During the Bowling Green Tournament the Elsberry Indians experienced “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly”.
The top seeded Indians dominated the number eight seed Van-Far in the opening round with a 52-22 victory. Despite the lop-sided victory, Van-Far started the first quarter with a plan that had Elsberry on it’s heels.
“I thought Van-Far did a good job in the first quarter slowing us down and taking good shots,” said Coach Ryan Parker.
However, once the second quarter began, Elsberry turned up the heat defensively. They allowed only 12 more points (four in each quarter).
Offensively Parker “would love to be more balanced.”
“Teams know we are going to get Kenny [Lesley] touches but when teams double and triple him we need to find those open guys and capitalize,” stated Parker.
Lesley led the team with 23 points, followed by 14 points from Rahiem Porter.
Mother Nature put a damper on the Indians third place game against host team Bowling Green on Saturday night.
The second round game was a rematch from Jan. 10, Elsberry taking on their rivals the Winfield Warriors.
Flashback to Jan. 10 where the Indians were dominant with a 67-42 win. They held the Warriors top point producer in David Bauer to only 14 and no other Winfield player was in double-figures.
Fast-forward to the rematch and it was a different Winfield team taking the floor.
Jeremiah Duckett who didn’t play in the first game gave Winfield a huge boost.
“The addition of Duckett makes them a lot different and more of a threat offensively,” said Parker.
Duckett finished the game with 12 points, but it was the play of Bauer that helped Winfield stun the top seeded Indians 53-51.
“We did a great job on Bauer at our place not allowing him to go off. I thought we actually did a decent job on him at Bowling Green but he was on fire,” stated Parker.
Bauer had a game high 33 points and made two huge three pointers with only seconds to go in the fourth to take the lead and seal the victory.
“When he is on they are a difficult team to beat. That being said we didn’t execute one thing correctly in the final 25 seconds and got beat as a result,” said Parker.
The first three quarters were a battle as neither team could really get out to any type of lead. In the fourth the Indians were up by four with the time ticking down. A missed free throw by Winfield was followed with a three by Bauer to cut the lead to one. On the inbound Bauer sprinted to the other side of the court to steal the pass and make an amazing three pointer over the outstretched hands of Porter to take the lead.
With 4.9 seconds on the clock Lesley took the inbound and was supposed to push the ball to get to over the half court for a time out. Problem was he had no where to go with the ball.
According to Parker his disappointment wasn’t necessarily in the loss but rather the lack of execution that led to loss.
Lesley led the team with 25 points, following by 11 from Porter.
Fresh on the heels of their second place victory in the Clopton Invitational Tournament and a tough three game losing streak on the road, the Elsberry Lady Indians rolled right into the Bowling Green Tournament on Jan. 27.
In the first round, Elsberry faced the Louisiana Lady Bulldogs, a contest that went into overtime and resulted in a 66-60 win for the Lady Indians.
Elsberry was led in scoring by Kate Boedeker and Brittni Hagemeier who each had 16 points, followed by Passion Hunter-Edwards with 15 and Olivia Brown with 13.
The Lady Indians then advanced to face the Clopton Lady Hawks on Jan. 29.
Unfortunately, Clopton proved to be just a little too much for Elsberry and the girls lost 44-32.
The Lady Indians were led in scoring by Hagemeier with 15 points, followed by Boedeker with nine and Brown with eight.
The Lady Indians came out strong against the Mark Twain Lady Tigers on Jan. 31 and won third place overall in the tournament.
Elsberry was led in scoring by Amanda Jo Talbot with 12 points, followed by Brown with 10.
Information courtesy of Elsberry Democrat.