Thomas Jefferson eventually subdued Exeter in league play on Friday, Jan. 16, but Cleo Elbert was anything but comfortable until the fourth quarter. Elbert, the silver-haired Hall of Fame coach with over 500 wins in a storied career, looked pretty disgusted when his boys allowed Exeter to climb within four points with a 8-1 run to start the third quarter.
Elbert called timeout immediately when Exeter's Allen Galindo closed the gap to 30-26 with a fast break lay-up. TJ then went on a 13-0 run and finished the quarter with a 55-28 lead led by junior center Jordan Stauffer's 10 points in the third period alone.
The Cavaliers stretched the lead to 30 with six and a half minutes to play and the final score was 66-34.
The Tigers played well in stretches but lacked the interior height to battle with the Cavaliers' Stauffer in critical situations.
Freshman sensation Alex Oserowsky led Thomas Jefferson with 25 points, Stauffer had 18 and Taylor Barton scored 11. Zach Wuebker reached double figures for Exeter with 12, and Galindo and Keith Hayworth each scored 7.
The Exeter Lady Tigers cruised to a 62-24 win over the depthless Lady Cavaliers in the late game at Exeter Friday night. Exeter enjoyed leads of 49-10 at halftime and 58-17 enroute to the victory.
Whitney Edie led the third-ranked Lady Tigers with 24 points, and Shelby Bowman added 13. TJ's Cheyenne Hill scored 9.
After a lackluster start, the Wheaton Bulldogs have a four-game win streak, thanks to a trio of victories during the week. The Bulldogs defeated Joplin McAuley, Exeter and College Heights Christian in succession to improve to 4-7.
McAuley played without super swingman Kevin O'Keefe, who is out indefinitely with an injury, and lost to the Bulldogs 52-37 on Monday, Jan. 13. Wheaton vanquished Exeter 54-44 the following night, and trimmed College Heights 49-40 on Friday.
Donovan Bartkoski don-ned his Superman cape and led the Bulldogs through the week-long gauntlet. Bartkoski scored 22 against McAuley, 23 against Exeter, and a season-high 30 against College Heights.
The Verona Lady Wildcats capped a successful week, defeating Joplin McAuley 65-47 at Verona on Friday night. Verona solidified their number two Ozark 7 standing, beating both Southwest and McAuley during the week. The Lady Warriors suffered their second league setback after falling to Exeter on Monday.
Verona improved to 10-1 on the season, led by Tristan Carrasquillo with 17 points. Four girls reached double figures for the Lady Wildcats.
The McAuley boys staged a third quarter comeback and nipped Verona in the nightcap, 46-45. Rocky Spry led the Warriors with 16 points in Kevin O'Keefe's absence, and Josh Ayers also scored 16 for Verona.
Purdy's Lady Eagles won a pair of games during the week, dropping Seneca 74-66 on Monday, Jan. 12 then College Heights 74-44 on Thursday, Jan. 15. Kelly George's girls improved to 6-5 for the year with the wins.
Shelby White led Purdy past Seneca, hanging 27 points on the board. Addy Roller added 21 points, and Audrey Patton scored a strong 17 from her post position.
Roller, White, Patton and Brooke Swadley all reached double figures against College Heights, and the Lady Eagles used suffocating defense to limit the Lady Cougars to 14 second half points in the win on Thursday.
Purdy snapped its three-game losing skid with a solid 77-35 victory over Sarcoxie on Friday. Mason Roller led the Eagles with his 23 points and Blake Williams tossed in 18 in limited minutes.
"I had 10 boys that played in that game, but not all of them scored," reported Purdy Coach Chris Kennedy.
Purdy streaked to a 24-9 lead in the first quarter and never looked back, improving to 9-4 on the season.