Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

January 28, 2013

Balanced Bulldogs beat Eagles for consolation title

Ryan Czachorski
Effingham Daily News

ALTAMONT — St. Anthony trailed just once against St. Elmo and won the consolation championship at the NTC tournament with a 64-50 win Saturday afternoon.

The Bulldogs took an unfamilar path throught the NTC tournament, but despite not making a run at the championship, coach Mark Tovey is seeing signs his team is coming around.

"We're looking at game to game, and trying to get better each game," he said. "We won three out of four here and four out of the last five, so hopefully the confidence as a team is starting to build."

St. Anthony was once again without John Goeckner, and despite a scoreless first quarter from Jacob Schuette, they jumped out to a 15-11 lead to end the first.

It set the tone for the game, as the Bulldogs had four players finish with double digits in points.

"This is the most balanced we've been," Tovey said. "They spread things out, and when we spread things out and make post touches, we're a pretty good basketball team."

The Eagles came out and took it to the Bulldogs in the second, taking a brief 20-19 lead after a three by Connor Beasley and two threes by Levi Maxey.

Schuette would get going, scoring eight of the next 11 points.

Beasley hit another three near the end of the quarter and St. Anthony led 30-23 going into the second half.

"Connor did a great job of keeping us held together today, as much as he possibly could," said St. Elmo coach Jeff Feezer. "That's what I've been looking for."

St. Elmo's three-point attack started to dry up in the second half, and St. Anthony pulled away behind Schuette and Charlie Schultz.

They led 50-34 entering the fourth, and St. Elmo kept trying to make a run, but never cut the lead to anything less than 12 points.

The offense was an issue for the Eagles, but Feezer was adamant that it wasn't due to a lack of effort.

"When you don't score every third trip or so, you have a tendency to look lackadaisical and you really aren't," he said. "We get a team that's going to score 60 on us, we're going to have trouble."

Beasley led all scorers with 19 points, and Maxey had 13 points.

For St. Anthony, Schuette had 16 points, Schultz had 13, Andrew Gardewine scored 12 points and Jason Vogel had 11 points.

Schultz's effort at the point was key all night, and Tovey hopes it continues going forward after Schultz missed time with an injury.

"Charlie's a leader on the floor, and that's what we've needed," he said. "They're the ones out on the floor, they're the ones communicating."

The Eagles finish sixth in the conference tournament and host the tournament champions Dieterich.

St. Anthony heads to Windsor Tuesday night, who they defeated last Monday in the play-in round of the tournament.

St. Anthony 64, St. Elmo 50

St. Anthony 15 15 20 14 - 64

St. Elmo 11 12 11 16 - 50

St. Anthony - Williams 8, Schuette 16, Schultz 13, Gardewine 12, Hoelscher 4, Vogel 11

St. Elmo - Bartels 3, L. Maxey 13, Beasley 19, Smithson 6, Davis 5, Wells 4