Over the last month of the boys basketball season, the Washington Blue Jays have played 12 of their 19 games to date.
In their last two games, both GAC Central road contests against Ft. Zumwalt North and Ft. Zumwalt South, the tank may have been on empty.
Following a 63-43 loss to Ft. Zumwalt North last Tuesday, the Blue Jays suffered a 55-40 setback Friday against Ft. Zumwalt South.
“I guess we could have been a little tired, but we just lost to two really good teams on their home floor. We didn’t play complete games in either of them,” said Washington Head Coach Chip Sodemann. “It’s been a long grind since Christmas. We haven’t had many days off. We’ll take this week to rest and get ready for the final five weeks. We have to be fresh and ready to go because it’s going to fly by.”
Trip to Mizzou
Washington (13-6, 2-2) gets a much-needed break, returning to action Sunday in the MFA Oil-Break Time Shootout at Mizzou Arena in Columbia.
The Blue Jays take on Rock Bridge at 5:40 p.m.
There will be six games Sunday at Mizzou Arena. The Blue Jays play the fifth game.
Advance all-day tickets are available for $10 at the WHS activities office and MFA Oil’s Break Time convenience stores.
Tickets also will be sold for $15 at Mizzou Arena on game day.
“Rock Bridge always has a good program and is well-coached. They have good individual talent. One of their players has committed to Creighton (5-9 junior guard Nick Norton),” Sodemann said. “It will be a neat experience for our guys. We’re going to eat at Shakespeare’s after the game.”
Luke Schroepfer and Ronnie Suggs both scored 12 points against Ft. Zumwalt South.
Brad Carpenter finished the game with 11 points.
Luke Hasenjaeger netted three points. Cory Epperson had two points.
Jared Walde, Jacob Mulkey, Christian Hardesty, Dane Meyer and Cole Schroepfer also played.
Ft. Zumwalt South (13-4, 3-0) nailed nine three-pointers in 25 attempts.
The Bulldogs also generated offense with their full-court pressure, which led to steals and easy baskets at times.
Preston Whitfield led South with 20 points. Eli Hlinak hit four three-pointers and netted 14 points. Matt Galvin added nine points.
“Looking at their scouting report, the guys we wanted to shoot from the outside were the ones who hurt us,” Sodemann said. “No. 25 (Hlinak) was shooting 18 percent from three-point range coming into the game, and he hit four of them. We left Whitfield open a couple of times. Galvin made a couple from the top of the key. They had guys step up and make shots and we didn’t.”
Washington’s Carpenter hit three-pointers at the end of the first quarter and to start the second quarter, giving the Blue Jays an 18-9 lead.
Ft. Zumwalt South responded with a 20-4 run over the final seven minutes of the second quarter to grab a 29-22 halftime advantage.
Washington pulled to within 32-31 with 4:15 left in the third quarter, but was outscored 11-2 to end the period, making the score 43-33.
The Blue Jays could not put together a fourth-quarter rally.
“We stopped doing what we were doing early in the game, which was moving the ball well, making the extra pass and shooting with confidence,” Sodemann said. “They got us to turn the ball over. We stopped playing together. We just kind of put the brakes on. We also missed a ton of free throws (9-16 from the line).”