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Leopold debuts with win at Woodland tournament
MARBLE HILL, Mo. -- The seedings suggested defending champion Leopold would have an easy time with Zalma in the first round of the Woodland boys basketball tournament.
Leopold coach Shawn Kinder believed otherwise.
"Seeding is always hard this early," Kinder said. "I thought it would be a tough game. I knew Zalma had a good team."
Kinder's second-seeded Wildcats got all they could handle in their season opener Monday night before rallying past seventh-seeded Zalma 70-61.
Top-seeded Oak Ridge didn't have nearly as much trouble, rolling past No. 8 Woodland 82-51.
The final first-round matchup of the night saw No. 5 Perryville knock off No. 4 Delta 67-55.
Opening-round play concludes today when No. 3 Scott City faces No. 6 Meadow Heights at 6 p.m. The winner will join Oak Ridge, Leopold and Perryville in Thursday's semifinals.
Leopold trailed Zalma, which already had two games under its belt, 36-26 at halftime and 39-26 early in the third quarter.
The Wildcats finally caught the Bulldogs (2-1), but Leopold didn't take the lead for good until less than four minutes remained.
A big size advantage fueled Leopold's comeback as Zalma had no answer for 6-foot-6 senior center Anthony Seabaugh.
Seabaugh poured in 35 points, almost all of them on layups and put-backs over the smaller Bulldogs, who had no player on the court taller than 6-foot.
"We talked in the locker room at halftime about getting the ball inside," Kinder said.
Seabaugh scored 26 second-half points as Leopold outscored Zalma 44-25.
"He had a really good game," Kinder said. "He's got a real nice touch around the basket."
Another player with several inches on the Bulldogs, 6-4 senior forward David Fluchel, added 14 points for Leopold.
"I thought they did a really good job of going inside," Zalma coach Steve Wells said.
Zalma had two stars in its own right as juniors Justin Stotts and Stephen Simmers combined for 49 points. Stotts poured in 31 and Simmers added 18.
"They're very good players," Wells said.
Stotts and Simmers presented all kinds of problems for Leopold by helping speed the game up to a tempo that Kinder didn't want his team playing at.
"They forced the tempo. We had trouble playing at that pace," Kinder said. "They're two really good players."
Zalma scored the first six points and had Leopold on the ropes most of the night.
A 3-pointer by Stotts less than 30 seconds into the second half put the Bulldogs up 39-26.
But Leopold stormed back to pull within 47-45 by the end of the third quarter.
The final period featured four lead changes and four ties before Leopold finally went ahead for good at 60-57 on Fluchel's 3-pointer with just under four minutes remaining.
Zalma failed to score on its next five possessions -- including three turnovers -- as Leopold scored eight more points in a row to complete an 11-0 run that put the victory on ice.
"We're awfully inexperienced and I think that showed," Wells said.
Kinder was simply happy to survive the season opener.
"The first game, the kids are always anxious. It's nice to get it out of the way," he said.
Oak Ridge 82, Woodland 51
Brett Thomas scored 19 points as Oak Ridge had little trouble in the season opener for both teams.
Also in double figures for the Blue Jays were Caleb Elam (17 points), Garret Light (14), Logan Mangels (14) and Jacob Light (12).
"I thought we played well overall," Oak Ridge coach Adam Stoneking said.
Stoneking knows the tests will get tougher the rest of the week as the Blue Jays try to live up to their rare top seed.
"I don't know if it's ever happened. Somebody said it's never happened," Stoneking said of the No. 1 seed for Oak Ridge. "We have a lot of expectations for that. How will we handle it?"
Corey Chapman led Woodland with 12 points. Lance Yount added 10.
"Oak Ridge has a good team," Woodland coach Josh Eftink said. "We have a lot of new guys and we had some jitters."
Perryville 67, Delta 55
Sophomore Bryce Weibrecht pumped in 28 points to lead Perryville in the season opener for both squads.
Delta got 15 points from Chase Crowden and 14 from Teddy May.
Leading just 43-42 after three periods, the Pirates broke things open with a 24-13 fourth-quarter edge.
The Pirates were aided by a big advantage from the free-throw line. They hit 23 of 32 foul shots, compared to 8 of 19 for Delta.
Oak Ridge 82, Woodland 51
WOODLAND (51) -- Martin Williams 8, Corey Chapman 12, Will Jetton 4, Jesse Long 3, Neil Johnson 8, Lance Yount 10, Andrew Minson 6. FG 22, FT 4-9, F 18. (3-pointers: Williams 2, Yount 1. Fouled out: none)
OAK RIDGE (82) -- Caleb Elam 17, Jacob Light 12, Garret Light 14, Brett Thomas 19, Lucas Rohde 6, Logan Mangels 14. FG 31, FT 14-19, F 13. (3-pointers: Elam 3, G. Light 1, Thomas 1, Mangels 1. Fouled out: Thomas)
Leopold 70, Zalma 61
ZALMA (61) -- Austin Sitze 2, Stephen Simmers 18, Thad McGregor 2, Andrew Tucker 2, Jake Reed 6, Justin Stotts 31. FG 24, FT 9-12, F19. (3-pointers: Simmers 3, Stotts 1. Fouled out: none)
LEOPOLD (70) -- Kyle Stroder 2, David Fluchel 14, Ryan Davis 8, John Bohnsack 4, Lance Seiler 7, Anthony Seabaugh 35. FG 29, FT 10-19, F 12. (3-pointers: Fluchel 1, Seiler 1. Fouled out: none)
Perryville 67, Delta 55
PERRYVILLE (67) -- Andrew Martin 8, Ryan Kassinger 4, Jared Hotop 8, Ross Moldenhauer 9, Bryce Weibrecht 28, Jason Thieret 2, Jared Thieret 8. FG 20, FT 23-32, F 19. (3-pointers: Kassinger 1, Hotop 1, Moldenhauer 2. Fouled out: none)
DELTA (55) -- Teddy May 14, Cody Helderman 4, Zach Reigert 4, Chase Crowden 15, Cody Naramore 2, Cody Schremp 9, Shelby Kight 7. FG 22, FT 8-19, F 28. (3-pointers: May 1, Crowden 2. Fouled out: Helderman, Reigert, Crowden)