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St. James’ Branson, Smith
Top FRC Hoops Honorees
By Arron Hustead

Missourian Sports Writer

First the St. James
Tigers took the Four
Rivers Conference title,
then they took the conference’s top postseason
Following an undefeated 7-0 conference
season, St. James senior Andrew Branson
was named the league’s
Player of the Year and
Ben Smith received
Coach of the Year Honors.
23.8 points per game
this season along with
nightly averages of 6.9

rebounds, 2.73 assists
and 3.19 steals.
Along with Player of
the Year honors, Branson was one of six unanimous first-team all-conference selections.
The other five unanimous first-team picks
• Hermann senior
Trent Anderson;
• New Haven senior
Luke Gerlemann;
• Sullivan junior
Owen Farrell;
• St. James senior
Mason Parker; and
• St. Clair senior
Dayton Turner.
New Haven junior
John Liggett and St.

VanLeer Ends
complishments include
six selections as Four
Coach of the Year and
one selection as District
Coach of the Year.
VanLeer is quick to
give credit also to his
family for their support,
as well as those as the
school’s administration,
parents and staff.
administration has absolutely
had my back for
27 years,” he said.
“There were never
any serious issues
here because they
backed me up all the
VanLeer led the Indians to 18 winning seasons during his nearly
three decades at the
helm of the basketball
program, but none bigger than the district
championship season in
That year saw the
Indians knock off their
perennial district foil,
St. Francis Borgia Regional, in the championship game at Union,
VanLeer’s home town.
“To win the district
was the most special
game of my career,” VanLeer said. “We played
Borgia and won after so
many years where they
had knocked us out and
then went on to some final fours. To look back at
those moments, to have
my son there on the floor
and my other son made
it home and was there in
the stands just made it
more special that night.”
The district championship, VanLeer’s first,
was shared with his
youngest son, Cameron,
who was a senior guard
and team leader that
Both of VanLeer’s


only allowed one hit
and one unearned run.
We also scored in every
inning with 10 different players getting hits.
The game is a lot easier
when you’re not playing
from behind.”
Second Game
The second game
proved to be where East
Central released all of
the frustrations of the
early part of the season,
from losses to postponed
The Falcons scored
three times in the bottom of the first and copied that in the second.
In the third, East Central scored nine times.
St. Charles got its
lone run in the top of the
fourth, but the Falcons
continued with another
three-run inning in the
bottom of the fifth.
(Wright City) tossed the
win for the Falcons, allowing an unearned run
on one hit, a double. She
struck out one.
Offensively, Mallory
Green) led the way with
three hits.
Jenna Crider (Washington), Kristyn England (Cuba), Katie Gaus
(Canton), Jena Monehan (Washington) and
Jordan Owens (Northwest) each had two hits.
Kaylee Abney (Owensville), Kaili Edler
(Northwest), Dani Kim-

sons, Cullen and Cameron, were four-year
varsity players for the
basketball program. The
two played together during Cullen’s senior and
year in 2014-15.
Cullen went on to
play collegiate ball for
the University of Missouri before returning
to Pacific to serve as an
assistant coach for his
father’s final season.
“It was awesome
to have him on staff,”
John said. “He had some
good ideas and worked
for some good people at
Mizzou. It was a dream
to have him on the same
Cameron is currently
a sophomore at Columbia College where he
plays for the men’s golf
John will coach the
Pacific boys golf team
one final season this
spring. After that, he
says he expects to do
some landscaping part
time, play more golf,
watch Cameron golf and
go hunting.
“When we get to the
winter we’ll see,” he
said. “Basketball has
been in my life since I
was in the 4th grade
and someway, somehow
I’ll probably still be involved.”
As you would expect,
VanLeer has earned a
bevy of fond memories
over his many years
with the program.
“The year that I got
to coach both my boys
at the same time just
flew by,” he said. “It
was a special year and
it’s something that you
look forward to for so
long. Pretty much every year though I can go
back and there’s some-

James senior Logan
Chick rounded out the
first team.
selections include:
• Union senior Caleb
• St. Clair senior Calvin Henry;
• St. James senior
Austin Ridenhour;
• Sullivan junior Jordan Woodcock;
• New Haven senior
Jay Eichelberger;
• St. Clair senior Justin Hoffman; and
• Pacific freshman
Quin Blackburn.
Members of the Sullivan basketball Lady Eagles pose with the Class 4
Pacific junior Don’TA
Harris received sixth District 9 championship plaque in front of student supporters Friday in
man honors.
Union. Sullivan won the district title by defeating Rolla in the championship

Thanks to Fans

• Continued from Page 1D

thing special about each
season. The amount of
emails and wishes I’ve
received from people in
the last week since they
found out I was retiring
has been unreal.”
selects to next lead the
program will no doubt
have big shoes to fill, replacing one of the more
heavily respected coaches in the area.
successor will have a sizable
group of experienced
players eligible to return next winter. The
Indians graduate just
one starter from this 1115 season.
Washington Dartball
League Playoffs
First Round
Thursday, Feb. 13
(1) S&R Convenience def. (16)
Town & Country
(8) Elks Too def. (9) Clover
(5) Krawitz def. (12) Modern
(4) Muser & Assoc. def. (13)
(14) American Legion def. (3)
(6) K of C def. (11) KCLC
(7) Garrett’s Lawn Care def.
(10) Legion A
(2) VFW-A def. (15) Hummingbird B
Thursday, Feb. 20
S&R Convenience def. Elks Too
Krawitz def. Muser & Assoc.
K of C def. American Legion
Garrett’s Lawn Care def. VFW-A
Thursday, Feb. 20
S&R Convenience def. Krawitz
Garrett’s Lawn Care def. K of C
Thursday, March 5
S&R Convenience def. Garrett’s
Lawn Care

game. Sullivan plays Tuesday in Rolla against Helias in a secitonal conMissourian Photo/Bill Battle.


