By: Aaron Pyle
As the annual St. Paul Tournament continued, the St. Paul Indians boys’ and girls’ teams faced off against the Southeast Lancers in a league matchup.
Following their prior game, the both Indians squads put the hurt on the Chetopa Hornets as both teams won their matchup convincingly.
For the girls’, it was a slow start for both teams as the first basket of the game didn’t come until halfway through the first quarter. Solid defense was credited by both teams as neither squad would let up.
St. Paul took advantage of the Lancers slow start as they led 9-3 at the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, Southeast flipped the script creating turnovers with their stifling defense as well as converting those into transition points. St. Paul’s turnovers in the second would cause the Lancers to take advantage of the opportunity. Southeast would take the lead at the half 18-17.
The third quarter became a chess match as both teams exchanged buckets, fouls and turnovers. Neither team would break away from a comfortable lead as it became a battle to who can score the last basket. St. Paul would take back their lead at the end of the third with a score of 26-24.
Both teams would stay close with each other in the fourth as the score was tied 28-28 with four minutes left. But St. Paul’s stellar defense would come up clutch not allowing Southeast a basket for the rest of the game as the Lady Indians would go on to defeat the Lancers 35-38, continuing their undefeated record of 3-0.
For St. Paul junior Taylor Wiatrak lead the team in scoring with 9 points as teammate senior Sydni McCracken would follow behind with 8 points.
Then the Lancers side, sophomore Railey Robertson would lead all scorers with 11 points.
For the boys’ game, both teams came out of the gate in an up-tempo style of play as it became a shootout from the tip. The first quarter was a back and forth contest as neither team would let up. But the Lancers would take the lead at the end of the first, 8-6.
In the second quarter, St. Paul’s full court press gave the Lancers troubles as Southeast would turn the ball over giving the Indians transition opportunities. Hot shooting from junior Chandler Bradshaw would help the Indians regain the lead back at the half bringing the score to 32-27.
The story of the third quarter was Southeast’s ability to attack the ball inside as well as get buckets from the mid-range. This aggressive attack by the Lancers would help them regain the lead at the end of the third with a score of 32-27.
As the fourth quarter came, the Indians needed an answer to get back into the game. St. Paul would slowly and surely gain momentum through the fourth with their pressuring defense which would cause multiple turnovers. Junior Adam Albertini would come up huge for the Indians making a mid-range jumper with a little over a minute to tie the game up.
Southeast would then be fouled in the next possession where sophomore Jace Coltrane would make one of his two free throws putting the Lancers up by one. St. Paul would then miss a layup that rolled right in then popped back out forcing the Indians to foul. Southeast would miss both free throws giving the Indians one more shot to win the game. That’s when Adam Albertini would rise up to make a clutch mid-range jumper with 7 seconds left sealing the victory for the Indians.
St. Paul would go on to defeat the Lancers 44-41. Indians junior Chandler Bradshaw would lead all scorers with 16 points on the night. For Southeast, senior Brett Malle would lead the team with 14 points.
Tourney play will continue tonight, Dec. 7, as the Lancers will take on Chetopa in the first set of games then following the Indians will square off against the Columbus Titans.