Moldenhauer leads Perryville boys basketball team's charge past Leopold to Woodland Invitational title

Sunday, December 4, 2011
Scott City's Zach Cotner goes up for a shot against Oak Ridge's Kyle Rohde during the Woodland Invitational third-place game Friday.

MARBLE HILL, Mo. -- Perryville's Ross Moldenhauer had not started his senior season scoring the way he or his coach envisioned.

Moldenhauer averaged nearly 12 points a game as a junior, but he entered the championship game of the Woodland tournament Friday night well below that pace.

He had 10 points total in the first two games of the season-opening tournament, including just two points a night earlier in an eight-point semifinal victory against Oak Ridge.

And Moldenhauer remained stuck on 10 points at halftime of the championship game against Leopold. He was scoreless, and even worse the top-seeded Pirates trailed second-seeded Leopold by seven points.

Moldenhauer and Perryville broke through in the second half.

Perryville's Bryce Weibrecht takes a shot over Leopold's Kyle Stroder during the second quarter of the Woodland Invitational championship game Friday in Marble Hill, Mo. (Kristin Eberts)

Moldenhauer scored all 15 of his points after the intermission to help rally Perryville to a 56-50 victory.

"It feels good," Moldenhauer said. "We're going to keep rolling from here."

"We needed him to come on," Perryville coach Joel Roth said. "He hadn't done much in the first two games, and we rely on him a lot. He's a playmaker and kid that can score in a lot of different ways."

Moldenhauer's breakthrough moments coincided with decisive points in the game.

His first points of the game came with 4 minutes, 47 seconds left in the third quarter on a 3-pointer from the left side that narrowed Leopold's lead to 34-33. His steal on Leopold's next possession and subsequent fast break basket gave the Pirates their first lead since midway through the second quarter.

Leopold's Joe Elfrink works his way to the basket against Perryville's Jake Dobbelare, left, and Cody Call during the fourth quarter of the Woodland Invitational championship game Friday.

Moldenhauer's five-point burst was part of an 11-3 Perryville run at the start of the second half that turned a 31-24 halftime deficit into a 35-34 lead.

Just as notable were the two baskets by Jared Thieret to spark the run and an offensive putback by Alex Robinson that preceded Moldenhauer's five-point burst.

The 11 points by Thieret, Robinson and Moldenhauer in less than four minutes topped the nine-point total scored by anyone not named Bryce Weibrecht in the opening half.

Weibrecht scored 15 of his game-high 21 points in the first half, keeping the Pirates close to the more balanced Wildcats. Weibrecht was the lone Pirates player with more than four points, while Leopold had four players with at least six points in the opening half.

"He was a big help in the first half," Moldenhauer said. "We couldn't get anything going, and he just kept us going. We helped him out in the second half."

Perryville's Alex Robinson defends Leopold's Cameron Davis during the third quarter of the Woodland Invitational championship game on Friday, Dec. 2, 2011, in Marble Hill. Perryville won 56-50. (Kristin Eberts)

Weibrecht connected on three 3-pointers in the first half.

"It was my fault," Leopold coach Andy Beck said. "I let him shoot those 3s. I was willing to take that chance. He knocked a few of them down, but we stuck to our guns. If he was going to shoot that, we were going to live with it because we didn't think he'd be consistent with it all night. I don't think he hit another one after the first half."

Weibrecht didn't, but he provided the final three points to his teammates' second-half burst to give Perryville a 38-34 lead with 3:13 left in the third quarter.

Leopold scored just four points in the third quarter after scoring 21 points in the second quarter.

"We stepped it up on 'D' and got after it a little more and started scoring a lot more points in the second half," Moldenhauer said.

Perryville's Jared Thieret and Leopold's Joe Elfrink, left, and James Jansen, right, battle for a rebound during the first half of the Woodland Invitational title game Friday. (Kristin Eberts)

Leopold grabbed the lead with 7 of 9 shooting in the second quarter but lost control with 5 of 20 shooting in the second half.

"We needed to get better defense going, get more stops, because we were giving up easy shots, and they were making them," Weibrecht said.

The Pirates took a 40-35 lead into the fourth quarter, but Leopold needed only 27 seconds to draw even. A pair of steals led to a Greg Davis fast break layin and a 3-pointer by Kyle Stroder for a 40-40 tie.

Moldenhauer then went to work on his remaining 10 points.

Moldenhauer answered Stroder's 3-pointer with a drive to the basket, banking in a scoop shot off the glass and drawing a foul. The basket and free throw gave Perryville the lead for good at 43-40 with 7:05 left.

"He's one of those kids that has the weird ability to shoot scoop shots that look terrible, but they go in for him," Roth said. "He's a dynamic player and has quick hands and does real good in anticipating the steals and making plays for us. He came around for us this week at the right time."

