Dragon JV Boys Show Mettle

STORM CENTER 
A COLUMN

WRITTEN BY

ERIC VICCARO

Protecting your own basketball court can become a cherished entity.

That’s what recently happened on a recent Saturday afternoon at Peggy J. Johnson Gymnasium — and Peggy would have been proud of the Ste. Genevieve junior varsity boys’ basketball team.

The Dragons won their own “Old Settlement Tournament” on Jan. 23 under 10th-year coach Jonathan Robinson.

“When you have a week where you play six games in seven days, you find out the character of your team,” Robinson said.

“I thought we played good team basketball, guys accepted their roles and did the little things it takes to win,” the coach added.

The Dragons played with competitiveness, and both mental and physical toughness.

“We take pride in our blue-collar approach in preparation for games,” Robinson said, “and these players have put in a lot of hard work, so it was great to see them achieve positive results.”

The JV boys, with their record of 12-4, have fed off the success of the varsity unit — and they wanted a little hardware of their own.

Earlier this season, Ste. Genevieve’s varsity garnered the Sullivan Tournament, receiving a plaque. The JV boys received their own plaque here.

The JV unit features many boys who will advance to varsity next season with the graduation of Landon Rose, Logan Trollinger, Anthony Nash and Chaytin Lea.

This year’s group features shooting guard Nick Plati, forward Carson Kreilich, forward Jacob Johns, guard Aiden Trollinger, forward Collin Fritsch, guard Mason Nix, guard Kason Kellum, guard Nick Nash, forward Aiden Meyer, forward Tucker Reed, sophomore forward Gavin Huck and forward Alex Fleeman.

Huck is the tallest player on the roster, standing 6-foot-3. There are two other Dragons reaching the magic 6-foot mark in Kreilich and Fleeman.

Taylen Bader and Wyatt Springkamper also contributed to the tournament title.

Ste. Genevieve made up for a lack of height with plenty of heart, which included winning two games on the same day (Jan. 23).

In Missouri, it’s not commonplace for a team to play two basketball games in a single day — but that was the case here.

Ste. Genevieve knocked off hometown rival Valle Catholic 58-33, and followed that with a 53-49 victory over Cape Notre Dame Regional in the championship.

Fritsch scored 14 points and Nash 10 in the win over Valle Catholic. Nash canned two 3-pointers while Plati and Kreilich sank one apiece.

Plati was a force in the conquest over CNDR, dropping in 17 points with two 3-pointers and 7-of-12 shooting from the free-throw line. Fritsch also scored in double digits with 12, Johns contributed nine and Nash knocked down a pair of 3’s for six.

What’s more, Ste. Genevieve was down four points at intermission (29-25) before taking a 40-37 lead at the end of three periods.

The Dragons also topped Windsor, 41-36, and St. Pius X of Festus, 62-48, during the Old Settlement Tournament.

Moreover, Ste. Genevieve thumped DeSoto 51-29, and Fredericktown 51-32, in regular-season play.

That victory over Fredericktown was on the road, with many players not back in the county snuggled in their beds until 10 p.m. — or later.

Congratulations to the Dragon JV boys on their recent bounty.

CORRECTION

In last week’s Ste. Genevieve Herald, it was reported Autumn Basler finished second at the first-ever Southeast Missouri Regional Wrestling Conference Tournament in Jackson on Thursday, Jan. 21.

Basler, indeed, finished first in the 117-pound weight class — and received a gold medal for her hard work. The Ste. Genevieve Herald regrets the error.

Since this was a first-time event, the sports editor is cutting everyone a bunch of slack.

However, let’s hope next year’s girls’ tournament — like the boys on Jan. 29 at Cape Girardeau — will run with trackwrestling.com.

The girls’ tournament was run off a different platform, and there were plenty of errors in scoring throughout the night.

Congratulations, Autumn, on your achievement during your senior season.