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Tigers pull away from Bulldogs
Central senior guard Ryan Delph entered the 1,000-point club Tuesday night at the Show Me Center, as the Tigers boys basketball team defeated cross-town rival Notre Dame 67-62.
Delph's big game nearly did not happen. Feeling sick over the last couple of days, Delph was nearly sent home from school Tuesday morning.
"I just made sure I came to school," Delph said. "I was under the weather the last couple of nights."
Needing 11 points to reach 1,000, Delph was able to pass the plateau with a basket late in the third quarter. He led all scorers with 23 points, improving his career scoring total to 1,012.
"It feels really good," Delph said. "I never thought I'd be somewhere like this."
Before Delph could secure his 1,000th point, the Tigers (16-4) had to play catch-up to a feisty Notre Dame squad. The Bulldogs (4-16) assumed an 11-2 lead early in the first quarter.
Delph's senior running mate, Jake Knepp, helped bring the Tigers back during an 8-0 run that cut the lead to 11-10. Knepp scored 10 points in the first quarter, after which Notre Dame clung to a 15-14 lead.
"I just couldn't miss," Knepp said. "I hit the first one, then hit the second. I was feeling it before the game. We lost the last two in a row to them, and I didn't want to do it again."
Central held the Bulldogs to nine second-quarter points and pulled ahead 26-24 at halftime. In the third quarter the Tigers hit the boards effectively and were able to open a 38-30 lead midway through the quarter.
"That third quarter, we didn't rebound at all," Notre Dame coach Darrin Scott said. "That third quarter, they just beat us to the ball, they got every loose ball and every second shot. Those are things we have to do."
Central was up 44-34 by the end of the third quarter and looking to break the game open. Delph scored seven points early in the fourth as Central built a 52-39 lead. A pair of baskets from Gabe Edwards gave Central its biggest lead at 60-45 with less than four minutes to go.
"When they went to double Delph, Gabe Edwards stepped up and hit some baskets," Central coach Derek McCord said.
Notre Dame cut the lead to 64-55 with less than two minutes left as Central cleared its bench. The Bulldogs pulled to within 66-60 on a pair of free throws from John Eric Klein, and nearly closed to within three as Klein's 3-pointer with 20 seconds remaining rimmed out.
Delph said he was glad to get the win after losing Friday in a rout at Poplar Bluff.
"That was a tough loss," he said. "Hopefully this will get us going."
Knepp finished with 20 points for the Tigers, who are now 2-1 since losing three starters to suspension. Eli Harris also missed his third straight game with a knee injury.
"These kids had every chance to hang their heads, and I think they've shown their character by winning two of three," McCord said.
Edwards finished with a career-high nine points and Garrett Ozbun added nine for Central.
Bryce Willen led Notre Dame with 20 points. Klein finished with 12 points, scoring eight of those late in the fourth. Sophomore Alex Ressel finished with 10 points, all in the first three quarters.
Central 67, Notre Dame 62
NOTRE DAME (62) -- Bryce Willen 20, Jeremy Brinkmeyer 8, John Eric Klein 14, Mark Unterreiner 7, Jacob Essner 1, Steven Eftink 2, Alex Ressel 10. FG 21, FT 16-24, F 19 (3-pointers: Klein 3, Brinkmeyer 1. Fouled out: Ressel)
CENTRAL (67) -- Ryan Delph 23, Jake Knepp 20, Garrett Ozbun 9, Tyrone Reece 2, Xavier Delph 4, Gabe Edwards 9. FG 25, FT 15-23, F 16 (3-pointers: Knepp 2. Fouled out: none)
Notre Dame 55, Central 42
NOTRE DAME (55) -- Sommer McCauley 20, Laura Weissmueller 4, Alana Weissmueller 6, Katie Palmer 5, Amber Karnes 11, Amanda Dirnberger 6, Kristain Burger 3. FG 22, FT 9-13 (3-pointers: Karnes 1, Palmer 1. Fouled out: none)
CENTRAL (42) -- Megan McDonald 10, Erica Schabbing 12, Jessica Johnston 12, Lee Thomas 2, Dani Gross 4, Sonja Williams 2. FG 17, FT 6-9 (3-pointers: McDonald 2. Fouled out: none)