St. Anthony head coach Cody Rincker said his team needed a “punch in the mouth” to wake up in the Bulldogs’ first game of the National Trail Conference tournament on Tuesday.
Windsor led 6-4 in the middle of the first quarter against the tournament’s top seed and the Bulldogs punched back, going on a 15-4 run into the second quarter.
The breathing room the Bulldogs established with the first-half run, taking a 29-19 lead into halftime, led to their 56-39 win.
Windsor head coach Silas Pogue said his team played a zone to try to limit what players like Alex Hoelscher and John Goeckner could do in the post.
But the frontcourt duo led the Bulldogs in points. Goeckner scored a game-high 20 points, while Hoelscher added 10 more.
“Our zone was emphatically trying to eliminate post touches,” Pogue said. “For some reason, it didn’t happen.”
Rincker said he wasn’t surprised by the Blue Devils’ zone defense, knowing that his team’s outside-shooting game isn’t as good.
“That’s something we try to preach is our zone offense,” Rincker said. “Still being able to get the ball inside against a zone is key for us.”
Goeckner and Hoelscher led the charge, while Neil Williams finished with eight points and Andrew Gardewine added six.
Rincker said it’s important for Goeckner and Hoelscher to play like they did on Tuesday.
“Those two guys, when we’re playing the shorter opponents, that’s something they need to do,” Rincker said.
Tristan Warner led Windsor with 16 points, but only scored two in the third quarter. The sophomore sat out most of the third quarter; in fact, he started the half on the bench.
Pogue said he was trying to settle Warner down and explain to him the difference between good and bad shots, as he took some rushed shots early in the game.
The Bulldogs used a 17-point fourth quarter to key the 17-point win, but Pogue said he was proud of his team for staying in the game.
“We were never really down and out,” Pogue said. “At the end of the day, we tip our hat to them. They deserved to win today.”
Windsor will play St. Elmo/Brownstown at 6:15 p.m. on Thursday, in the consolation bracket. St. Anthony (14-5) plays Neoga in the semifinals Thursday, following the Windsor game.
Alex McNamee can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 123, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
St. Anthony 12 17 10 17 56
Windsor 6 13 8 12 39
St. Anthony: Williams 8, Gibson 2, A. Gardewine 6, Hoelscher 10, Z. Gardewine 4, Goeckner 20, Rios 4, Hartke 2
Windsor: Haddock 3, Hutchinson 6, Allen 6, Cole 8, Warner 16