DE SOTO, Mo. – The Cape Central boys basketball team maintained constant pressure on North County leading scorer Hayden Sprenkel, and forced the Raiders to seek other options while facing a steady deficit on Saturday.
Chauncey Hughes shouldered the responsibility of guarding Sprenkel during the majority of the Fountain City Classic championship game, and the Tigers often applied a double team against him along the perimeter.
Sprenkel still finished with 21 points plus eight rebounds, but Cape Central had enough firepower to secure a 57-45 victory.
Cape Central (3-0) won the tournament for a second consecutive year after defeating Fox 68-29 last December.
Sprenkel recorded nine points during the final 5:30 in an attempt to reduce the Cape Central advantage, but the Tigers notched 16 points from the foul line in the fourth quarter to keep a comfortable lead.
Isiah Poirrier added seven of his nine points for North County (3-1) during the second half, and five other players finished with one basket.
The score was shaved to 42-38 after Sprenkel completed a 3-point play for his first basket of the second half and drained a shot from four feet beyond the arc on the following possession with 4:58 remaining.
Tyrus Reddin was perfect on his six free throws in the final period, and tallied a team-high 16 points in the win.
Austin Parker provided five points from the line in the fourth quarter, and contributed 14 points, including two thunderous one-handed dunks in transition. The 6-foot-5 post player used his size and athleticism to get near the rim and draw fouls.
The Tigers developed a 10-0 run on three consecutive turnovers by North County after Nick Parker recorded the first points of the game on a putback.
Cape Central maintained a strong transition offense off turnovers to secure a 15-11 advantage at the end of the first quarter.
Sprenkel quickly brought North County within 19-17 by sinking back-to-back shots from the perimeter less than two minutes into the second quarter.
The Raiders defense tightened and benefited from four traveling violations by Cape Central. But Reddin recorded three steals in the quarter, and drained a 3-pointer with three seconds left for a 29-22 halftime edge.
Although John Starkey broke a slow start to the third quarter with a 3-pointer that cut the difference to 29-25, the Tigers continued to force turnovers, and recaptured a 10-point advantage two minutes later on Parker’s second slam.
Cape Central committed its lone turnover of the third quarter on a bad pass while trying to hold for the last shot with just five seconds remaining. The Tigers ended with just six turnovers, while North County tallied 14.
Kinyon Hodges notched 13 points for the Tigers.
FIFTH PLACE GAME
Seckman 53, Ste. Genevieve 51
DE SOTO, Mo. – Senior guard Gabe Greminger reached 1,000 career points as Ste. Genevieve played down to the wire for a second straight evening.
The Dragons built a 12-point halftime lead in the Fountain City Classic fifth-place game, but could not continue that success as Seckman rallied back for a 53-51 victory.
The Jaguars surrendered single-digit points during each of the last two quarters, and outscored Ste. Genevieve 30-16 after trailing 35-23 at intermission.
Greminger tallied 14 points to pace Ste. Genevieve (1-2) in defeat. Chad Donze finished with 12 points, and Derek Morganthaler added eight more.