RICHTON PARK | Bloom Township was allowed to shoot as many 3-pointers as it wanted Friday.
But the Blazing Trojans certainly didn't make as many as they wanted.
On a night when Bloom converted just five of its 19 3-point attempts, and shot just 37 percent overall from the floor, a desperate Rich South team took advantage in a mild 47-44 upset at home.
"We didn't make 3-pointers, free throws, nothing. We didn't do anything," Bloom coach Jasper Williams said. "They made us shoot 3-pointers, and that's what we did. The only problem was, we didn't make them."
After giving up nearly 70 points in each of its four losses this season, Rich South (2-4, 1-0) opened up its first Southland Athletic Conference game of the season with a new zone defense, which coach Scot Ritter said he hoped would slow down the Trojan attack.
It worked, as Bloom (4-2, 0-1) managed just five field goals or less in each quarter, and shot just eight free throws on the night.
"We just needed to take away what they are good at, and focus on our strengths," said Ritter, whose Stars shot a stellar 18-of-36 from the floor. "We wanted to keep them from cutting inside, and we wanted to force them to beat us from outside. Luckily that didn't happen tonight."
Bloom temporarily looked ready to run away with this one after Jared Johnson (11 points) started a 10-0 Trojan run that gave his team a 23-15 lead with 5 minutes, 17 seconds left before halftime. But the Stars responded with a big 12-4 move of their own, finishing the half on Jaylen Zachery's buzzer-beating layup to grab a 2-point cushion at the break.
Bloom again appeared in control when it went up 34-27 with just over three minutes to play in the third frame, but Rich South closed within three on an 8-4 run before the fourth quarter.
Zachery put the Stars ahead for good at 44-42 with a layup at the 2:10 mark.
"Give Rich South credit, they stuck to that zone defense and bothered us all game long," Williams added. "I thought tonight we played as individuals rather than a team, and that's going to have to change real soon."