Sullivan Wins Defensive Struggle Over Indians - The Missourian: Sports

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Sullivan Wins Defensive Struggle Over Indians

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Posted: Friday, March 1, 2013 4:15 pm | Updated: 10:07 pm, Fri Mar 1, 2013.

It will be a rematch of last year’s Class 4 District 9 boys basketball championship game Saturday in Pacific thanks to a mild upset Thursday night.

Third-seeded Sullivan (19-8) held off second-seed Pacific (16-9), 39-28.

That sets up a rematch of last year’s championship contest, a game Borgia won, 44-33.

“We’ve got to put four good quarters together,” Sullivan Head Coach Dino McKinney said. “We’ve seen them a couple of times. We know what they do and they know what we do. We’ve just got to get ready to play.”

Pacific Head Coach John VanLeer lauded his team’s defense.

“Our kids competed,” VanLeer said. “They played great defense. There were a couple of missed blockouts and a couple of inbounds plays where we didn’t communicate and didn’t guard right and gave them layups. Those eight points were huge in the game. They competed the whole time. We just struggled to score.”

Sullivan, a first-round winner Monday over Owensville, 34-25, never trailed in Thursday’s game.

The contest marked the second low-scoring game in a row for the Eagles.

McKinney said that Sullivan is comfortable playing at any pace, but is confident in its defensive ability.

“We saw some different defenses the last couple of games, so it leads to low-scoring games,” McKinney said. “We pride ourselves in playing good defense, too. We’ll have to see how the flow of the game goes. We’ve scored a lot of points at times and we’ve had games like this.”

Pacific made runs at different times. The Indians cut it to within a point early in the third quarter, but never could tie or take the lead in the second half.

Each team was without a key player.

The Indians missed sophomore Cullen VanLeer, who suffered a tibular tubercle fracture against De Soto in the final game of the regular season. He was seated behind the Pacific bench doing what he could to lend support to his teammates.

“When you take 19 points per game out of the lineup and a kid who leads you in most offensive categories, it’s tough,” VanLeer said. “Our kids tried to step up and do it. We’ve just got to spend some time in the gym shooting in the offseason.”

The Eagles were without Seth Mesey.

Semifinal Game

Pacific led 6-3 after one quarter as both teams struggled to find their shooting touches in the first eight minutes.

Sullivan’s JC Beckett scored the game’s first point, a free throw, with 6:08 to play in the quarter. Joey Lochner added a basket but Pacific’s Jeff Hinkle cut that advantage to 3-2 with Pacific’s first basket.

The Indians added buckets from Boyer and Tanner Brown to lead 6-3 after eight minutes of action.

Sullivan responded with the first 10 points of the second quarter.

Adam Tiefenbrunn, who came off the bench, hit a three-point basket to tie the game. Adam Weiland then scored off a rebound to give Sullivan the lead once again.

Weiland and Tiefenbrunn combined to score the next five points and give Sullivan a 13-6 advantage. Pacific got a shot from Logan Armstrong to close out the half, but Sullivan held a 13-8 lead.

Boyer had the hot hand to start the third quarter, but a basket from Chris Erxleben kept Sullivan on top. The Eagles built on that. Erxleben hit another basket and started a five-point run which gave Sullivan a cushion it never would relinquish.

Sullivan was up 13-8 at the half.

“I know we weren’t very happy with only having 13 points at the half,” McKinney said. “But I know they weren’t very happy with only having eight. When you score 13 points, you’re probably going to be losing. We’ve had 14 and 13 in the first two games of this tournament and still been leading.”

VanLeer said he was happy with the defense in the first half.

“Our defense was good and we felt happy at the half,” VanLeer said. “Then we came out and scored and made a little move. After that, we really struggled to score.”

Pacific came out and made its biggest run early in the third quarter. Senior Zeth Boyer scored six quick points and the Indians cut the lead to 15-14, but couldn’t add to the run.

Sullivan led 22-16 after three quarters and never let Pacific get close in the final quarter.

“We took care of the ball,” McKinney said. “Defensively, we were pretty good again.”

Tiefenbrunn led the Eagles with 13 points. He hit three three-point baskets in the game.

Weiland scored nine points for Sullivan.

Justin Biermann, Sullivan’s leading scorer, drew the focus of Pacific’s defense. The Indians held him without a field goal and all six of his points came at the free-throw line.

“They took a couple of our players away,” McKinney said. “They made sure Biermann didn’t get many. They played triangle and two and guarded him with a lot of help. Luckily other guys stepped up for us tonight.”

Erxleben and Lochner each scored four points.

Beckett ended with three points.

Also playing for the Eagles were Ryan Juergens, Marcus Mallory, Michael McDermott and Heath Schatz.

Boyer led the Indians with eight points.

Brown was next in scoring with six points. Armstrong scored four while Noah Boyer and Brendan Jett-Kell scored three points.

Jett-Kell came off the bench and immediately hit a three-point basket in the third quarter as Sullivan had started to pull away.

“Those two seniors (Boyer and Jett-Kell) stepped up and made a couple of buckets,” VanLeer said. “We just didn’t get rolling. We got shots, but we couldn’t knock them down. We weren’t getting to the free-throw line.”

Hinkle and Zach Kraus scored two points apiece.

Neil DeBold also played.

The Indians graduate five seniors from this year’s team. Seniors are Brandon Colter, Zeth Boyer, DeBold, Stephen Watson and Jett-Kell.

“We lose five great kids,” VanLeer said. “They’ve all been in the program since fourth or fifth grade. I couldn’t ask for better young men. They’re going to be successful in whatever they do. They showed leadership this year. We set a team goal and this is the best team defensive average we’ve had since I’ve been here. They really stepped up.”

VanLeer also thanked the fans.

“Our sixth man has been unreal,” VanLeer said. “Early in the season, we took a full bus of 72 down to Farmington. We had more people than they did that night. I’ll put our student body up against anybody else. I’m proud of them. That’s a big lift for our players. We only allowed 35 points at home this year and that has a lot to do with the toughness of our kids and support of our crowd.”


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