As Southwestern and Medina met at their respective benches just moments before tipoff, a pair of Trojans hung back and continued warming up.
One, wearing jersey No. 11, squared up to the basket beyond the 3-point line and arched a shot that hit nothing but net. The other, donning No. 33, made a quick crossover against an imaginary foe at the elbow, leapt high into the air and laid a soft shot off the glass.
As would soon become evident, those extra repetitions would serve Alek Peck and Kyle Radack quite well in the coming action.
"If there's one thing that younger kids can learn from this group, it's get to the gym and shoot," Southwestern coach Andrew Krenzer said. "(Peck and Radack) are a perfect example of kids that do the extra things, and if teams are going to be successful, they need players like that."
Peck poured in a game-high 21 points to go along with seven rebounds and five assists, Radack added 20 more with five assists and two steals and the sixth-seeded Trojans rolled No. 11 Medina, 74-54, in the prequarterfinal round of the Section 6 Class B-2 playoffs.
The victory, which was the Trojans' 13th of the season (against six losses), propels the squad into the quarterfinals, where they will square off against No. 3 Buffalo East (12-6) at 8 p.m., Friday at MST Seneca.
If Southwestern can play in that upcoming contest the way it did on Wednesday evening, Buffalo East might have cause to be a touch concerned.
After playing to a 16-16 tie over the first eight minutes, the Southwestern offense, led by the senior duo of Peck and Radack, really got going in the second.
Radack kicked off the period with a jumper at the free throw line, Peck followed on the ensuing possession with a triple from the right wing and, after a pair of buckets down low from post player Peter Trathen, Radack came right back with an old-fashioned three-point play (he was fouled while converting a layup) to put Southwestern ahead, 29-27.
The Trojans would never trail again.
By quarter's end, Southwestern had extended its advantage to six points, 41-35, and 16 of the Trojans' 25 in the period were tallied by Peck, who went a perfect 3 of 3 from beyond the arc during the period, and Radack.
But while those two guards did the bulk of the work in the opening half to get their squad the lead - they combined for 27 of the team's first 41 points - a number of others stepped up over the next two quarters to maintain it.
During an 11-2 spree to start the third period, Trathen and Nathan Schrope scored down low and Andrew Greenlee, spotting up in the corner, drilled his second trey of the evening, pushing the lead to a hefty 15 points, 52-37.
Southwestern kept rolling in the fourth quarter, enjoying a 22-5 surge that put the game completely from reach, 74-50. Over the sizable run's five-minute span, Trathen, left alone beyond the arc, hit a rare 3-pointer, Baglia tallied a reverse layup on the fastbreak and Kyle Moran scored six of Southwestern's final eight points down low.
"The other guys did their part, too," Krenzer said. "Peter Trathen had 10 boards and 12 points, Kyle Moran finished (under the basket), Nathan Schrope did a nice job defensively, Nick Baglia did a great job in transition and Greenlee hit a couple of big 3s that really spread things out for us."
Medina, meanwhile, which had managed to keep pace in the opening half thanks to pinpoint accuracy from long distance, went cold in the second half. And without the 3, the Mustangs (7-13) were held to just nine points in the third quarter and 10 in the fourth.
"A lot of times (in the first half) they would get the ball into the short corner and (Lonnie Taylor, the Mustangs' leading scorer with 20 points) would distribute from there," Krenzer said of his opponents' early success from beyond the arc. "So we made an adjustment at halftime and tried to deny that short corner pass."
Now, Southwestern turns its focus to Buffalo East. And with his offense humming, Krenzer is feeling confident.
"We put up 74 points tonight," he said with a smile. "At the beginning of the year, against Clymer, we finished a game with just 33. So the kids know what they're supposed to be doing and they're executing - at just the right time of year."
Taylor 8 4 20, Hellwig 4 2 12, Thompson 2 0 6, Brown 5 0 10, Grabowski 0 0 0, Griffith 1 0 2, Hoot 0 0 0, McPherson 2 0 4, Lewis 0 0 0, Cuadrado 0 0 0. Totals 22 6 54.
Baglia 2 3 7, Pilling 0 0 0, Greenlee 2 1 7, Rybicki 0 0 0, Peck 9 0 21, Moran 3 1 7, Trathen 5 1 12, Mogenhan 0 0 0, Johnson 0 0 0, Gustafson 0 0 0, Carlson 0 0 0, Radack 7 5 20, Schrope 0 1 1. Totals 28 11 74.
3-point goals: Hellwig 2, Thompson 2, Greenlee 2, Peck 3, Trathen, Radack.
Medina16 19 10 9 - 54
Southwestern16 25 12 21 - 74