PARK HILLS – Ste. Genevieve survived a powerful push from Potosi during the closing minutes Monday in a tight MAAA Tournament boys quarterfinal game.
Trenton Cain recorded his third block and proceeded to drop in a layup on the other end for his seventh straight point to create a 46-45 lead for the Trojans with 2:30 to play.
Sam Stolzer answered with the go-ahead baseline jumper for Ste. Genevieve, which had lost both Drew Toombs and Chad Donze to head injuries earlier in the action.
However, the Dragons forced turnovers on three of the next four possessions, and Gabe Greminger was perfect on four free throws in the last two minutes to help seal a 53-46 triumph. They redeemed a previous 87-82 road loss.
Ste. Genevieve (8-13) advanced to play top seed Central in the semifinals on Friday. No. 4 Potosi (8-12) will face Fredericktown in the fifth place bracket on Thursday at Mineral Area College.
Cain recorded 11 of his game-high 22 points during the comeback effort by Potosi in the fourth quarter. But the Trojans ended just 9-of-22 from the free-throw line, while Ste. Genevieve went 6-of-8.
Greminger paced Ste. Genevieve with 12 points, while Stolzer posted 10 points plus six rebounds. Camden Roe and Derek Morganthaler and Donze each chipped in six points.
The Dragons maintained a slight advantage through a majority of the opening period, as Greminger displayed flashy passes to set up teammates near the basket.
Noah Jacobsen cut into the deficit with back-to-back transition layups for the Trojans late in the first period, then assisted Garrett Wilkinson on a 3-pointer to take a 13-10 edge with 15 seconds on the clock.
Jacobsen notched eight points and six rebounds for Potosi, while Wilkinson recorded seven points plus six rebounds.
Ste. Genevieve benefited on multiple miscues by Potosi, and generated a 9-0 run midway through the second quarter to capture a 22-13 lead.
Stolzer dropped in a pair from the foul line with two seconds on the clock for a 29-26 edge at halftime.
The Dragons produced a 7-1 stretch during the first four minutes of the third quarter to claim a 36-27 advantage. They continued to capitalize on Potosi mistakes to lead 42-33 heading into the final period.
Central 72, Fredericktown 49
PARK HILLS – The Central boys basketball team erupted in the third quarter to outscore Fredericktown 31-16, and created separation in a the opening quarterfinal contest of the MAAA Tournament on Monday.
Brent Wagner drained four of his six 3-pointers, and posted 17 of his game-high 23 points during the third period for the Rebels, who continued attacking and pulled away from the Blackcats 72-49.
Top-seeded Central (14-8) will face No. 5 Ste. Genevieve a semifinal game on Friday. Fredericktown (6-16) fell into the fifth-place bracket to battle Potosi on Thursday.
The Rebels held a slim 25-21 advantage at halftime after Will Hopkins stole a ball near midcourt and dropped in a transition layup as time expired.
The Blackcats attempted to force the ball inside to Seth Miller following the intermission, but several passes were either intercepted or tipped out of bounds. Miller posted 10 points and two blocks.
Central denied passing lanes to spark a potent transition attack, and gained a 39-29 lead midway through the third quarter on a pair of free throws by Breven McMullen.
McMullen recorded 22 points plus three blocks for Central. Holden Mayberry paced all players with 10 rebounds, while Keandre Mesa added seven.
The Rebels finished 9-of-16 at the stripe, and the Blackcats shot 11-of-15.
Logan Winkelman kept Fredericktown close early, and scored the team's only four points throughout the entire first quarter. He ended with 21 points and five rebounds.
The Rebels were ahead just 7-4 at the end of the first period after the first 3-pointer by Wagner snapped a four-minute scoreless streak with 50 seconds on the clock.
The Blackcats battled to induce three lead changes during the second quarter, but struggled to maintain possession against forceful pressure.