Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

The Vikings Are Game but Fall to Spartans

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

The Vikings Are Game but Fall to Spartans

Article excerpt

The Vikings of Francis Howell High put up a good fight Monday night. But it wasn't enough against the top-ranked and top-seeded Spartans of DeSmet.

DeSmet beat fifth-seeded Howell 55-44 in the semifinals of the 19th annual Holiday Festival Tournament at Meramec Community College Monday. The Vikings (6-5) played third-seeded Parkway Central (10-1) in the third-place game Tuesday.

DeSmet (11-1) and CBC (8-2) met in the title game. DeSmet is ranked No. 1 in the Post-Dispatch large-schools poll and was seeded first at Meramec. CBC, a 55-44 winner over Parkway Central Monday, is ranked second and seeded second. CBC is the defending champion at Meramec. In an earlier meeting this season, DeSmet beat CBC 52-50 on a last-second shot. "DeSmet's a solid team," Howell coach Gerry Boehm said. "We didn't play as well as we would've liked tonight, but we didn't play poorly either. As much as anything else, I think we were a little worn down there at the end. It was our third game in four days and since we're not in school, there's no telling when these guys are getting to bed each night. "Overall, I thought we played a decent game tonight. But we were just weren't big enough or strong enough to get past DeSmet." The Vikings, who beat 12th-seeded Ladue and No. 4 Lafayette to get to Monday's semifinals, hung tough early against DeSmet, thanks to the quickness of senior guard Derrick Redd. Redd converted three steals and connected on a 3-pointer in the first quarter to keep the Vikings close. A Brian O'Mara layup at the buzzer evened the score at 13-13. From there, it became a game of runs, with DeSmet eventually pulling away. The Spartans went on a 9-0 run to open the second quarter, but Howell rallied with a 10-0 run of its own, taking a 23-22 lead when O'Mara scored on a well-executed reverse layup. But DeSmet scored the final six points of the half, taking a 28-22 lead to the break. The Spartans slowly pulled away in the second half; they broke open a 30-28 game with a 9-2 run and led 51-38 when senior Mike Fleming converted a three-point play with 2:22 to play. "Our game plan was good and we played hard, but we didn't attack the middle as well as I would've liked," Boehm said. …

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