Sullivan Wins District Title Over Pacific - The Missourian: Sports

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Sullivan Wins District Title Over Pacific

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Posted: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 4:45 pm

As it turned out, the third time was the charm for the Sullivan Lady Eagles.

Playing against Pacific for the third time this season, second-seeded Sullivan finally broke through with a win over the top-seeded Lady Indians 37-35 in the championship game of the Class 4 District 9 Girls Basketball Tournament Saturday at Pacific High School.

The championship game was a defensive struggle as both teams had a difficult time scoring points.

“Statistic wise, it was awful. There’s no other way to put it. We found a way to get it done,” said Sullivan Head Coach Jason Merkel. “It was a grind. A part of that is both teams know each other’s personnel so well, especially having already played each other twice. Luckily for us, we got it figured out in the right game.”

Sullivan (23-4) advances to play Bolivar (19-7) in the Class 4 sectional round Wednesday at 7:45 p.m. Missouri S&T in Rolla.

The shot of the game came from Sullivan junior Sierra Pryor.

With Pacific holding a 35-33 lead, Pryor drilled a 22-foot three-pointer from the right elbow with 10 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter to give the Lady Eagles the lead for good, 36-35.

“To win the game like that was awesome,” Pryor said. “I didn’t realize I was that far back until some of my teammates told me.”

The Lady Indians (21-6) had the play defended, but Pryor made the long three-point shot.

“I was happy that was the shot they decided to take. It just went in,” said Pacific Head Coach Josh Spuhl. “She’s a great player. I knew eventually she would do something to affect the game. She was in foul trouble. We played her well when she was in the game.”

Pryor was one of a number of key players from both teams in foul trouble during the game.

“That was a huge shot. I told Sierra when she was sitting on the bench in foul trouble that late in the game, you’re probably going to be in there to make a play. And that’s what she did,” Merkel said. “We’re better off just letting our kids play. Those kids make us coaches look good.”

Pacific had the ball in a timeout with 6.6 seconds left. The Lady Indians got a good shot, but it was partially blocked.

Sullivan’s Aley Lucas grabbed the rebound, got fouled and made one of two free throws with 1.4 seconds left.

“We drew something up. Lizzy (Almo) was open. She had a good look at a baseline 10-footer. The call didn’t go our way,” Spuhl said.

“With just a few seconds left, we definitely didn’t want to foul them,” Pryor said.

“We knew that Lizzy or (Ashley) Hill probably would try to take us off the dribble and go,” Merkel added. “That’s what we were thinking, which turned out to be true.”

It’s actually the second time this season that Sullivan won a tournament on a last-second three-pointer by Pryor. She pulled the same trick to beat Helias in the championship game of the Union Tournament.

“That one against Helias was a scripted play, so we knew exactly where she was going to be at that time,” Merkel said. “She did this one on her own.”

The game-winning basket was the only points of the game for Pryor, who finished with three points.

Taylor Lucas led the Lady Eagles with 11 points. Megan Brandt added 10 points.

Demi Reed collected six points. Jessica Heinle and Kaitlynn Hill both scored three points. Aley Lucas had one point.

“We played hard and finally pulled through,” Pryor said. “It’s hard to beat a team three times. We knew that. We’re like, we’re not going to back down from you.”

Lizzy Almo and Kya Hill both scored eight points for Pacific. Hill was in foul trouble for much of the game.

Ashley Hill and Ellen Rogers both finished the game with seven points.

Meagan Wakefield scored five points.

“We knew it was going to be close and physical. That’s the way they play,” Merkel said. “We just find ways to win. We may not have the best basketball kids. We have some good athletes.”

Pacific was 13-27 from the free-throw line, including 5-12 in the fourth quarter. Sullivan was 5-21.

“Free throws were the difference. We had a lot of free throws that we missed,” Spuhl said. “I thought our defense was fantastic. I thought everybody on our team played as hard as they could. Sullivan didn’t play the best they can, either. I wish them all the luck.”

Trailing 9-7 after one quarter and 11-7 two minutes into the second quarter, Sullivan went on a 9-0 run, which turned out to make a big difference in the defensive-minded game.

The Lady Eagles grabbed a 16-11 advantage with 3:50 left in the second period.

But Pacific came back with five straight points to tie the game, 16-16.

Sullivan’s Brandt scored at the buzzer to give the Lady Eagles an 18-17 halftime lead.

The entire second half was back and forth. Neither team held more than a four-point advantage.

Sullivan led 25-24 after three quarters and 29-25 just 41 seconds into the fourth period.

