Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Boys Basketball: Belleville West's 32-Game Win Streak Broken by Shadow Mountain in Tournament of Champions

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Boys Basketball: Belleville West's 32-Game Win Streak Broken by Shadow Mountain in Tournament of Champions

Article excerpt

SPRINGFIELD, MO. - After nearly a year, the Belleville West boys basketball team tasted defeat.

It was served up Thursday night by one-time NBA star Mike Bibby.

Shadow Mountain of Phoenix, Ariz., coached by Bibby, opened up the second half on fire and rolled to a 74-57 win over Belleville West in the Tournament of Champions at JQH Arena on the campus of Missouri State University.

The No. 1 large school in the STLhighschoolsports.com rankings, Belleville West (17-1) had its 32-game win streak come to an end. Its last loss came to Chaminade on January 20, 2018, in the championship of the Belleville East Classic.

It also was the largest margin of defeat for the Maroons since they were beaten by Edwardsville 76-49 on January 27, 2017.

The reigning Illinois Class 4A champion, Belleville West will face Springfield Catholic at 6 p.m. Friday in a consolation semifinal.

Memphis East and Rainier Beach (Wash.) advanced to play in the first championship semifinal at 8 p.m. Friday. In the quarterfinals, Memphis East beat Parkview and Rainier Beach beat Sunrise Christian (Kan.)

"It's a lesson," Liddell said. "These are great teams. We're going to play great teams in March and it's preparing us for then. This is a lesson learned and (Friday) we'll come back and play hard."

Liddell didn't get to play as much as he'd have liked. He was tagged with two fouls in the first quarter, then was part of a pair of double fouls in the third quarter. The Ohio State recruit went to the bench just past the midpoint of the third with the Maroons trailing 43-31. When he returned at the start of the fourth quarter, Shadow Mountain led 58-36.

Liddell finished with 16 points, nine rebounds and blocked nine shots but was never made the consistent impact that has been his forte.

"It's hard to get into a rhythm when you're not on the floor," Liddell said.

When Liddell was on the floor, Shadow Mountain (17-1) blanketed him. The Matadors ran multiple defenders at him every time he touched the ball.

They swarmed him and took away passing lanes. …

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