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Indians Defeat LaCrosse; Advance to Sub-State Championship

It was a bit of struggle, but the Indians found ways to earn three runs of six or more points in the second half to defeat a strong and aggressive LaCrosse team in the semi-final contest of the Sub-State Tournament. After being tied at the end of the first two quarters, the Indians outscored the Leopards 36-20 in the second half to win 57-41. Tate Busse scored 13 points in the final period to lead the second-half offensive charge.

The first half was closely battled having four ties and six lead changes; neither team could establish more than a four-point advantage. The Leopards scored first on a left-wing trey but the Indians answered with three quick scores; a coast-to-coast drive by Brock Waters, a left-wing trey by Tate Busse (assist Jeremiah Neitzel), and a Waters score on a pass from Busse. The flurry led to a LaCrosse time-out at 5:05. After the time-out, LaCrosse's Clayton Herdman scored from the high post on a banking shot. Taylor Rogers followed with a basket on an assist by Quinton Cravens. At 1:59, Herdman tied the game at 9-all with two more high-post baskets. After two Cravens free-throws, a right-corner trey by Jordan Riedel gave the Leopards their first lead since the opening basket. Dalton Straub's free-throw tied the contest at 12-all after one quarter of play.

St. Francis opened the second period with a driving score by Brock Waters. Riedel answered with a top-of-the-key trey. The back-and-forth action would continue as the teams traded baskets, turnovers, and strong aggressive play. Tate Busse's steal-two returned the lead to St. Francis, but neither team scored again until the 3:32 mark when Herdman's right-corner jumper placed LaCrosse at a 16-18 advantage. Dalton Straub soon answered with jumper above the the free-throw line, and Quinton Cravens' assist led to a Brady Dinkel baseline score. With 1:43 remaining in the first half, Garrett Ryersee (5' 10" senior) added an offensive rebound (plus one) tying the game at 21-all. Neither team scored in the remainder of the quarter. The Indians had struggled a bit due to eleven first half turnovers and well as the aggressive defense and rebounding exhibited by the Leopards.

Kaden Trower (6' 2" junior) scored in the post early in the third period. On the next possession, Tate Busse tied the game. After a LaCrosse time-out at 6:09, the Indians retook the lead on a shot in the lane by Brock Waters. Trower's post basket followed, tying the contest for the last time (25-25). An assist by Taylor Rogers to Busse on a fast-break gave the Indians the lead for good. The Indians were trying to pickup the pace of the contest, and LaCrosse called another time-out at 4:11. After returning to the floor, St. Francis added a left-corner jumper by Jeremiah Neitzel and another fast break basket by Quinton Cravens (assist Busse) extending the lead to 31-25. The six-point run had given the Indians a bit of breathing room. The Leopards were having difficulty with the increased pace of the game. After a Herdman score, Waters, dribbled coast-to-coast before being fouled and adding a free-throw. The addition of a Cravens post basket moved the score to 34-27 establishing the largest margin in the game. The third quarter closed with the Indians leading 34-30 and the game's outcome still very much in doubt.

The Indians were going to battle to the very end. A right-wing trey by Riedel opened the final period and moved the Leopards within one (34-33). The Indians responded with an eight-point run including a right-baseline jumper by Quinton Cravens (assist Taylor Rogers) and a drive, a jumper, and two free-throws by Busse. The run increased the Indians' advantage to 42-33. At the 4:25 mark, Trower ended the St. Francis run with a post basket. Brock Waters scored for the Indians on the next possession triggering an 11-point run. During the run, Rogers added two free-throws and Busse scored 5 points on a steal-two and three-charity tosses. The final basket in the run came on a nice assist by Busse on a cut to the basket by Waters. The Leopards had used two  time-outs during the run, but the Indians' dominating play moved the score board to 53-35 effectively sealing the win. In the final minute and a half, Busse added another basket and Rogers drew a charge (his second of the game). The Indians limited turnovers to four in the second half and did an outstanding job of rebounding against the excellent rebounding Leopards. The Indians advanced to the Sub-State Championship game with a 57-41 win over a highly-competitive LaCrosse team.

LaCrosse was led in scoring by 6' 3" senior Jordan Riedel with 11 and 6' 4" senior Clayton Herdman with 10. Herdman scored 8 of his 10 points in the first half. The Leopards made 5 of 10 from the stripe.

St. Francis received 22 points from Tate Busse (13 in the 4th period) and 13 from Brock Waters. Quinton Cravens added 8, Taylor Rogers 4, Brady Dinkel 3, Dalton Straub 3, and Jeremiah Neitzel 2. The Indians were called for 12 fouls and capitalized on 11 of 16 from the line.

Author's note: LaCrosse's Kaleb Sherman (5' 11" senior) is the son of former St. Francis graduate Russell Sherman.

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St. Francis 100 College Street St. Francis, KS  67756

Superintendent's Office: 785-332-8182 High School Office: 785-332-8153 Elementary Office: 785-332-8143

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