Hornets withstand Wildcats' charge

Tuesday, December 30, 2008
FRED LYNCH ~ flynch@semissourian.com
Leopold's Darren VanGennip tries to keep the ball away from Advance defenders Brad Steil, left, and Darren VanGennip during the first quarter Monday at the Southeast Missourian Christmas Tournament.

Advance made things a bit tougher than necessary.

But the Hornets were more than happy to escape with a win.

Advance held off Leopold's rally to prevail 57-52 in Monday's fifth-place semifinals of the Southeast Missourian Christmas Tournament.

Seventh-seeded Advance will play fifth-seeded Central in today's 4:30 p.m. fifth-place game.

"It was a little disappointing how we closed the game out," said Advance coach Josh Dowdy, who saw Leopold cut a 12-point deficit to four in the late going. "We just couldn't really execute at the end of the game.

"But I'm happy with the win. Leopold is a quality team."

Advance improved to 7-2, while sixth-seeded Leopold fell to 6-2 after the Wildcats entered the tournament undefeated.

"It seems like I'm always saying the same thing," Leopold coach Shawn Kinder said. "We turned the ball over too much and didn't execute on the offensive end.

"But Advance did a great job."

Leopold trailed 31-26 at halftime, but senior Darren VanGennip's 3-pointer with a little more than 3 minutes left in the third quarter put the Wildcats ahead 37-36.

Advance senior David VanGennip answered 35 seconds later with a basket for a 38-37 Hornets lead.

That started a 15-2 Advance run that carried into the final period and opened up a 51-39 bulge for the game's biggest advantage.

Leopold closed to 56-52 in the final 35 seconds and missed two layups that would have made things even more interesting.

"We played pretty hard," Advance junior Luke Steil said. "We just have to be a little more in control at the end. We can't get all those jitters."

Steil and senior Jacob Bond each scored 13 points to pace Advance. David VanGennip added 11 points.

Dowdy had praise for sophomores Dylan Dunivan and Darren VanGennip, who scored seven and six points, respectively.

"I'm very proud of my sophomores," Dowdy said.

Dowdy wasn't as proud of the Hornets' struggles from the free-throw line, as they made just 8 of 19, which aided Leopold's rally.

"We usually shoot our free throws really well," Dowdy said.

Leopold's Darren VanGennip -- a cousin to the Advance VanGennip brothers -- led all scorers with 18 points.

Despite losing two straight games to end the tournament, Kinder was not discouraged.

"We competed and played with some intensity, but we have to go back to work," he said. "Playing better competition, this shows us what we need to get better at."



@z_agate_no tab_no indnt_bld ld:Leopold (57) -- Dustin Thiele 4, David Fluchel 12, Darren VanGennip 18, Larry Nussbaum 11, Clayton Stoverink 4, Anthony Seabaugh 3. FG 21, FT 7-9, F 17. (3-pointers: Fluchel 2, VanGennip 1. Fouled out: Thiele)

Advance (52) -- Brad Steil 2, Luke Steil 13, Dylan Dunivan 7, Matt Ware 1, David VanGennip 11, Blake Seabaugh 2, Blake Lingle 2, Jacob Bond 13, Darren VanGennip 6. FG 23, FT 8-19, F 17. (3-pointers: L. Steil 1, Dunivan 1, Bond 1. Fouled out: None)

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