Festus Edges Wildcats in Consolation Semifinals - The Missourian: Sports

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Festus Edges Wildcats in Consolation Semifinals

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Posted: Friday, January 25, 2013 5:15 pm

Close only counts in horseshoes.

But not in basketball.

A couple of near misses in the first two rounds of the Union Tournament have made the host Wildcats hungry to finish off the event Saturday with a victory.

Union (3-12) lost Tuesday to Lutheran South in the opening round, 63-55. In Thursday’s consolation semifinal, Festus hit a three-point basket with 1.1 seconds to play to beat Union, 50-47.

“Late down the stretch, I really was proud of how we executed defensively,” Union Head Coach Chris Simmons said. “We had three or four fouls to give. We gave those with 10, seven and three seconds to play. Defensively, we executed. The kid made a big shot late in the game, you’ve got to give him kudos for that.”

Looking for Wins

Simmons feels the Wildcats are close to picking up wins instead of just playing close.

“ We’re getting better at it,” Simmons said. “We’re improving. Tonight was a good step forward in that direction. Four of our last five games we’ve been in the game with a chance to pull it out going down the stretch. We haven’t been able to do it, but we’re trying to do things differently in learning how to win games. Tonight was a good step forward to doing that.”

Seventh-Place Game

And Simmons is hopeful Union’s next win can come Saturday.

“Our focus is coming out and playing our best,” Simmons said. “It doesn’t matter who we play. We have to come out and play to our highest level and continue to move forward.”

The Wildcats will play Jefferson, a 66-50 loser to Crystal City Thursday, in Saturday’s 2:30 p.m. seventh-place game.

Jefferson lost to Pacific in the opening round, 71-32.

Festus plays its Twin Cities rival Crystal City in the consolation game Saturday at 4 p.m.


With the contest tied, Festus junior guard Travis Spraul sank a three-point basket with 1.1 seconds to play to lift the Tigers to the 50-47 victory.

Union had one final chance but couldn’t get into position for a final shot while going the length of the court.

The Wildcats did get a huge basket by Nick Ziegler with 1:11 to play, tying the score at 47-47. That erased what had been a nine-point deficit entering the fourth quarter, 43-34.

““I was really proud because we were patient and we got the shot we wanted,” Simmons said. “We didn’t force anything. We moved the ball and played as a team. Then Nick hit a big time shot.”

Festus also led after the first quarter, 13-8, and at the half, 24-20.

Union played well in spurts, but also had struggled for long stretches. That allowed the Tigers to lead for most of the game.

Vast Improvement

“Festus beat us by 27 earlier in the season,” Simmons said. “They just got us to turn over the ball a ton. Tonight we had our spurts where we turned the ball over, but I think we responded well. Instead of it becoming a 15-point deficit, it was four or six.”

TJ Vitt led the Wildcats in scoring with 17 points. He hit one three-point basket and was able to take advantage on the break.

Ziegler hit three three-point baskets in the game and ended with 13 points.

Also reaching doubled digits was Brandon Ford, who scored 11 points and was a major defensive presence near the basket with rebounds and blocked shots.

Union’s other tall player, Brian Borgmann, ended the game with three points.

Blake Hulsey earned his points on a basket and free throw late in the second quarter as the Wildcats trimmed a four-point Festus advantage to one. He took advantage of a missed Ford free throw to score and then was fouled himself.

Also playing were Ashton Dehn and Kory Lucas.

Spraul led the Tigers with 18 points and his game-winning three was the only shot he hit from beyond the arc.

Ali Abbas scored 16 points for Festus.

Robert Brewer chipped in with eight points, Kamau Kinder scored four, Andrew Hayden ended with three and Zach Stamps added a point.

Lutheran South

For three quarters, the Wildcats were able to hang with second-seeded Lutheran South in a 63-55 first-round loss.

Take away the second quarter and Union actually outscored the Lancers, 42-40. But that second quarter proved to be a difference maker. Lutheran South outscored Union in that eight-minute stretch, 23-13.

That turned an 18-17 Lutheran South lead after one quarter into a 41-30 advantage at the intermission.

Union chipped away at the lead, cutting it to 50-44 after three quarters, but couldn’t pull off the upset.

The Wildcats were paced by four players who reached double digits in scoring.

Ziegler led the way with 12 points.

TJ Vitt netted 11 points.

Ford and Hulsey scored 10 points apiece.

Dehn contributed eight points.

Borgmann ended with four points.

Parker Van Nest led the Lancers with 23 points while going 9-10 from the field. He added four rebounds, three assists and two steals.

Also reaching double digits was Brandon Downey with 13 points, seven rebounds, five assists and a blocked shot.

Thomas Schultz closed with eight points, five rebounds, two assists and a steal.

Trey Martin concluded the game with seven points, six assists, three rebounds and three steals.

Lezoghia Meneh and Dirk Otterstein scored six points apiece.

Lutheran South advanced to play Northwest in the semifinals. The Lions upset Festus in the other first-round game Tuesday.


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 vs. Lutheran South    5:30 p.m.

^Borgia vs. Washington    7 p.m.

*Providence at Crosspoint    7:30 p.m.

Eagle Ridge at Fulton SA    7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 31

^Seventh-place game    2:30 p.m.

~Seventh-place game    2:30 p.m.

^Consolation    4 p.m.

~Consolation    4 p.m.

^Third-place game    5:30 p.m.

~Third-place game    5:30 p.m.

^Championship    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 vs. Wentzville Liberty   4 p.m.

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

^Consolation — Pacific vs. Lutheran South    5:30 p.m.

*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 — St. Clair vs. Holt   7 p.m.

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

^Championship — Washington vs. Warrenton    8:30 p.m.

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