Washington bounced back in a big way Monday after suffering a last-second boys basketball loss last Friday in a key GAC Central contest to Ft. Zumwalt North.
The Blue Jays (15-8, 3-3) dropped a 58-56 home game to Ft. Zumwalt North, but came back Monday to win at De Soto, 74-62.
Washington returns to conference action Tuesday at home against Ft. Zumwalt South and Friday at Holt.
“It was good to get back out there after a tough loss to Zumwalt North. I was a little concerned that De Soto might be a trap game with us playing Zumwalt South (Tuesday),” said Washington Head Coach Chip Sodemann. “But we didn’t look past De Soto at all and took care of our business. We did a good job getting the win.”
Ft. Zumwalt North
Washington was eliminated from GAC Central title contention with the loss to Ft. Zumwalt North.
With the score tied 56-56, North’s Aaron Hauser grabbed an offensive rebound and scored with 2.5 seconds left to play to give the Panthers the win.
“It was a great high school basketball game between two good teams. I’m proud of the way we battled,” said Sodemann. “There wasn’t one play that lost us the game. It was just a collection of things. They just made a play at the end of the game to win it.”
After the Blue Jays jumped to a 9-0 lead, the Panthers responded with nine straight points and it was closely contested for the rest of the way.
Trailing 15-14 after one quarter, Washington went on a 16-6 second-quarter run to lead 30-21 at halftime.
The Blue Jays led 42-38 after three quarters and 45-38 with 7:36 left in the fourth, but North rallied down the stretch.
A basket by Luke Hasenjaeger gave WHS a 56-54 lead with 1:10 left to play.
A pair of free throws and the last-second basket won the game for North.
Ronnie Suggs led Washington with 21 points and four rebounds.
Luke Schroepfer added 17 points, seven rebounds and four assists.
Walde collected 10 points, eight rebounds and three assists.
Brad Carpenter scored six points. Hasenjaeger had two.
Ft. Zumwalt North (16-5, 6-0) was led by Chaz Glotta, who scored 20 points. Kris McCann added 15 points. Hauser had eight points and 14 rebounds.
“Zumwalt North hit some tough shots in the fourth quarter. We really bought into our game plan, but just came up a little short,” Sodemann said. “It was a good game for us to prepare for the district tournament coming up. We still have a chance to finish with a 5-3 conference record.”
Without the services of Walde, the Blue Jays’ top post player, Washington turned to its perimeter game Monday at De Soto.
Walde was sick and did not make the trip.
The Blue Jays knocked down 14 three-pointers and cruised to a victory Monday at De Soto.
“I’m not sure if 14 three-pointers are a school record, but it’s got to be in the top few,” Sodemann said. “We shot the ball well early, often and late in the game.”
The 74 points for the Blue Jays were their second most of the season after scoring 76 in the first game against Cardinal Ritter.
Leading the way was Schroepfer, who nailed five three-pointers and finished with 22 points.
Suggs finished the game with 16 points on one three-pointer.
Jacob Mulkey connected on two three-pointers and scored 12 points.
Carpenter added nine points on three three-pointers.
Hasenjaeger scored eight points, hitting a pair of three-pointers.
Patrick Menke scored seven points on one three-pointer.
Jake Patzner scored 16 points for De Soto (15-8). Jake Bennett and Sean Solomon both had 15 points.
Washington held leads of 23-16 after one quarter, 39-25 at halftime and 52-43 after three quarters.
“We were definitely outsized, even if we had Walde,” Sodemann said. “We did a good job scoring in transition and penetrating their zone and finding an open shooter.”
Washington received the top seed for the Class 5 District 10 Tournament Feb. 23-28 at Rolla High School.
Rolla is seeded second followed by Waynesville, Northwest and Lebanon.
The Blue Jays open in the semifinals Feb. 26 against the Northwest-Lebanon winner at 6 p.m. The championship game is Feb. 28 at 7:30 p.m.