Ryan Fulton as the Panthers struggled to get quality shots off against the taller Maroons.
“They’re tough to hit shots against. I don’t know how many blocked shots they had,” O’Fallon coach Brian Muniz said. “We struggled with their length all around the court. Our guards were tentative tonight, and we can’t play tentative because we don’t have that luxury.”
The Maroons also forced 22 O’Fallon turnovers Friday.
“The bugaboo of this game was our turnovers, and O’Fallon makes you do that by the way they play,” Joe Muniz said. “When we were strong and tough with the ball, looking down the floor, we shot layups. When they sped us up, which they did a lot tonight, we turned it over some. But overall I thought the name of the game tonight was our defense.”
The brothers exchange greetings on the court long after the game ended.
“When the game starts, I’m not thinking about anything but Belleville West and trying to compete,” Brian Muniz said. “I’m sure he’s the same way. It’s before and after that people make a big deal about it, but I’ve been competing against him for 11 or 12 years now (as an assistant previously).”