The Hot Read: De Smet Jesuit advanced to the Class 5 state quarterfinal with a 59-38 win over Eureka Wednesday at Maryville. The Spartans (23-6) refocused on defense in the second half after only taking a four point lead into halftime to wear down the Wildcats (18-11). De Smet Jesuit was led by senior Nolan Berry with 18 points and 12 rebounds, while Eureka was paced by senior Tyler Jordan who had 17 in defeat.
Key To The Game: Foul Trouble. After playing a full 32 minutes in was plagued by 2 early fouls in the first three minutes of the game Wednesday and sat most of the first half. Eureka's leading scorer Mason Bodingo (15 pts ppg) also picked up 2 fouls early and was not an offensive factor. Jimmy's important for them but mason't critical for us, Eureka Head Coach Craig Kennedy said after the game. We have to have his offensive presence out there," he said.
Patch MVP: De Smet Jesuit Senior Brandon Shackleford. With Barton on the bench in the first half, Shackleford picked up the ballhandling and scoring slack for the Spartans, leading the team at the half with 10 points. He finished with 15 for the game.
Quotable I: De Smet Jesuit Head Coach Kevin Poelker "In the first half I thought they out hustled us, they out-toughed us on the board and I feel like the second half we responded to that I thought that was really big."
Quotable II Eureka Head Coach Craig Kennedy "Every time we had a defensive breakdown it was a catastrophic breakdown that led to something real easy for them, but as I told the kids there were 16 teams in class 5 getting to play tonight and we were one of them and we just happened to fall in the part of the bracket where it was going to be really really tough and we had to play pretty close to flawless to have an opportunity to win and we didn't do that."