Lutheran St. Charles girls basketball
It was joy and celebration time for the Lutheran St. Charles girls basketball team the first weekend of December.
For just the second time in the program’s history, the Cougars won the Lutheran Girls Basketball Invitational thanks to a 52-42 victory over Francis Howell Central in the championship game on Dec. 4.
It was a perfect way to cap off a strong three-game victory week as the Cougars, who last won the tournament in 2012, defeated Confluence Academy [73-22] on Nov. 30, and St. Charles West [50-40] on Dec. 2.
“It was special [to win it], coach Erin Luttschwager said. “You always want to win your own tournament and get off to a good start on the season. A good thing about it is you get to play a lot of different teams and competition, and that only helps you move forward throughout the year.”
After breezing to a win over Confluence in the first game, the Cougars had to handle a slightly tougher opponent in St. Charles West.
The Cougars got good nights from their dynamic duo of junior Kelsi Durkee and senior post Savannah Kluesner. Durkee scored 17 points. Kluesner scored 12 points and had five blocked shots.
Against Howell Central in the championship game, Kluesner had a huge night. The Miami [Ohio]-bound senior went off for a game-high 34 points and 15 rebounds. Lutheran St. Charles survived several second-half Howell Central runs by keeping its poise and hitting free-throws down the stretch. The Cougars hit 16 of 26 free-throws to secure the win.
“It was definitely an intense game,” Luttschwager said. “They really turned up the pressure on us in the second half. It really came down to us taking care of the ball [and] continuing to get good shots on offense; we made some big free-throws down the stretch.”
Francis Howell wins Troy tournament
The first week of the 2015-16 season could not have gone any better for the Francis Howell basketball Vikings.
Howell completed a three-game sweep on Dec. 4 at the Troy Invitational with a 68-52 victory over Fort Zumwalt South.
The Vikings defeated Hannibal [72-57] and Hazelwood East [77-71], before facing Zumwalt South in the title game.
“We are the first Howell team to win the tournament since 1984, so it was really nice for the kids to come together and win it,” coach Kurt Jacob said. “One of the great things about this team is that they don’t care who gets credit; they share the ball well and play well together.”
In the championship game, Howell knocked off perennial state contender and Gateway Athletic Conference Central power Fort Zumwalt South with a balanced effort that saw four Vikings players score double digits. Zack Reader scored 20 points to lead the way, while Logan Bush and Brett Elifritz pumped in 13 points each, and Clayton Ambrose added 11.
“We were down three at half and we came out in the second half and really played well… I was real happy with the defensive effort and the kids really followed the game plan,” Jacob said.
Off to a 3-0 start heading into the second week of December, the Vikings have six experienced players back in seniors Ambrose, Bush, Elifritz, Reader and Colton and Quentin White and appear primed for another strong winter.
“They share the ball, they play well together and the chemistry is really becoming a positive thing for us,” Jacob said.
Holt girls finish second in Troy Invitational
Although the Holt girls basketball team did not win the Troy Invitational Tournament, the first week of December was still a very good one for the Lady Indians.
Holt, which entered the second week of December at 2-1, fell just short of bringing home the tournament championship in losing to Columbia Hickman 48-44 in the championship game on Dec. 5.
Sophomore forward Michon Forrest and senior guard Meredith Adam led the Lady Indians cause with 16 and 8 points.
The Indians defeated St. Dominic on Dec. 1 and St. Charles on Dec. 3 in the opening two games of the tournament to qualify for the championship game.
High school boys wrestling
Fort Zumwalt South won the Westminster Christian Academy Invitational with 328 points. Marquette was sixth with 154.5. MICDS finished ninth with 92.5 and De Smet Jesuit was just behind in 10th with 91.5. Host Westminster was 12th with 42 points.
In the 132 third-place match, Marquette’s Joshua Galmiche beat St. Charles West’s Garrett Woods, 9-3.
In the 145 championship match, Fort Zumwalt South’s Austin Denson defeated Marquette’s Mitchell Boehlein, 6-4.