Moldenhauer increased the lead to six points just moments later when he converted a steal into another three-point play.

Leopold crept to within a point on a pair of Cameron Davis free throws with 3:04 left, but the Wildcats struggled to score from the field and free-throw line down the stretch.

The Wildcats went more than six minutes without a field goal in the fourth quarter. They broke the drought when Greg Davis put in an offensive rebound in the final seconds to provide the game's final points.

Perryville built on its 48-47 lead in the final two minutes by sinking 6 of 8 free throws and its only shot from the field. Meanwhile, Leopold was missing five consecutive shots from the field and hitting 1 of 2 free throws.

A second poor night at the free-throw line caught up with Leopold.

The Wildcats hit on 12 of 21 free throws in the game a day after hitting 12 of 27, including 1 of 9 over the final 69 seconds, against Scott City.

"It almost got us beat last night, and it did get us beat tonight," Beck said.

Perryville entered as the top seed, returning four starters from last year's team that went 19-8.

"We felt like we had enough talent to come down here and win it," Roth said. "We knew Leopold would be tough, and Oak Ridge would be tough last night. We have a lot of things we can do better, but early season, it's nice to come down here and go 3-0 and get a tournament win for some confidence."

Thieret added 11 points for the Pirates.

"They're loaded," Beck said. "They're loaded with weapons all the way across the board."

Perryville led 12-10 after one period and 16-12 in the second quarter when the Wildcats hit 3-pointers on three consecutive trips down the floor to move ahead 21-17. An offensive putback by Brandon Jansen in the closing seconds of the half matched Leopold's biggest lead of the game, giving the Wildcats a 31-24 lead at halftime.

The half was encouraging for Beck after a two-point win against Scott City in the semifinals.

"I didn't sleep last night," Beck said. "We played the worst I've seen these kids play since I got this job in July, but they fought through and got a win.

"But tonight was a totally different ballgame. I'm sure everyone in the gym was surprised. We played totally different. We played our style of basketball tonight, and that's what I said at halftime. And that's basically the only thing I said at halftime. When I walked through the door, I said, 'That's Leopold basketball.'"

Stroder led a balanced Leopold attack with 14 points. Joe Elfrink finished with 12 points, Greg Davis had 11 and Cameron Davis added 10.

Third place

Zach Cotner scored 17 points and Jesse Sanders added 16 to lead Scott City past Oak Ridge 56-44.

The Rams grabbed a 13-point lead after one quarter, but the Blue Jays cut the deficit to two points at halftime.

A 25-point third quarter proved the difference for Scott City.

Ryan Below led Oak Ridge with 14 points.


Greg Brawley's 22 points led Delta past Woodland 60-54 for the consolation title.

Tanner Schabbing added 10 points in the win.

The Cardinals tried mounting a rally in the fourth quarter by outscoring the Bobcats by seven points.

Aaron Yount led Woodland with 18 points.



LEOPOLD (50) -- Greg Davis 11, Kyle Stroder 14, Joe Elfrink 12, Cameron Davis 10, Brandon Jansen 3. FG 16, FT 12-21, F 21. (3-pointers: Greg Davis 2, Stroder 3, Cameron Davis. Fouled out: none)

PERRYVILLE (56) -- Jake Dobbelare 3, Alex Robinson 2, Colby Brown 4, Ross Moldenhauer 15, Bryce Weibrecht 21, Jared Thieret 11. FG 21, FT 10-16, F 22. (3-pointers: Moldenhauer, Weibrecht 3. Fouled out: none)


Oak Ridge617912--44
Scott City196256--56

OAK RIDGE (44) -- Hunter Seyer 5, Jacob Light 5, Ryan Below 14, Jake LeGrand 8, Kyle Rohde 6, Ben Stewart 2, Corvin Schoen 4. FG 15, FT 11-30, F 16. (3-pointers: Seyer, LeGrand 2. Fouled out: none)

SCOTT CITY (56) -- Logan Henson 2, Landon Robert 3, Jesse Sanders 16, Jonathan McFall 6, Zach Cotner 17, Ryan Brock 12. FG 23, FT 8-16, F 23. (3-pointers: Sanders 1, Brock 1. Fouled out: Sanders)



WOODLAND (54) -- Aaron Yount 18, Dakota Long 14, Dylan Miller 3, Lance Yount 14, Codey Miles 5. FG 19, FT 15-19, F 21. (3-pointers: Yount. Fouled out: Yount, Miles Skyler Liley)

DELTA (60) -- Greg Brawley 22, Frankie Rozmirsky 2, Dillon Lincoln 8, Tanner Schabbing 10, Austin Lashley 8, Dwight Nance 4, Dallas Naramore 6. FG 21, FT 10-21, F 21. (3-pointers: Brawley 5, Lincoln, Schabbing 2. Fouled out: Naramore)

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