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High school boys basketball

Nathan Garthe of Francis Howell Central basketball. [Photo courtesy of Francis Howell Central Athletic Department]

Nathan Garthe of Francis Howell Central basketball. [Photo courtesy of Francis Howell Central Athletic Department]

It was the shot heard throughout the GAC South conference. Around Francis Howell Central these days, it is simply known as “The Shot.”

On Jan. 6, against Fort Zumwalt South, Francis Howell Central guard Nathan Garthe hit a half-court shot that he never got a chance to see go in.

Garthe, a 6-foot senior guard for the Spartans, picked off a mid-court pass with just under a second left and heaved a shot just beyond half court. The ball swished through the basket at the buzzer and sent the Spartans faithful into absolute bedlam as the Spartans claimed a 51-50 victory over the Bulldogs.

Garthe had no chance to see the shot go through as he was mobbed by a mass of students, players and fans.

“I actually was blocked by the crowd and a lot of other people creeping onto the court to see if it went in,” Garthe said.

Getting the game-winning shot was probably the last thing on Garthe’s mind prior to the end of the game. He had just two points on the night prior to the game-winning three over Zumwalt South.

“He had a tough night scoring the basketball but he does so many things for us defensively and that was a big three he hit,” Francis Howell Central coach Larry Anders said.

The win was huge for the Spartans in terms of district playoff implications because Howell Central and Zumwalt South are in the same district this postseason and having a head-to-head win gives the Spartans a potentially higher seed in the playoffs.

“It helps a lot because as long as we don’t crash and have a terrible record, we’re basically guaranteed to be seeded above them because of the head-to-head (win),”Garthe said.

Zumwalt South led 50-48 with 2.7 seconds left and the Bulldogs just needed to inbound the ball cleanly from their basket and time would run out. South inbounded the ball and Garthe became the man of the night and perhaps the Spartans’ season.

“I was there and just jumped and got it and threw it up,” Garthe said. “It was pretty cool. The whole student section just went crazy with everybody just jumping around.”

High school girls basketball

The first week of the New Year started in the right direction for Fort Zumwalt South girls’ basketball team.

Fort Zumwalt South girls basketball. [Photo courtesy of Fort Zumwalt South Athletic Department]

Fort Zumwalt South girls basketball. [Photo courtesy of Fort Zumwalt South Athletic Department]

Zumwalt South ventured to Parkway West for the EPR Classic Tournament on Jan. 3-6 and the Bulldogs finished a solid second place in the eight-team field, which included McCluer, Marquette, Parkway Central, Parkway West, Northwest-Cedar Hill and Troy Buchanan.

The Bulldogs opened the tournament on a strong note as they blasted Parkway West 49-21. South raced to a 22-13 lead at the half and never looked back in dispatching the Longhorns. Sofia Popp and Hannah Karl paced the Bulldogs with 19 and 8 points on the night.

One night later in the semifinals, second-seeded Zumwalt South got a stiffer challenge from Marquette as Abby Tiemann scored five of 10 points in the final five minutes of the fourth quarter to help the Bulldogs stop the Mustangs for a 50-46 semifinal win.

Zumwalt South led 38-27 after three quarters before Marquette rallied in the final quarter to close the gap.

Karl, who fouled out, led the Bulldogs with 16 points and Popp chipped in 12 points.

In a back-and-forth championship game on Jan. 6, the Bulldogs led by three heading into the fourth quarter and by as many 10 points, but the Stars tied it at 34-34 at the end of regulation to force overtime.

The Stars outscored Zumwalt South 10-9 in the extra period and the Bulldogs fell 44-43.

Karl, who was named to the all-tournament team, led the Bulldogs with 15 points. Popp and sophomore Hannah Warnecke were also named to the all-tournament team.

Missouri Media All-State Football Team

It takes a bevy of talented players to reach the Class 5 championship game in football and the Fort Zumwalt North Panthers were blessed with a highly skilled group of athletes during the 2016 campaign.

The Panthers had six players that were recently honored as first and second team players on the Missouri Media All-State football team.

Three Zumwalt North players were named to the first team offense as senior star quarterback Cade Brister, senior offensive lineman Alex Jetton and senior kicker Matt Bennick were recognized for their on-field success.

Brister scored 44 rushing touchdowns in his final season and threw for 1,458 yards passing. Bennick kicked a 27-yard field goal with time running out to lift the Panthers past Battle in the Class 5 semifinals for their championship game appearance in November.

Senior defensive back DeOndre Stockton was honored as a first team defense selection.

Junior Defensive lineman Eli Paraheim and sophomore linebacker Jaylin Vaughn were named to the second team defense.

College wrestling

Former Holt three-time state champion Colby Smith is off to a super start as a freshman wrestling at Division I Appalachian State University in North Carolina.

Smith is the only true freshman starting on the Mountaineers varsity and was off to a 20-7 mark just over halfway into the season.

“Colby has a few wins over nationally-ranked wrestlers and is doing quite well,” Holt coach Jason Moore said.

Smith, who wrestles at 135 pounds, has been competing with former Holt product and fellow Mountaineer Gavin Londoff this winter. Londoff wrestles at 157 pounds.

Middle school soccer

St. Joseph/Cottleville boys eighth-grade soccer team. [Photo courtesy of Coach Tim Trost]

St. Joseph/Cottleville boys eighth-grade soccer team. [Photo courtesy of Coach Brian Trost]

Nov. 20, 2016 will go down as one of the greatest days in the history of the St. Joseph/Cottleville boys’ soccer program.

St. Joe’s eighth-grade boys soccer team came away with the CYC open tournament championship, thanks to a 1-0 victory over St. Catherine Laboure on that day.

The championship win was the first-ever tournament championship won by an open team at the school in program history.

“The way it works in CYC, they usually have an open bracket and a closed [playoff] bracket and you have kids that have played select soccer, so it’s more competitive,” St. Joseph/Cottleville coach Brian Trost said. “I have had most of these boys since kindergarten, so it’s special for me because I’ve always known these kids had the heart and the talent to do it.”

St. Joe’s started its championship run off with a 2-0 shutout win over Mary Queen of Peace in a first round game on Nov. 17, at the Eagan Center in Florissant. Next up came a 5-0 shutout victory in the semifinal round on Nov. 19 over Christ-Prince of Peace at St. Sabina School in Florissant. That led into the championship game the next day against St. Catherine Laboure.

Cole Lemkemann scored a second half goal to put the Saints ahead.

“It was quite a battle, we scored in the second half with a lot of activity in front of the goal and Cole got a foot on it and put it in the net,” Trost said.

Saints defenders Drew and Will Nicholson and goalkeeper Chris Harris made it stand up to deliver the school’s CYC open tournament crown.

St. Joseph went 9-0-1 in the regular season last fall and did not give a goal in the CYC City-County playoffs.

“It was a team effort, everybody played well on the team and I’m just really happy they were able to pull it all together and make it happen,” Trost said.

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