By THE HERALD-WHIG STAFF
SHELBYVILLE, Mo. -- Todd Cripe believes in keeping it simple.
That's why the first-year North Shelby boys basketball coach employs nothing but man-to-man defense.
"And our defense is coming around," Cripe said. "I've been telling people (the Raiders) are starting to drink my Kool-Aid a little bit."
They'll keep fueling up on it if it leads to results like this.
Fifth-seeded North Shelby limited top-seeded Marion County to just four points in the second quarter Thursday night, building a seven-point halftime lead the Raiders never relinquished in earning a 40-34 victory in the semifinals of the North Shelby Tournament.
"We defended to tell you the God's honest truth," Cripe said. "It was a defensive battle. Every possession counted. I give all the credit to my kids and their effort."
The Raiders (8-7) trailed by five points after the first quarter before outscoring the Mustangs 16-4 in the second quarter. North Shelby freshman Dylan Mettes came off the bench to knock down a 3-pointer just before halftime to give North Shelby the seven-point cushion.
"He's been playing a lot of minutes the last couple of weeks," Cripe said of Mettes. "I'm trying to find him more minutes."
Michael Orr led North Shelby with 12 points, while Kason Spratt led Marion County with 13 points.