Maries County basketball teams see seasons end in district action

Will Johnson
Sports Editor

Last week, boy’s and girl’s basketball teams from Belle and Vienna were looking to advance out of their respective district tournaments and into sectional action throughout the state tonight.

For Belle’s Lady Tigers and Tigers, they competed in the Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) Class 3, District 4 Tournament at St. James High School.

Evin Farris’ Lady Tigers began their tournament last Monday night facing Cuba’s Lady Wildcats looking to avenge a 28-25 loss in their Gasconade Valley Conference (GVC) game 11 days earlier at Belle.

Locked up in a nip-and-tuck affair throughout the game, Belle trailed Cuba 54-53 with six seconds left.

Calling their last timeout, Farris drew up a play in an effort to get a final shot off.

Even though that play did not get ran, the Lady Tigers found a way to get it done.

Gracie Schultz raced down the court finding an open Chloe Krause who hit a shot as time expired giving the Lady Tigers a 55-54 revenge victory over Cuba.

“It’s not exactly what I drew up,” Farris said. “Nonetheless, Gracie (Schultz) made an outstanding pass to (Chloe) Krause who hit the game-winning shot.”

Halle Smith paced the Belle offense against Cuba with 26 points and 13 rebounds, four blocked shots and two assists.

Krause also reached double figures scoring 13 of her 15 points in the first half.

Olivia Sanders nearly joined Smith in the double double department finishing with eight points and seven rebounds.

Baylie Cadwallader rounded out the Lady Tiger scoring against Cuba with six points.

Seeing a 29-15 halftime lead disappear in the fourth quarter, Belle did just enough to extend their season to a district-semifinal showdown against Steelville Thursday night.

Leading after one quarter, one half and three quarters, Belle could not hold on in the fourth quarter before the Lady Cardinals ended Belle’s tri-GVC championship season at 21-6 handing the Lady Tigers a 55-49 loss.

In a losing cause, Smith led all scorers with 21 points for Belle while Schultz bounced back from a scoreless game against Cuba with 12 points against Steelville.

Krause also reached double figures against the Lady Cardinals with 11 points. Erin Schalk rounded out Belle’s scoring against the Lady Cardinals with two points in the fourth quarter.

Tim Evans’ Belle Tigers had to wait until last Wednesday to begin their district tournament in St. James due to weather.

Matched up against the host Tigers, it was tough sailing for Belle as they trailed St. James 26-12 after one quarter.

Facing a 54-23 halftime deficit, Belle could not overcome it before seeing their season end in the first round of Class 3, District 4 Tournament 75-50 at the hands of the host St. James Tigers.

Brett Butler paced Belle in scoring with a team-high 12 points.

Quinton Martin nearly joined Butler in double figures scoring eight points.

Jat Ridenhour, Lane Feeler and Eddy Paz each added seven points for the visiting Tigers from Maries County.

Gentry Dunn and Colten Robinson each chipped in three points to go along with two markers from Daniel Bolte.

A second-quarter free throw for one point from Jorge Uribes rounded out Belle’s scoring against St. James.

St. James went on to defeat Steelville in the Class 3, District 4 Boys Championship game 53-52 Saturday night.

Advancing to sectional action tonight (Wednesday), St. James will face Jefferson (Festus) at Jefferson College in Hillsboro with a 6 p.m., start time.

Following that game, St. James’ Lady Tigers will also play a sectional contest against Saxony Lutheran also in Hillsboro with a 7:45 p.m., start time. St. James defeated Steelville in the Class 3, District 4 Girls Championship game 32-27.

In their only meeting at the Fatima Comet Classic, Belle’s Lady Tigers fell to St. James 31-29.

Staying at Class 2, Vienna’s Eagles coached by Greg Koetting opened the MSHSAA Class 2, District 8 Tournament at Laquey High School against Eugene’s Eagles last Monday night.

Trailing 17-15 after one quarter, Vienna suddenly found themselves trailing the higher seeded Eagles 44-24 at halftime.

Unable to get any closer the rest of the game, Vienna saw their season end with an overall record of 12-14 following an 82-49 loss in the first round of the Class 2, District 8 Tournament.

Caid Stockstill paced Vienna’s Eagles with a team-high 18 points.

Zach Schwartze and Logan Agan nearly joined Stockstill in double figures scoring eight points apiece.

Nathan Kleffner followed closely with seven points to go along with five markers from freshman Trey Snodgrass.
Bayrd Vanscoy rounded out Vienna’s scoring with a second-quarter 3-pointer for three points.

Eugene advanced to the district semifinals before falling to eventual district champion Iberia 73-70 in overtime.

Iberia went on to upset top-seeded Richland 62-47 to capture the Class 2, District 8 Boys Tournament title.

Also in Vienna, Jason Kampeter’s Lady Eagles took on Richland’s Lady Bears last Monday night in their district opener.

Falling 61-30, Vienna ended their first season under Coach Kampeter at 8-16.

Richland went on to fall to Plato 54-52 in the district semifinals before Plato dropped a 61-43 decision to Eugene in the girl’s district championship game.