Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

SLUH Beats Timberland

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

SLUH Beats Timberland

Article excerpt

ST. CHARLES * Erwin Claggett rolled out of bed Saturday in a reflective mood. In his fourth season at the helm of the St. Louis U. High basketball program, Claggett thought back to when it all began.

"I could remember the first day of open gym and just to see how the program has grown," Claggett said.

SLUH is doing things it hasn't done in 50 years.

SLUH wore out Timberland in a 76-51 victory in a Class 5 quarterfinal at Hyland Arena on the campus of Lindenwood University.

The No. 6 large school in the rankings, SLUH (20-9) advanced to play either Chaminade or CBC in a semifinal at 6:50 p.m. Thursday at Mizzou Arena.

It's the second consecutive season the Junior Billikens will make the trip to Columbia.

It's the first time SLUH has advanced to back-to-back final fours since it made five successive trips between 1957 and 1961. This is the first season SLUH has won at least 20 games since 1991.

To reach these long unseen heights the Jr. Billikens had to get past Timberland, which won its first district championship in school history last Friday and its first-ever playoff game on Wednesday.

Though inexperienced, Timberland (21-7) played confidently early. It showed no jitters and went bucket-for-bucket. The Wolves led 20- 16 at the end of the first quarter.

"We came out in a little junk, a triangle-and-two to break up their flow and I thought it was decent," Timberland coach Kyle Deweese said. "We were going blow-for-blow, we were doing a really nice job. They kind of ratcheted up their defensive pressure there in the second quarter. They made it more difficult for us."

SLUH used a 12-0 run the last four minutes of the second quarter to turn a 25-24 deficit into a 36-25 lead. Senior guard Matt Nester knocked down a pair of 3-pointers in that run that proved to be devastating for the Wolves and energized the Jr. …

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