If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
Please enter your email and we will send your username and password to you.
South Iron boys basketball coach Dusty Dinkins trusted his team to adjust when two fouls kept dynamic guard Marquis Burse on the bench for the last 8 minutes, 45 seconds of the first half.
The Panthers handled the setback like champions with a stingy interior defense that refused to budge, and extended an unmatched dynasty at the Arcadia Valley Thanksgiving Tournament.
South Iron tied its own record at the 97-year-old event with a sixth consecutive title after pulling away from West County for a 55-34 triumph on Thursday night.
Sawyer Huff scored a game-high 19 points, and collected five rebounds as the Panthers operated with only 10 turnovers while forcing 17 against the second-seeded Bulldogs.
Burse netted 11 of his 15 points after halftime while picking up three steals, and highlighted the game with a one-handed follow dunk early in the fourth quarter.
South Iron (3-0) flexed its strength in the paint to shut down attacking lanes against an aggressive Bulldogs squad that often thrives on inducing fouls.
West County (2-1) was unable to compensate with enough motion or accurate jump shots, and faced a sizable 38-21 deficit when the third period concluded.
Levi Hale paced the Bulldogs with nine points, five rebounds and three assists. Freshman guard Brody Simily provided seven points in a reserve role.
Garrisson Turner knocked down two early 3-pointers in rhythm, but his subsequent shots were often heavily contested and caromed off the rim.
Burse was whistled for contact on a long rebound and reach near the sideline, but teammates Will Malone and Gage Daggett capped the first quarter with putback layups.
The Panthers continued a scoreless stretch of 6 1/2 minutes past the midway mark of the second, and Huff increased their lead to 18-8 with a long 3-pointer and smooth pull-up jumper in the lane.
Simily snapped the West County drought off an outlet pass from Hale, then saw a rare opportunity to penetrate from the right side for another basket.
Lance Monroe converted from the line to draw within four when the Bulldogs created a loose-ball scramble off the ensuing inbound trap.
South Iron slowed down for the final shot of the half, and Huff exploded from the top of the circle to elevate and score for a 20-14 lead at intermission.
Burse sank consecutive 3-pointers with former West County guard Ty Harlow out of the locker room, and a running floater by Harlow punctuated an 18-4 overall run.
Jaxon Campbell nailed a short jumper after the Bulldogs appeared to get away with two possible fouls, but the margin never tightened beyond 40-29.
Burse answered a driving layup by Nolan Rawson at 46-31, and Daggett tacked on a 3-pointer during the next possession by the Panthers with two minutes left.
Hunter Huff provided seven points and six rebounds for South Iron, which allowed just 30 points on average over three tournament victories.
West County freshman Wyatt Simily netted his first varsity field goal to cap the scoring.
Arcadia Valley 50,
Senior guard Gavan Douglas bounced back from a struggle in the semifinal round to score 23 points, and helped the host squad place third at the Arcadia Valley Thanksgiving Tournament.
Gage Douglas added 13 points with nine rebounds on Thursday, and the Tigers toughed out a 50-40 victory over Fredericktown, which competed for the third straight night.
Senior forward Nolan Inman delivered his best game of the week with nine rebounds, seven points and three assists while finding open teammates from the high post.
But the defensive standout for Arcadia Valley (2-1) was Atreyu McCallister, who guarded top shooting threat Zander Stephens and personally surrendered no field goals.
Stephens scored seven quick points after McCallister was replaced with three minutes left in the first half, and equaled Blake Terry-Brakefield with nine overall for Fredericktown (1-2).
Gavan Douglas traded 3-pointers with Terry-Brakefield as the first quarter concluded with AV holding a 14-10 lead. The Tigers then produced an 8-0 run to begin in the second.
McCallister located Gage Douglas for three after controlling two offensive rebounds, an Inman scored off a spin move to make it 22-10.
Fredericktown countered with a 13-6 push before halftime. Brayden McMinn notched his second field goal on a jumper to draw within 28-23 after Stephens buried a triple along the left wing.
LeeAndrea Catchings finalized a 3-point play at the line for the Blackcats, but missed crucial segments of the game in foul trouble before eventually committing his fifth.
Gavan Douglas increased a 40-31 lead with his fifth 3-pointer at the outset of the fourth quarter. An outlet pass from Inman to McCallister created a 50-33 separation with 3:21 remaining.
Fredericktown mounted a quick 7-0 response to trail by 10 with 1:52 on the clock, but the Tigers kept possession for more than a minute before finally coaxing a foul.
Both teams struggled with free throws as AV sank 5-of-14 compared to 4-of-10 by Fredericktown.
Ellington defeated Lesterville 87-66 in the consolation final.