Updated: January 3, 2013 6:27AM
On Wednesday, Rich South players watched film of Tuesday night’s 73-63 loss to Glenbard East that left the Stars at 1-4 and the defense giving up 70 or more points in all four setbacks.
“It was kind of embarrassing watching that,” senior Demitri Strickland said. “That’s things we can control. Playing with heart.”
Was it like watching a horror movie or a comedy?
“It was pretty much both,” he said.
Friday, however, was a feel-good story for the Stars. They clamped down on defense and stunned No. 3 Bloom 47-44 in a Southland Conference opener in Richton Park.
“I gave them a lot of hell this week,” Stars coach Scot Ritter said. “We’re not used to losing here. This was a big win.”
Strickland, who averaged 16 points and 10 rebounds a game heading into the contest, was held to eight points and three boards but scored on a putback with 30 seconds left and added a free throw with eight seconds left to help seal the win.
Myles McCoy led the Stars with 11 points and Darius Lee added 10 on 5-of-5 shooting.
Bloom (3-2), which finished fourth in the state in Class 4A last season but graduated a lot of talent from that team, came into the game stinging from a 49-46 loss to Homewood-Flossmoor in the title game of the Chicago Heights Classic. The Blazing Trojans led by as much as eight in the second quarter and seven in the third against South, but missing 15 three-point attempts and scoring just six fourth-quarter points doomed Bloom.
“We didn’t hit our free throws, we didn’t rebound, we didn’t do anything right,” Bloom coach Jasper Williams said. “I don’t know if this group can turn it around.”
Jared Johnson led Bloom with 11 points but had just two in the second half.