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Clutch Donze leads Ste. Gen. over West County

LEADWOOD – West County operated under the necessary deliberate pace to approach the precipice of a quality home victory while playing short-handed on Monday night.

Senior guard Chayton Akers chose an ideal moment for his lone basket of the game, swishing a 16-footer around a screen for the lead with 34 seconds to play.

Ste. Genevieve calmly executed a similar set on the next possession, and trusted an experienced senior to deliver an equally clutch shot with the outcome in serious doubt.

Chad Donze knocked down a jumper near the left elbow with 18 seconds on the clock, added insurance free throws after stealing a pass and the Dragons prevailed 43-40.

Eight lead changes occurred over the last 10 minutes, and Ste. Genevieve (6-2) overcame a poor 5-of-14 showing from the line by committing just six turnovers.

Donze scored nine of his 12 points during the fourth quarter, and trumped a basket by Bulldogs forward Hayden Roney by hitting a contested 3-pointer for a 39-38 edge with 1:31 left.

Roney posted game highs with 16 points and 10 rebounds in defeat, and drew a multiple defenders into the post as Akers connected on the designed play out of a timeout.

Logan Trollinger tallied nine points on three perimeter shots, and Christian Boyer provided eight points while matching Sam Stolzer with seven rebounds in the win. Donze dished out four assists.

The Dragons employed some sideline trapping after falling behind by six points in the fourth quarter, but the contest was otherwise ruled by patient defense from both clubs.

Ryan Retzer tapped in a third shot before the third quarter expired for a 26-25 West County edge, and drove end to end for a layup after Roney made a diving steal and alert pass from the floor.

Reserve Klayton Skiles struck from long range with 6:40 left, pushing the margin to 31-25. However, Ste. Genevieve retaliated with a pivotal 10-1 spurt.

Coy Flieg scored on an entry lob from Trollinger, whose 3-pointer on a kickout from Derek Morganthaler tied it. Stolzer finished a subsequent diagonal feed by Donze through contact for a 35-32 lead after the Dragons’ pressure induced a 10-second violation.

Logan Blair received an outstanding assist across the lane from Roney amid congestion, and later landed a short turn-around for the Bulldogs at 36-36.

Ste. Genevieve will turn its focus to the Central Christmas Tournament at the No. 7 seed. West County occupies the No. 12 line, but will first host Steelville on Thursday.

The Bulldogs battled without sharp-shooting senior Dake McRaven, who remains out due to illness but was a cheering presence from the bench.

Retzer compiled seven points, eight rebounds and four assists, and carried a bulk of the scoring duties with Roney throughout the evening.

The Dragons never trailed during a first half littered by numerous blown layups, and built their largest cushion at 18-9 on a difficult reverse putback by Boyer.

West County had the only two field goals over the last 4:40 of the second quarter, and drew closer on a 3-pointer by Tayton Hampton and driving layup from Roney.

Ste. Genevieve senior Chad Donze (2) sinks a go-ahead 3-pointer during the fourth quarter against West County on Monday night. He later knocked down the decisive mid-range jumper for the Dragons.

Ste. Genevieve senior Chad Donze (2) sinks a go-ahead 3-pointer during the fourth quarter against West County on Monday night. He later knocked down the decisive mid-range jumper for the Dragons.

West County senior guard Chayton Akers (13) handles the basketball against Ste. Genevieve sophomore Logan Trollinger (11) during second quarter action on Monday night.

West County senior guard Chayton Akers (13) handles the basketball against Ste. Genevieve sophomore Logan Trollinger (11) during second quarter action on Monday night.

Ste. Genevieve junior forward Christian Boyer (left) scores a reverse layup during third quarter action against West County on Monday night. 

Ste. Genevieve junior forward Christian Boyer (left) scores a reverse layup during third quarter action against West County on Monday night. 

West County junior Logan Blair (22) elevates for a shot over Ste. Genevieve senior Sam Stolzer (31) during third quarter action on Monday night.

West County junior Logan Blair (22) elevates for a shot over Ste. Genevieve senior Sam Stolzer (31) during third quarter action on Monday night.

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