The game was tied 33-33 with exactly one minute left to play.

A basket by Almo with 42 seconds left gave Pacific a 35-33 advantage, which set up Pryor’s game-winning basket in the final seconds.

“Defensively, we played on point. We did the things we talked about. We tried to control their inside game better than the two times we played them before,” Spuhl said. “Offensively, we struggled. At the times we needed to, we got the buckets to stay in the game. A two-point lead with 10 seconds left, I felt pretty good.”

Spuhl said the Lady Indians had another good season.

“That’s what we talked about in the locker room. Not the mistakes, but how well we did this year. Getting to 21 wins is fantastic. We won a couple of tournaments. We beat some teams that we’ve never beaten before. It was definitely a good year for us,” Spuhl said. “A lot of players stepped up this year. We definitely showed we can be competitive again next year. We have everybody back but two seniors.”


Area Scoreboard

Boys Basketball

Monday, Jan. 26

^Rock Bridge 79, Northwest 27

^Lutheran South 76, Hillsboro 43

Owensville 41, Hermann 40

St. James 80, Montgomery County 39

Tuesday, Jan. 27

Jackson 65, Pacific 44

^Borgia 82,  Union 61

~Warrenton 69, Chamois 24

^Washington 49, St. Clair 45 (OT)

~Wright City 51, New Haven 37

*Bethel at Crosspoint    7:45 p.m.

Wednesday, Jan. 28

Fulton SA at Thomas Jefferson    6:30 p.m.

Thursday, Jan. 29

^Hillsboro 49, Northwest 34

~New Haven 35, Chamois 28

~Wright City 47, Warrenton 41

^Union 63,  St. Clair 60

~Hermann 63 vs. Montgomery Co 5

St. James 57, Owensville 35

Friday, Jan. 30

^Rock Bridge 80, Lutheran South 59

^Borgia 46, Washington 43 (OT)

*Providence at Crosspoint    7:30 p.m.

Eagle Ridge at Fulton SA    7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 31

^Seventh-place game — St. Clair vs. Northwest   2:30 p.m.

~Seventh-place game    2:30 p.m.

^Consolation — Union vs. Hillsboro    4 p.m.

~Consolation    4 p.m.

^Third-place game — Washington vs. Lutheran South   5:30 p.m.

~Third-place game    5:30 p.m.

^Championship — Borgia vs. Rock Bridge    7 p.m.

~Championship    7 p.m.

^Union Tournament

~Hermann Tournament

Monday, Feb. 2

New Haven at Silex   5:30  p.m.

Fulton SA at North County Christian    7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Feb. 3

Whitfield at Union    4 p.m.

*Crosspoint at Fulton SA    6:30 p.m.

Pacific at Borgia    6:45 p.m.

*Holt at Washington    7 p.m.

Thursday, Feb. 5

*Fulton SA at Community Christian    6:30 p.m.

*Duchesne at Borgia    6:45 p.m.

*Rivers of Life at Crosspoint    7 p.m.

Wellsville at New Haven     6 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 6

*Union at New Haven    6 p.m.

*Pacific at St. James    6 p.m.

*Borgia at St. Mary’s    6:45 p.m.

*St. Clair at Sullivan    7 p.m.

Monday, Feb. 9

Crosspoint, Fulton SA at MAC Tny    TBA

Tuesday, Feb. 10

*St. Clair at Pacific    5:30 p.m.

*Hermann at Union    5:30 p.m.

Rock Bridge at Borgia    7:15 p.m.

Crosspoint, Fulton SA at MAC Tny    TBA

Owensville at New Haven   6 p.m.

Girls Basketball

Monday, Jan. 26

^Holt 60, Pacific 57

^Warrenton 42, Union 40

~Owensville 64,  Montgomery Co 32

Borgia 62, Cardinal Ritter 41

^St. Clair 64, Lutheran South 45

~Hermann 57, Wright City 26

Washington 74, Wentzville Liberty 19

Tuesday, Jan. 27

Fulton SA at Barat    4:30 p.m.

~New Haven 42, Montgomery Co 34

*Bethel at Crosspoint    6:15 p.m.

~Chamois 61, Wright City 20

Wednesday, Jan. 28

^Pacific 62, Union 59 (OT)

Fulton SA at Thomas Jefferson    5 p.m.

