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

62nd Annual Borgia Pepsi Thanksgiving Tournament

Blue Division

Pool 1

McCluer North



Pool 2

Cardinal Ritter


Rockwood Summit

Gold Division

Pool 1




Pool 2


North Tech


Monday, Nov. 24

CBC 77, Washington 52

Tuesday, Nov. 25

Cardinal Ritter vs. Rockwood Summit, PPD

Washington 63, Soldan 62

Borgia 83, Union 50

Wednesday, Nov. 26

Carnahan 71, Normandy 46

Pacific 64, Rockwood Summit 22

North Tech 67, Union 37

Thursday, Nov. 27

McCluer North 95 Carnahan 68

CBC 82, Soldan 55

Borgia 50, North Tech 45

Friday, Nov. 28

McCluer North 93, Normandy 39

Pacific 70, Cardinal Ritter 57

Saturday, Nov. 29

Blue Consolation — Rockwood Summit 47, Normandy 38

Gold Consolation — Soldan 78, Union 59

Gold Third Place — North Tech 63, Washington 57

Blue Third Place — Cardinal Ritter 71, Carnahan 46

Blue Championship — McCluer North 64, Pacific 58 (OT)

Gold Championship — CBC 67, Borgia 66

Boys Basketball

Monday, Dec. 8

Lutheran S 64, St. Clair 48

Borgia 61, Carnahan 51

Tuesday, Dec. 9

Lafayette 44, Washington 35

Friday, Dec. 12

Potosi 72, St. Clair 45

*Washington 69, Ft. Zumwalt North 65

Montgomery Co 62, New Haven 61

*St. Mary’s at Borgia    6:45 p.m.

Bourbon 75, Union 74

Glendale 63, Pacific 46

Saturday, Dec. 13

New Haven 46, Barat 40

Nixa 56, Pacific 46

Tuesday, Dec. 16

*Pacific 70, New Haven 35

*Hermann 67, St. Clair 49

*Ft. Zumwalt South 61, Washington 50

*Union 81, St. James 74

Friday, Dec. 19

*Owensville at St. Clair    4 p.m.

Washington vs. Parkway Central, GAC/Suburban Shootout, St. Charles Family Arena, 5:30 p.m.

*St. James at New Haven    6 p.m.

*Pacific 76, Union 57

Saturday, Dec. 20

Sullivan Shootout

Owensville vs. Rockwood Summit, 11:30 a.m.

Lindbergh 67, St. Clair 46

Jefferson City vs. Jackson, 2:30 p.m.

Washington 56, Lutheran South 54

Poplar Bluff 59, Borgia 49

Sullivan vs. Affton, 7 p.m.

Girls Basketball

Saturday, Dec. 6

Cor Jesu 63, Borgia 60

New Haven 46, Moberly 39

Monday, Dec. 8

Pacific 73, Rolla 40

St. Clair 68, Dixon 37

Washington 54, New Haven 15

Tuesday, Dec. 9

*Borgia 59, Rosati-Kain 38

Union 53, Northwest 44

Thursday, Dec. 11

*Borgia 60, Notre Dame 53

Union 81, Bourbon 53

Friday, Dec. 12

New Haven 45, Principia 30

*Washington 59, Ft. Zumwalt North 32

Saturday, Dec. 13

West Plains 76, Pacific 37

Monday, Dec. 15

*Pacific 46, New Haven 28

*St. Clair 59, Hermann 50

*St. James 64, Union 37

Sullivan Tournament

Cuba 48, Principia 27

Borgia 68, Patriettes 29

Sullivan 56, Pattonville 43

Owensville 78, Farmington 54

Wednesday, Dec. 17

Sullivan Tournament

Farmington 61, Pattonville 39

Sullivan 68, Owensville 64

Principia 55, St. Louis Patriettes 42

Borgia 56, Cuba 38

Thursday, Dec. 18

*St. James 72, New Haven 21

*Union 49, Pacific 48

Friday, Dec. 19

Francis Howell 55, Washington 48

Sullivan Tournament

Seventh Place — Pattonville vs. St. Louis Patriettes, 4 p.m.

Consolation — Farmington vs. Principia, 5:30 p.m.

Third Place — Owensville vs. Cuba, 7 p.m.

Championship — Borgia 62, Sullivan 35

Saturday, Dec. 20

Union at Waynesville    5 p.m.


Monday, Dec. 8

Maplewood 48, Borgia 30

Brentwood 47, Borgia 36

Winfield 48, St. Clair 36

St. Clair 42, St. James 40

Tuesday, Dec. 9

Pacific 55, North County 10

Jackson 63, Washington 12

Farmington 63, Washington 6

Wednesday, Dec. 10

Borgia 36, Lutheran St. Charles 34

Winfield 54, Borgia 30

Thursday, Dec. 11

Union 72, Ft. Zumwalt East 9

Union 52, Principia 30

Union 54, Winfield 27

Saturday, Dec. 13

Union Tournament    9 a.m.

Borgia at McCluer S-Berkeley Tny    9 a.m.

Pacific at Farmington Tny    9 a.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 16

Owensville 61, St. Clair 16

Union 48, Owensville 27

Union 65, St. Clair 18

Friday, Dec. 19

Washington at Raytown S Tny    TBA

Union at Cape Central Tny    TBA

Pacific at Ft. Zumwalt E Tny    TBA

Saturday, Dec. 20

Washington at Raytown S Tny    TBA

Union at Cape Central Tny    TBA

Pacific at Ft. Zumwalt E Tny    TBA

Girls Swimming

Monday, Dec. 8

Washington at Eureka    4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 9

Washington at Nerinx Hall    4 p.m.

LSC/OFC 134, Borgia 101, St. Dominic 83

Monday, Dec. 15

Borgia at Notre Dame (Forest Park)    4 p.m.

Kennedy 88, Washington 84

Wednesday, Dec. 17

Lindbergh 128, Washington 48

*Conference Games