Let’s face it…in the world of tournaments, a #6 seed isn’t anything to write home about. In the case of this year’s MAAA boys basketball tournament, the #6 seed is right in the middle of things. Essentially, it tells a team that they’ve got a shot at a win in the first round, but don’t think about advancing any farther in the championship bracket. But the Ste. Genevieve Dragons didn’t take their #6 seed to heart. Tuesday night, the Dragons used their fourth quarter magic to down the #3 seed Arcadia Valley Tigers, 69-65. Now SGHS is just one game away from playing for the conference tournament title.
“We battled all game and were able to have a great fourth quarter to get the win,” Dragons’ head coach Rob Coleman said after the ballgame. Don’t take Coach Coleman the wrong way. He’s happy with the win, and happy with his team. But his words make it sound as if the Dragons were the #3 seed expected to win. “I thought our defense was ok,” he said. “We weren’t playing very smart early, and didn’t do a great job of keeping #33 Horn off the boards. I thought we struggled to take care of the ball too.”
Ok…the Dragons trailed for most of the game. They were down 17-13 after one quarter, but fought back to tie it at halftime, 28-28. The third quarter saw the team fall behind by six by the end of the quarter at 47-41. So it’s understandable that Coach Coleman was just so-so with his opinion of his team through those three quarters. How’d the fourth quarter go, Coach? “In the fourth quarter, we were able to create some turnovers in our press that allowed us to make a run. Then down the stretch, we were able to take care of the ball and hit enough free throws to pull out the win. I’m very proud of everyone. The guys off the bench gave us some really good minutes, especially on the defensive side.”
So there you go…the fourth quarter is what did it! And when you look at some of the stats, there’s no doubt where the difference was. Ste. Gen outscored the Tigers, 28-18. Logan Trollinger and Christian Boyer had a field day in those eight minutes, combining for 21 points (Trollinger, 11 & Boyer, 10). The guys were pretty solid at the line, making ten of 16. Trollinger was nails, hitting six of eight charity tosses. Both Trollinger and Ricky Hunter drained threes in the quarter, and Hunter was a perfect two-for-two from the line.
And the #6 seed took down the #3 seed.
Trollinger had a night. He scored 25 points, made five three-pointers, and collected five assists. Christian Boyer knocked down 16 points, while Hunter scored 13, and hit three three-pointers. The supporting cast, on this night, was outstanding, especially Aiden Boyer. He scored just four points, but he led the team with five rebounds, five assists, and four steals. Rudy Flieg scored six points, Coy Flieg, three, and Chaytin Lea added two points.
So the four undefeated teams left in the the tournament are #1 seed Central, #2, North County, #4 Farmington, and then the Dragons. Ste. Gen was the team that upset the applecart, and they’ll get the chance to do it again on Valentine’s Day at 8:30 p.m. inside the Mineral Area College Fieldhouse. It’s there that they’ll face the Raiders from North County. Ste. Gen lost to North County on January 24, 60-53. Since then, the Dragons have won five of their last six contests, and stand at 12-9 on the season. The Raiders are 15-6. The winner will earn the right to take on either Central or Farmington who play the game before the Dragons.
And don’t pay too much attention to those seedings.