Jackson avenges loss to Notre Dame to claim third in Southeast Missourian Christmas Tournament

Monday, December 31, 2012
Jackson’s Karson King shoots over Notre Dame’s Trenton Schumer during the first quarter of the third-place game of the Southeast Missourian Christmas Tournament on Sunday at the Show Me Center. Jackson won 69-53. (Fred Lynch)

Jackson's loss to Notre Dame nearly one month ago had been eating at the Indians ever since.

They finally got their revenge.

Jackson, after collapsing in the second half during the first meeting with the Bulldogs, used a big second half Sunday to break open a close game.

The result was a 69-53 romp by the fifth-seeded Indians over the third-seeded Bulldogs in the third-place game of the Southeast Missourian Christmas Tournament at the Show Me Center.

"It felt great to get revenge," Jackson sophomore forward Blake Reynolds said.

Jackson led Notre Dame by 19 points at halftime of their SEMO Conference Tournament first-round matchup on Dec. 3 in Sikeston, Mo. The Bulldogs rallied for a 64-59 win as Jackson couldn't handle Notre Dame's pressure defense.

"We wanted the revenge thing. Thankfully we played a good game," Jackson junior wing Karson King said. "We would have liked it to be for first place, but we'll take this."

King was especially satisfied that the Indians, who improved to 7-5, were able to end the tournament on a positive note.

These have been tough days for King and his family after 10-year-old Parker King died Wednesday from injuries suffered when he was ejected from a utility vehicle.

Notre Dame’s Cody Debrock shoots over Jackson’s Connor Shepard during the third quarter of the third-place game of the Southeast Missourian Christmas Tournament.

Karson and Parker King were first cousins -- but Karson said they were basically like brothers.

"It's been an emotional roller coaster. It ended on an up," said Karson King, choking up. "We were very close. I still talk to him. He's in a better place. I feel like he's on my shoulder."

The 6-foot-5 King, who plays all over the court, had a performance that would have no doubt made his cousin proud.

King led all scorers with 23 points and his two 3-pointers in the fourth quarter helped break the game open.

"I was pretty proud of Karson, everything he's been through," Jackson coach Darrin Scott said. "It was one of his better games. He shot the ball well."

The 6-7 Reynolds, one of the area's emerging big men, continued to display his improvement with 20 points.

Luke Stevens, a powerful 6-4 senior forward, added 11 points for Jackson.

Junior forward Jordan Barber paced Notre Dame (5-7) with 13 points. Sophomore guards Quinn Poythress and Grant Ressel added 11 and 10 points, respectively.

"They're so big," Notre Dame coach Kevin Roberts said about the Indians. "They just pounded it on us. We just don't have that kind of size."

A tight first half featured five lead changes and six ties. Each squad's biggest advantage was five points.

The final tie was at 28-28 late in the second quarter. Stevens broke the deadlock with two free throws, and sophomore guard Braden Wendel's 3-pointer with 12 seconds left sent Jackson to the break ahead 33-28.

Jackson fought off several Notre Dame charges in the third quarter that ended with the Indians ahead 48-40.

The Indians then broke things open in the final period.

King's 3-pointer with 5:33 remaining gave Jackson its biggest lead at 55-43. Another King 3-pointer with 4:22 left made it 59-45, and Wendel's trey at the 3:55 mark made it 62-45.

"I was proud of the way we came out to start the third quarter really strong," Scott said. "I think early in the game we were a little tight, a little tentative, but then we settled down."

Roberts knew Sunday's rematch with Jackson would be tough for the Bulldogs because of how much the Indians have improved since the first meeting between the teams.

Reynolds concurred.

"I feel like these last few weeks we have improved a lot. We're really bonding," Reynolds said.

Jackson and Notre Dame will square off one more time this year in their annual regular-season meeting.

Notre Dame12161213--53

JACKSON (69) -- Braden Wendel 7, Karson King 23, Connor Shepard 4, Blake Reynolds 20, Brandon Lueders 4, Luke Stevens 11. FG 25, FT 14-26, F 16. (3-pointers: Wendel 2, King 3. Fouled out: None.)

NOTRE DAME (53) -- Cody DeBrock 7, Quinn Poythress 11, Dalton Welch 3, Trenton Schumer 5, Grant Ressel 10, Jordan Barber 13, Tanner Shively 4. FG 17, FT 12-15, F 18. (3-pointers: DeBrock 2, Poythress 1, Welch 1, Schumer 1, Ressel 2. Fouled out: Schumer.)

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