• Continued from Page 1D

big free throws when we
needed them. Overall it
was a great game and I
am extremely proud of
our girls.”
Sullivan jumped out
to a 13-7 lead after one
quarter and was up, 1713, at the half.
Sullivan held a 24-20
advantage after three
quarters and pulled
away in the fourth.
Senior Mallory Shetley was the focus of the
Sullivan attack. Shetley overcame picking
up three fouls in the
first quarter to lead all
scorers with 23 points.
She knocked down two
three-point shots and
went 9-9 from the free-

throw line.
Shetley didn’t pick up
any additional fouls after the opening quarter.
Kya Harbour, another senior, was next with
13 points, including two
three-point baskets. She
went 7-8 from the freethrow line.
Denbow and senior Hanna Johanning scored
three points apiece.
Senior Payton Dudley
added one point.
Janke, a senior, and
sophomore Taniya Corley scored eight points
apiece to lead Rolla.
Corley went 3-4 from
the free-throw line and
hit one of Rolla’s two

Panthers Edge Blues Monday, 2-1

Brett Connolly scored
early in the third period and Chris Driedger
stopped 26 shots, leading the Florida Panthers
to a 2-1 victory over the
St. Louis Blues on Monday night.
Mike Hoffman also

scored for Florida and
Aleksi Saarela assisted
on both Panthers goals,
the first assists of his
career. He has played
in nine regular-season
games for the Panthers.
scored for St. Louis. Jordan Binnington record-

ed 32 saves for the Blues
and fell to 6-2 in his last
eight starts.
Florida moved within
one point of the idle Carolina Hurricanes for the
final playoff spot in the





Annual Meeting

Dartball League’s annual end-of-season meeting
will be held Thursday at
the KC Hall starting at
7:30 p.m.
• Continued from Page 1D

minau (St. Francis Borgia Regional) and Kaylyn McKee (Bowling
Green) each had one hit.
Crider tripled. Abney,
Edler, England, Gaus
and McKee all doubled.
Abney, Feldewerth,
Gaus and Kimminau
drew walks. Feldewerth, Gaus, Monehan
and Owens each stole a
Feldewerth crossed
the plate four times.
Gaus scored three times.
and Owens each scored
Abney, Crider, Edler
and McKee scored once.
Crider drove in three
runs. England, Gaus
and McKee each had
two RBIs. Abney, Edler
and Owens drove in one
run apiece.
First Game
In the opener, the
guests scored three runs
in the top of the second
and added two more in
the fourth.
East Central came
back to cut the lead to
5-4 in the bottom of the
fourth, but Union High
School graduate Amanda Downing smashed a
three-run home run over
the center field fence
in the top of the fifth to
extend the St. Charles
lead to 8-5.
“Our defense broke
down a little but we did
a good job of competing
until the big blow (three-

three-point baskets. For
the game, Rolla went
4-7 from the stripe.
Pritchett, a senior,
netted seven points.
Rodgers, a senior,
had three points while
Campbell, a sophomore,
and sophomore Madison
Mace each scored two
Sullivan will play
Helias (15-12) Tuesday at Missouri S&T
in Rolla at 6 p.m.
Helias was the third
seed in its district and
beat top-seeded Boonville Thursday for the
crown, 58-49.
Sullivan already has
a win over Helias, 37-34,
in the Sullivan Tourney.

run homer) in the top of
the fifth,” Wallach said.
“We tried to answer but
came up short.”
The Falcons got one
final run in the bottom
of the seventh. Feldewerth homered to left
field with one out.
Sierra Voiles (Crocker) took the loss for the
Falcons, allowing eight
runs (four earned) on 12
hits and two walks. She
struck out three.
St. Charles had three
doubles and one home
had two hits to lead the
way. One of the hits was
a double.
Feldewerth homered
and McKee also doubled. Gaus, Monehan
and Voiles singled.
Monehan and Maya
Street (Clopton) walked.
England, Feldewerth,
Kimminau, McKee and
Street scored once.
McKee drove in two
runs. Feldewerth, Gaus
and Owens each had one
After visiting Southwestern Illinois College
Tuesday, the Falcons
return home for a doubleheader Wednesday
afternoon against the
Central Methodist University JV starting at 2
East Central plays on
the road in Canton Saturday.

Name: Ryan Hoerstkamp
Sport: Basketball
Grade: Junior
School: Washington HS

Reason for Nomination: Ryan ended the
season on a high note, helping the Washington Blue Jays finish 18-9, the first winning record in six years. In his final two
games, he had double-doubles in both
scoring and rebounds. In the first round
of Class 4 District 4 playoffs Ryan had
18 points and 10 rebounds, helping the
Blue Jays win 51-36. In the second round
Washington fell 48-42 to Priory where Ryan’s efforts of 14 points and 11 rebounds
just were not enough. He was named to
the Borgia and Union All-Tourney teams,
helping his team win a championship in
each tournament during the season. He
has had a great junior season, averaging
9.5 points a game and 8.2 rebounds.
For his career he has scored 743 points
and has a chance to eclipse 1,000 his
senior year.

Reason for Nomination: Justin has
been playing at a very high level in recent games. In a three-game span Justin scored in double figures in all three
games, including a career-high 27
points versus Windsor. In that game,
Justin hit seven three-pointers. Justin
also played great on the defensive end
of the court, and has taken a teamhigh 16 charges on the season, which
is something he takes a lot of pride in.

Name: Justin Hoffman
Sport: Basketball
Grade: Senior
School: St. Clair HS