LIBERAL, Mo. -- The Lockwood Tigers used aggressive second-half defense and solid free throw shooting to eliminate St. Mary’s-Colgan 48-40 in the girls’ semifinal of the Tony Dubray Classic basketball tournament in Liberal, Missouri.
Lockwood sophomore Rylee Neill led all scorers netting 18 points for the Tigers. The win avenged a loss to the Panthers last year in the same tournament.
Both offenses struggled in the game’s opening quarter with each team finding it difficult to hold onto the ball and committing multiple turnovers. Colgan led 9-6 at the end of the first quarter.
Neill immediately tied the game as the second quarter started by sinking a long three-point field goal. The Tigers went on a 6-2 run to lead 15-11.
Colgan senior Haydn Dawson responded with back-to-back baskets to tie the game. The Panthers were able to capitalize on additional Lockwood turnovers to build a 20-17 lead. But Lockwood sophomore Mariah Coose hit one final basket for the Tigers as they closed the deficit to 20-19 at the half.
The second half opened with more turnovers from each team. The teams would eventually combine for 45 turnovers with Tigers losing the ball 28 times and the Panthers committing 17 turnovers.
Neill broke third quarter scoring drought with another long three pointer to give Lockwood a 22-20 lead. It was a lead the Tigers would never relinquish as they went on to outscore Colgan 15-8 in the third quarter.
The second half also saw Lockwood institute a more active defense than the first half that hampered the Panthers’ ability to find open shot opportunities. Colgan also challenged their opponents on their shots, resulting in multiple trips to the free throw line for Lockwood. The Tigers capitalized on their opportunities hitting their first ten free throws, eventually going 17-of-23 (74 percent) from the line.
Meanwhile, Colgan was only able to hit 9 of their 15 free throw attempts.
Colgan sophomore Marci VanBecelaere, who had provided strong defensive play while scoring seven points, fouled out of the game early in the fourth quarter. Lockwood capitalized on her absence and extended their lead to 14 points.
Dawson, who would lead the Panthers with 13 points in the game, tried to help Colgan lead a late rally, but the Panthers efforts ran out of time eight points short of their opponent.
The loss dropped Colgan’s record to 5-4 and Lockwood moved to 10-5 as they earned a spot against Galena in the tournament final.
Panther boys advance to championship; face Northeast Vikings
In a back-and-forth battle highlighted by a matchup of two strong forwards, St. Mary’s Colgan held off Galena 44-41 in their boys’ semifinal game Friday at the Tony Dubray Classic.
Panther senior Garrett Normand scored 15 points while grabbing 8 rebounds in a solid performance in the paint. His counterpart for the Bulldogs, Trevor Little, also had a strong game inside the lane scoring 13 points of his own in the loss.
Colgan Head Coach Wayne Cichon said he was happy to have Normand available after the center was unable to play the opening game in the tournament. Cichon explained in an interview with Trent Kling of ESPN Radio 100.7 Normand gives his team a strong inside presence along with emotional play benefits the rest of the Panther squad.
The first half was low scoring and played at a slow pace which saw neither team able to generate many points in transition.
Colgan utilized a full-court press to slow down Galena, while the Bulldogs returned the favor with a 2-3 zone that disrupted the Panthers ball movement, resulting in multiple lane violation calls. After five lead changes the first half ended with the score 16-16.
Cichon said during halftime he instructed his team to pick up the pace hoping to tire the legs of Bulldog shooters, limiting their 3-point threats. Colgan utilized a 10-man rotation throughout the game, while Galena worked a six-man squad. The scheme seemed effective as the Bulldogs were only able to hit on 4-of-16 shots from behind the arc.
While the pace picked up the second half, the game remained close. The teams exchanged the lead two more times in the third quarter, with Colgan holding a 29-29 advantage at the end of the period. The Panthers’ lead came from two consecutive basket, both coming off offensive rebounds.
Colgan held the four-point lead through the early part of the final quarter before PJ Sarwinski drained a long 3-point shot to pull the Bulldogs within one point.
Normand quickly answered as he drove the lane and drained a high-arching layup while being fouled. On the Bulldogs' next possession Sarwinski attempted tie the game with another 3-pointer but Norman blocked the shot.
In the final minute of play Zach Hizey scored consecutive baskets for the Panthers to give Colgan a 43-38 lead. As Galena began to foul to stop the clock, Colgan was unable to expand their lead missing three consecutive free throws. Sarwinski connected for another three-point shot pulling the Bulldogs to within two points.
After grabbing a missed free throw and being fouled, sophomore Garrett Hall found himself at the free-throw line with a chance to tie the game with only 1.3 seconds on the clock. He was unable to connect on his first attempt, and Colgan grabbed the rebound. The Panthers did connect on an ensuing free throw for the final score 44-41. The Panthers will face the Northeast Vikings in the tournament final Saturday.