Washington County has earned early 2021 bragging rights, at least for boys basketball.
That’s because its county seat, Potosi, defeated Franklin County’s seat, Union, in action Wednesday night, 61-56.
Potosi (6-5) led 19-12 after one quarter. At the intermission, the Trojans held a 30-20 advantage.
Union (5-5) chipped back in the second half. Potosi’s lead was 41-36 after three quarters. Each side scored 20 points in the fourth quarter.
Union Head Coach Chris Simmons said early misuces doomed his team.
“We have to stop making so many mistakes early in games,” Simmons said. “We have consistently put ourselves in holes that we have to battle out of. The turnovers are really hurting us right now. We have to take care of the ball and give ourselves a chance to score and also force our opponent to play against our halfcourt defense.”
Simmons said Union made it easy for Potosi, especially in the opening quarter, and Union had to fight to have a chance.
“Potosi got a lot of straight line drives in the first quarter,” Simmons said. “That, along with our turnovers, just made things hard from the start. We were able to tie it up in the third quarter, but just could not finish them off.”
Collin Gerdel, a junior, led the Wildcats with his second double-double in as many nights. Gerdel netted 14 points and added 11 rebounds.
Junior Matthew Seely was the team’s leading scorer with 16 points.
Also reaching double digits was freshman Nkosi Hanley, who scored 13 points with three assists.
Junior Kaden Motley netted six points and pulled down six rebounds.
Freshman Ryan Rapert scored three points with two rebounds and two assists. Junior Tanner Hall and sophomore Liam Hughes both scored two points.
The loss came a day after Union beat Rolla on the road.
“After playing so well last night, to come out and lay an egg tonight is pretty disappointing,” Simmons said. “It just shows that we have a long way to go still.”
Union next hits the hardwood Monday in the opening round of the Washington Tournament. The sixth-seeded Wildcats face No. 3 St. Francis Borgia Regional at 8:30 p.m.