Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Boys Basketball: Vashon Gets in Extra Work after Win over Cardinal Ritter

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Boys Basketball: Vashon Gets in Extra Work after Win over Cardinal Ritter

Article excerpt

Immediately after the Vashon and Cardinal Ritter boys basketball teams shook hands, Tony Irons ran practice.

The Vashon coach, Irons did not like the birthday present his Wolverines gave him.

The No. 2 small school in the STLhighschoolsports.com rankings, Vashon (5-2) scored a 78-71 win over Ritter but not before it gave up a 15-point halftime lead with a subpar third quarter. When Irons, 34, saw the lack of execution and effort to start the second half he needed something to grab his team's attention. The Wolverines had a similar start to their matchup on Saturday with Chaminade. On that night a four-point lead evaporated the Red Devils went on to win.

Hence practice on his birthday.

"You can't have a 15-point lead and come out the same way we did against Chaminade in the second half and lay an egg," Irons said. "It's the same stuff. We're not playing hard for an entire game. That's what it is. It's youth. It's a lot of things we have to correct, small stuff. We have to become a better team and we're not there yet."

Vashon took a 40-25 lead into halftime on the strength of its rebounding. The Wolverines muscled the smaller Lions off the glass for rebounds and putbacks. Seven players scored in the first half as Vashon got contributions from all over.

The No. 8 small school, Ritter (9-4) was hamstrung as it had to play the first half with senior guard Jared Phillips and junior Resean Pate, who were in foul trouble. Senior 6-foot-6 post Breon Mosby did not play either as he's out until after the new year with a hand injury.

Despite its shortcomings Ritter battled. Behind junior guard Malek Davis and freshman Marion Fleming, the Lions turned it up in the third quarter and went on a 16-5 run to cut the Wolverines' lead to 45-41 with 2 minutes and 27 seconds to go.

Vashon sophomore guard Phil Russell hit a pair of 3-pointers to push the Wolverines ahead 56-48 at the end of the third. …

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