It was one of those nights where nothing seemed to go right for the Washington Blue Jays.
Playing a GAC Central basketball contest Tuesday at Ft. Zumwalt North, the Blue Jays suffered a 63-43 loss.
The Blue Jays (13-5, 2-1), who trailed throughout the contest, saw their deficit slowly increase from the middle of the second quarter until the final minutes of the fourth period.
“You have to give a lot of credit to Ft. Zumwalt North. They were well prepared. They played with more intensity and were more physical,” said Washington Head Coach Chip Sodemann. “Teams know who we are now. We’re not under the radar any more. We’re going to get everyone’s best game.”
Sodemann played down the possibility of the Blue Jays having a let down after winning their own tournament.
“As a coach, knowing the guys and the leadership we have, I don’t think they’d let that happen,” Sodemann said. “They just played a better game than we did.”
Doing most of the damage for Ft. Zumwalt North were brothers Chaz and Zach Glotta, sons of head coach Charles Glotta.
Chaz, a junior guard who is the second-leading scorer in the St. Louis area to this point of the season, nailed five three-pointers and finished with 22 points, three points below his average.
“We lost him a couple of times,” Sodemann said. “He’s a good shooter and scorer.”
Zach, a sophomore guard, was a big factor in the contest, collecting 19 points, seven assists and three steals.
“He’s a solid player who makes his teammates better,” Sodemann said. “He’s a little undersized, so maybe that’s why people don’t give him the credit he deserves.”
Luke Schroepfer led the way for Washington with 10 points.
Brad Carpenter finished the game with nine points. Ronnie Suggs scored eight points.
Jared Walde added six points. Christian Hardesty netted five points. Cory Epperson scored three points. Dane Meyer had two points.
Luke Hasenjaeger, Patrick Menke, Jacob Mulkey and Cole Schroepfer each played, but did not score.
Trailing 13-9 after one quarter, Washington was within 16-12 after a three-pointer by Schroepfer with 5:20 left in the second quarter.
The Panthers (11-3, 2-0) responded with a 15-5 run for the remainder of the quarter to take a 31-17 advantage to halftime.
Hopes of a second-half run faded away for the Blue Jays, who trailed by 21 points five minutes into the third quarter, 45-27 after three periods, and again by 21 points two minutes into the fourth quarter.
“From top to bottom, our conference is tough. Holt and Zumwalt East don’t have as many as the top three teams, but they’re playing people tough,” Sodemann said. “We can’t afford to take any nights off.”
Washington played another GAC Central road contest Friday at Ft. Zumwalt South.
Break Time Shootout
The Blue Jays will then return to action at the MFA Oil-Break Time Shootout Sunday, Jan. 27, at Mizzou Arena against Rock Bridge at 5:40 p.m.
There will be six games at Mizzou Arena that day as part of the event.
The tickets are $15 at the door, but can be purchased at the WHS activities office for $10.