Lamar (Mo.) had an early steal that led to a quick score. But after that, the Smith brothers stole the show.

Lamar (Mo.) had an early steal that led to a quick score. But after that, the Smith brothers stole the show.

After the opening bucket for the Tigers, Zach and Christian Smith scored the next 10 points of the game, followed by an easy bucket by Dyson Dechant that would give St. Mary’s Colgan a 10-point lead that would last for much of the game and lead to a 58-40 win.

“It was pretty much a 10-point lead for about three and a half quarters,” said Colgan boys head coach Wayne Cichon. “It was big for momentum. It was real big in the game. It gave us a mindset over them. It told [Lamar] they were going against a good opponent.”

Christian Smith would end up scoring 10 points in the first quarter for the Panthers and would end the game with 22 points. His brother didn’t have a bad night, either, ending as the Panthers’ second-leading scorer with 12 points.

But it was also their work on the defensive end that had Cichon cheering. The two combined for four steals, but also denied a number of entry passes to Lamar’s 6’5” center Sam Bailey.

“They had a number of contested shots, and blocking shots. Zach plays a lot bigger than his size (6’1”). It was a nice opportunity for us to use our quickness to get there,” Cichon said. “And on the other end, they can get up in the air so quickly, the other team can’t get up there with them. Chris is so quick, and he has good moves to the basket.”

Dyson Dechant was tough inside for the Panthers as usual, scoring 10 points.

The game gives the Panthers (15-4, 6-1) a little momentum before a rematch with substate five-seed Frontenac in round one of substate on Monday at 7 p.m. Colgan won the first match-up in Frontenac, 57-42 for Cichon’s 500th win. Frontenac boys head coach Doug Barto was in the stands to scout the team Thursday. But unlike the first game, Monday’s will be at home for the four-seed St. Mary’s.

“That should be a tough game. Frontenac always plays us tough,” Cichon said.  “Barto’s given a mindset to the kids that they can handle anything we throw at them. It’s a rivalry game, it’s a substate game, and I’m looking forward to it.”

Colgan girls 63, Lamar (Mo.) 38

The difference between the first and second half of St. Mary’s 63-38 win over Lamar (Mo.) on Thursday could be summed up in one word: intensity.

“The girls really picked up their intensity level in the second half. They were flat in the first half, I thought,” said Colgan girls coach Abby Farabi. “With substate coming up, we can’t do that. This game was great for our momentum to go into substate with a winning streak. We were also able to work out some kinks.”

Much of the first half was relatively close between the Panthers and the Tigers, and early in the second half, Lamar closed the Colgan lead to just four points. But Colgan would score the next seven points to get some breathing room.

But by the end of the third quarter, the lead was down to just six points again before Colgan stretched the lead once more. After Lamar cut the lead to 10, 43-33, the Panthers responded with a 20-5 run to end the game by hitting a number of free throws in the fourth quarter.

The fourth quarter was led by Brandee Main, who hit all eight of her fourth-quarter free throws, as well as hitting another shot to spark the late run. Main would end the game with 12 points.

“We were 23-27 at the line in this game. I think we were 21-44 the last game, so it was a big improvement,” Farabi said. “I think the girls have realized that those are easy points, and it stops the clock. Brandee hit eight in a row in the fourth, and that was big. She had a great game for us.”

The Panthers may not have been in a position to win without junior Taylor Bolinger, though. Bolinger had 10 of her 18 points in the second quarter to keep Colgan ahead going into the half. Bolinger would also finish with nine rebounds for the game.

The Panthers ended the game with four players in double figures. Besides Main and Bolinger, junior Mariah Klenke would add 11 points to go with nine rebounds, and freshman Alex Minton scored at least one field goal in every quarter and ended with 10 points.

“We’re getting a little more balanced,” Farabi said. “You never know who it’s going to be, because it’s different every game. We’re playing with some confidence. There’s no better time than going into substate.”

Colgan (12-6) is the three seed in the substate pairings and will host Erie (10-10) at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Earlier this year, the Panthers beat Erie 44-33 on Erie’s home court.

St. Mary’s Colgan boys 58, Lamar (Mo.) 40
LHS    9    12    10    9    —    40
SMC    18    13    11    16    —    58
LAMAR (40) — Chad Rice 4 4-4 12, Levi Petersen 3 2-2 9, Ian Duncan 2 0-1 5, Jared Beshore 2 0-0 4, Tucker Hoffman 2 0-3 4, Drew Buckner 1 1-2 3, Tommy Wilson 1 1-2 3. Totals: 15 8-14 40.
COLGAN (58) — Chris Smith 11 0-2 22, Zach Smith 4 4-4 12, Dyson Dechant 4 2-4 10, Christian Valdivia 4 0-0 8, Garrett Kays 1 1-2 3, Sam Gilbert 1 0-0 2, C.J. Russell 0 1-1 1. Totals: 25 8-13 58.

St. Mary’s Colgan girls 63, Lamar (Mo.) 38
LHS    9    12    10    7    —    38
SMC    15    15    7    26    —    63
LAMAR (38) — Addy Wood 3 1-1 8, Chynna Moore 3 1-3 7, Ciara Shoff 2 2-2 6, Emmie Robertson 1 2-2 5, Brooke McDonald 1 2-4 4, Ryan O’Sullivan 1 0-0 3, Taylor Jackson 1 0-3 2, Bethany Graves 0 1-2 1. Totals: 11 9-17 38.
COLGAN (63) — Taylor Bolinger 7 1-1 18, Brandee Main 1 10-12 12, Mariah Klenke 3 4-4 11, Alex Minton 4 2-3 10, Nichole Kolarik 1 5-5 7, Katie Kolarik 1 1-2 3, Sydney Beck 1 0-0 2. Totals: 18 23-27 63.