^Lutheran South 54, Wentzville Liberty 40

~Owensville 54, New Haven 24

^Warrenton 51, Holt 44

~Chamois 50, Hermann 45

^Washington 54, St. Clair 31

Thursday, Jan. 29

*Notre Dame 50, Borgia 45

Friday, Jan. 30

^Seventh-place game — Union 66, Wentzville Liberty 31

~Consolation — Montgomery Co. vs. Wright City    5 p.m.

^Consolation — Lutheran South 55, Pacific 49

*Providence at Crosspoint    6 p.m.

Eagle Ridge at Fulton SA    6 p.m.

~Third-place game — Hermann vs. New Haven   6:30 p.m.

^Third-place game — Holt 63, St. Clair 49

~Championship — Owensville vs. Chamois   8 p.m.

^Championship — Washington 61 Warrenton 50

Monday, Feb. 2

#Borgia vs. Patriettes    4 p.m.

#Cardinal Ritter vs. Union    5:20 p.m.

De Soto at St. Clair    5:30 p.m.

Fulton SA at North County Christian    6 p.m.

#Washington vs. Parkway South    6:40 p.m.

Chamois at New Haven    7 p.m.

#Helias vs. Troy    8 p.m.

Tuesday, Feb. 3

*Crosspoint at Fulton SA    5 p.m.

Wednesday, Feb. 4

#Washington-Parkway South loser vs. Helias-Troy loser    4 p.m.

#Borgia-Patriettes loser vs. Cardinal Ritter-Union loser    5:20 p.m.

#Washington-Parkway South winner vs. Helias-Troy winner    6:40 p.m.

#Borgia-Patriettes winner vs. Cardinal Ritter-Union winner    8 p.m.

Thursday, Feb. 5

*Pacific at St. James    6 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 6

Barat at Fulton SA    4:30 p.m.

*St. Clair at Sullivan    5:30 p.m.

*Rivers of Life at Crosspoint    5:30 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 7

#Seventh-place game    noon

#Consolation    1:30 p.m.

#Third-place game    3 p.m.

#Championship    4:30 p.m.

New Haven at Elsberry    5 p.m.

Monday, Feb. 9

*Hermann at Union    5:30 p.m.

*St. Clair at Pacific    5:30 p.m.

*Owensville at New Haven    6 p.m.

*St. Dominic at Borgia    6:45 p.m.

Crosspoint, Fulton SA at MAC Tny    TBA

Tuesday, Feb. 10

*Washington at Ft. Zumwalt South    5:30 p.m.

Crosspoint, Fulton SA at MAC Tny    TBA

^Washington Tournament

~Hermann Tournament

#Borgia Tournament


Tuesday, Jan. 27

*Pacific 42, St. Clair 33

Borgia 36, Hallsville 30

Helias 66, Borgia 21

Wednesday, Jan. 28

Borgia at Lutheran St. Charles    5 p.m.

Thursday, Jan. 29

Summit 39, Union 34

Owensville 41, Pacific 38

Pacific 45, St. James 28

Friday, Jan. 30

St. Clair at DeSoto   5 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 31

Pacific at Hazelwood East Tny    9 a.m.

St. Clair at DeSoto 9 a.m.

Monday, Feb. 2

Borgia at O’Fallon Christian    5 p.m.

Tuesday, Feb. 3

Washington at Pacific    6 p.m.

Wednesday, Feb. 4

Borgia at AAA Tny    TBA

Thursday, Feb. 5

*Pacific at Union    6 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 7

Washington at Seckman Tny    9 a.m.

St. Clair at Francis Howell Central Inv    9:30 a.m.

Tuesday, Feb. 10

Pacific at Parkway Central Tri-Meet    5 p.m.

Girls Swimming

Tuesday, Jan. 20

Timberland 140, Washington 96, Ft. Zumwalt East 87

Thursday, Jan. 22

Oakville 120, Washington 115, University City 9, Mehlville 6

Saturday, Jan. 24

Washington 91, Borgia 80

Tuesday, Jan. 27

Washington 122, St. Charles West 46

Thursday, Jan. 29

Washington at Affton/Lutheran South    4:15 p.m.

Borgia at St. Dominic    8:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Feb. 3

Washington at McCluer North    3:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Feb. 4

Borgia at MICDS/Duchesne (Rec-Plex)    8:30 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 6

Washington at Ft. Zumwalt South    3:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Feb. 10

Borgia at Nerinx Hall    4 p.m.

Washington at GAC Meet    TBA

Wednesday, Feb. 11

Washington at GAC Meet    TBA

Thursday, Feb. 12

Borgia at AAA Meet    TBA

Washington at GAC Meet    TBA

*Conference Games