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Friday Basketball: Central, Valle boys stay atop conference

STE. GENEVIEVE – The Central boys basketball team established an early lead on Friday night, and clinched a share of the MAAA Large-School championship.

Sophomore guard Jobe Bryant scored a game-high 18 points, and junior forward Kendall Horton added 12 as the Rebels defeated Ste. Genevieve 49-39 on the road.

Central (14-3, 4-0) was ahead 15-10 after one quarter and 29-18 at halftime. A home victory against Farmington on Tuesday would seal the outright conference title.

Aiden Boyer paced Ste. Genevieve (13-6, 2-2) with 11 points. Nick Plati had six assists and four steals while matching Rudy Flieg with eight points.

Valle Catholic 64, Kingston 61

CADET – Kingston carried a seven-point lead with 1:25 remaining in regulation before its hopes of clinching the first MAAA Small-School title in school history suffered a crippling blow.

Valle Catholic steadily climbed back from an early 16-point deficit, and overtook the Cougars 64-61 in overtime of a first-place Homecoming showdown on Friday night.

The Warriors trailed 36-22 at halftime, but swung momentum by holding Kingston to four points in the third quarter. The margin was eventually trimmed to 46-44.

Chase Fallert scored a game-high 26 points, and threw an outlet pass to Aiden Heberlie for the first basket of overtime as Valle Catholic (10-7, 4-0) claimed its first lead at 57-55.

Michael Okenfuss put back a missed free throw to make it 60-56, but Kingston (14-4, 2-1) responded as Giuseppe Ghirlanda tracked down a rebound and found Wyatt Jessen for a 3-pointer and foul.

The ensuing free throw missed, leaving the margin at 62-61, and Heberlie tacked on two insurance free throws before the Cougars released a tying 3-pointer that connected after the buzzer during a wild final sequence.

Heberlie finished with 22 points. The Warriors will host Arcadia Valley on Tuesday in pursuit of the outright conference championship.

Cody Yates tallied 21 points and Matt Nelson notched 18 for Kingston, which stormed out to a 12-0 lead on three baskets by Yates. The home team was on top 21-5 when the first quarter ended.

Nelson appeared to have rescued Kingston late in the fourth. His tip-in and subsequent block that preceded a driving layup by Yates restored a 52-44 advantage.

But a strong move by Heberlie after an offensive rebound fouled Nelson out with 2:18 remaining, and the Cougars could not hang on despite keeping a 54-47 edge with 1:24 on the clock.

Fallert drilled a 3-pointer following a steal by Heberlie, whose conventional 3-point play squared the game at 55-55 with 40 seconds left. A baseline shot by Kingston missed the rim as time expired.

Valle Catholic sank 23-of-34 free throws compared to 11-of-20 by Kingston.

Collin Sumpter added seven points for the Cougars, whose lesser chances of salvaging a title share require wins over Bismarck and West County plus an AV upset over Valle Catholic.

Valley 58, Bismarck 47

CALEDONIA – Colby Maxwell notched a game-high 20 points Friday night, and Valley turned Bismarck aside 58-47 for its first conference win while celebrating Homecoming.

With father Joe Jackson coaching on the opposite bench, Carter Jackson started hot with 13 of his 15 points occurring in the first quarter as Valley (9-10, 1-3) grabbed an 18-7 lead.

Bismarck (5-14, 0-4) narrowed the difference to 32-25 at intermission, but was outscored 13-5 during the third stanza.

Tanner Martinez headlined the Indians with 16 points. Gavin Butery scored nine on three 3-pointers while Daven Miller chipped in eight.

Valle Catholic guard Chase Fallert handles the basketball during fourth quarter action against West County on Friday, Jan. 7, 2022, in Leadwood.

Valle Catholic guard Chase Fallert handles the basketball during fourth quarter action against West County on Friday, Jan. 7, 2022, in Leadwood.

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