Effingham St. Anthony held its own destiny Saturday evening at the St. Anthony Thanksgiving Boys Basketball Tournament . . . beat Vandalia and win the tournament with a 5-0 record . . . or lose and throw the title up for grabs to the Vandals as both teams would then have 4-1 marks.

Coach Mike Wilson's crew decided it would be better to just pull out the victory and they did with a 38-36 count and claimed the tourney crown.

"I can't say enough about these boys," said Coach Wilson. "They played incredible defense tonight and every Vandalia possession, we made them work. I'm very proud of the way these kids played the whole tournament."

The Bulldogs edged out to a 7-6 opening quarter lead on the Vandals. Both teams were a little soft from the field as the Bulldogs connected on three of seven shots and Vandalia three of nine. The Vandals lost Eric Hobbie, their starting center, to injury with 5:32 in the opening period. He did not re-enter the contest.

Despite not shooting that well in the second period, both teams hit 5 of 13, St. Anthony pushed into a 21-17 halftime lead. Jesse Mumm came up with five big points and pulled down four boards in the period. The Bulldogs came out and fired up five straight points to start the period and Vandalia struggled missing its first six shots of the quarter.

The Vandals pulled within 21-19 at the start of the third period but the Bulldogs rattled off a three-pointer by Chris Bohnhoff, a basket by Andy McLeod and a three-pointer by Zach Bochtler and suddenly the Bulldogs held a 10 point lead.

But Vandalia started to scrap back connecting on two straight baskets to end the quarter and pull within 29-23. Vandalia's Jes Koonce nailed a three-pointer to start the final quarter pulling Vandalia within 29-26. St. Anthony answered back with a three-pointer by Bohnhoff.

Vandalia then came up with back-to-back three-pointers as Koonce connected again and Drew Whightsil nailed a trifecta and suddenly the score was tied at 34-34. Mumm hit a basket to put the Bulldogs ahead but the Vandals' Lucas Benning connected on two free throws and the score was tied again at 36-36 with 2:35 showing.

Mumm hit a free throw to put the Bulldogs ahead by one. St. Anthony went into a hold mode and the Vandals had to start fouling. The Bulldogs missed with 56.3 seconds remaining but got their own rebound and got fouled again. But once again they came up short from the free throw line and Vandalia took over when the ball went out of bounds off a St. Anthony player with 24.2 seconds remaining.

However Vandalia threw the ball away with 3.8 seconds left. Bohnhoff then connected on a free throw giving the Bulldogs a 38-36 lead. He missed the second and Vandalia rebounded but time ran out on the last shot.

Bohnhoff finished with 13 points to lead the Bulldogs. Mumm had eight points and nine rebounds.

"I can't say enough about Matt Koester tonight," said Coach Wilson. "He was on Blake Doehring the whole evening and held him to two points. That was a tremendous defensive effort.

"We had Jesse Mumm for 10 blocked shots tonight and he just did a good all-around job. Andy McLeod did a great job as did Chris Bohnhoff once again. I applaud Chris, Andy and Jesse for making the all-tournament team."

Taylorville 43, Flora 35

In the game before the final contest, Taylorville came up with its first victory of the meet by downing Flora.

The Tornadoes took an 11-8 opening quarter lead but trailed 22-21 at halftime as Flora made a big run in the second period.

Taylorville then outscored the Wolves 8-5 in the third period and 14-8 in the final quarter. Jaris Wommack tallied 14 points while Chase Cocagne added 12. Cocagne led in rebounds with eight.

Flora was led by Derek Hintz with 11. Adam Cartright pulled down seven rebounds.

Dieterich 69, Charleston 59

Dieterich proved it will be one of the major Class A basketball powers in the area when it shocked highly-regarded Charleston, scoring 16 of the game's final 18 points.

Charleston led 57-53 with 4:42 remaining but a rebound basket by Cliff Westendorf and a pair of free throws by Ethan Heuerman tied the game.

The Trojans took a momentary lead on a basket by Andrew Shick but then Dieterich took control.

Brock Lidy tied the game at 59-59 with two free throws before baskets by Eric Pickens, Bobby Niemerg and Westendorf put the Maroons on top 65-59. Two free throws by Lidy and a basket by Pickens in the final minute sealed the decision.

Westendorf, a 6-foot-5 senior, poured in 25 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to power Dieterich while B. Niemerg added 17 and Lidy 11. Dieterich hit 53.7 percent (29 of 54) from the field.

Shick had a 20-point game for the Trojans while Ross Hutchison added 12 and Matt Miller 10.

Trending Video