Bulldogs edge Eagles in thriller
There was an electric atmosphere in the Waterloo High School gym last Tuesday night as the Route 3 rivalry between the Waterloo and Columbia boys basketball teams was re-energized.
The Bulldogs and Eagles did not disappoint those in attendance, battling down to the wire. In the end, Waterloo emerged victorious, 59-55.
The theme was First Responders Night, as the student cheering sections for both schools dressed in patriotic red, white and blue and gave a standing ovation at halftime to several police, fire department and EMS personnel in attendance.
Waterloo came out strong and took a 24-16 lead into the locker room after two quarters, sparked by a Ty Lenhardt three-pointer at the halftime buzzer.
The Bulldogs built on this positive momentum, extending their lead to 28-18 early in the third quarter before the Eagles called a timeout.
Columbia rallied to close out the third quarter, and Waterloo’s lead entering the fourth quarter was 39-33.
Waterloo seemed to have the game in the bag up 51-43 with 1:47 remaining in the contest, but Columbia made some clutch shots and created a few turnovers late.
The ‘Dogs clung to a miniscule 56-55 lead with just 12.1 seconds remaining. Fortunately, Waterloo made critical free throws in the waning seconds.
Waterloo’s Rodrigo Lopez-Tercero, a 6-foot-5 sophomore, came off the bench to make two clutch free throws and ice the game.
Ian Schrader, a senior, led the Bulldogs with 19 points on the night. The star of the game for Waterloo was 6-foot-7 freshman Alex Stell, who finished with 15 points and 18 rebounds.
“Each game, he gets better and better,” Waterloo head coach Allen Seidle said of Stell. “He has an opportunity to be a high-level college type of player if he keeps working at it. It’s really fun watching and getting to work with him everyday.”
Glenn Powers, a senior, led the Eagles with 19 points and five assists.
“It was a total team effort,” Seidle said after the win. “We were down several key players and multiple guys stepped up. One of the keys we stressed was to play inside/out. When we are attacking and getting post touches, that is when we are at our best. Everyone contributed and played tough. Columbia is an extremely good and talented team. We knew we had to play a solid game.”
Up next for the ‘Dogs was a home contest against Mississippi Valley Conference leader Mascoutah. Waterloo lost 73-54.
Logan Calvert turned in a 20-point performance to pace Waterloo. Lenhardt added 11 points and Stell chipped in with 10 points and eight rebounds.
The Bulldogs (15-11) picked up a solid MVC win Monday night at home, 49-47, over Jerseyville. Waterloo trailed by four points at halftime but willed itself to victory.
Schrader scored 18 points and both Lenhardt and Stell each scored 13 points.
Waterloo hosted Granite City on Tuesday, falling 67-51. Waterloo fell behind 18-4 after the first quarter and couldn’t recover.
Waterloo hosts Civic Memorial on Friday and will battle Marion in the Benton Shootout this Saturday.
Lenhardt leads the ‘Dogs in scoring at 16 points per game, followed by Calvert at 11.8 points per game.
Columbia (19-7) responded with strong victories following the loss to Waterloo.
Last Wednesday, the Eagles won 66-37 over Wood River. Columbia built up a 23-5 lead after the first quarter.
Jack Steckler led Columbia with 19 points, followed by Dylan Murphy with 17 points and eight rebounds. Dominic Voegele added 14 points.
On Friday, the Eagles won 61-44 at home over Salem. An 18-10 second quarter run was key in the victory.
Murphy led the way for Columbia with 26 points and six rebounds. Powers scored 13 points and Steckler added 12 points.
Columbia hosted Civic Memorial on Tuesday, winning 64-40. Murphy scored 19 points and Steckler added 17 points.
Columbia plays this Friday at Gibault.
Murphy, a junior, leads the Eagles in scoring this season at 15.6 points per game, followed by freshman Sam Donald at 10.4 points per game.
Gibault (16-7) split a pair of recent contests.
The Hawks dropped a 51-45 contest at Freeburg last Tuesday despite leading 25-24 at halftime.
Kameron Hanvey and Jude Green each scored 13 points for Gibault.
On Saturday, Gibault posted a 58-42 win at home over Red Bud. The Hawks led 20-10 after the first quarter, bolstered by two straight three-pointers from Green.
Gibault shot 7-for-14 from three-point range for the night.
Hanvey and Kaden Augustine each scored 18 points for Gibault. Hanvey added five steals.
Green scored 10 points, grabbed six rebounds and made four steals.
Following Friday’s rivalry showdown against Columbia, the Hawks play Saturday at Okawville and Monday at Valmeyer.
Augustine leads Gibault in scoring this season at 14.2 points per game, followed by Hanvey at 10.5 points per game. Hanvey also averages 2.5 steals per contest.
Valmeyer (2-19) lost 62-41 at home to Marissa on Friday. The Pirates trailed 31-15 at halftime.
Vincent Oggero led Valmeyer with 11 points.
Last Wednesday, Valmeyer dropped a 72-40 contest to Father McGivney. Oggero again scored 11 points to lead the way.
Following Monday’s game against Gibault, Valmeyer hosts Dupo on Feb. 11.
Oggero and Jordan McSchooler are leading the Pirates in scoring this season at about nine points per game.
Dupo (4-13) lost 62-32 to KIPP St. Louis on Monday.
On Friday, the Tigers posted a 55-50 victory over Lebanon. AJ Williams scored 17 points and Chase Mantz scored 14 points to lead Dupo.
The Tigers play Thursday at Maryville Christian and Friday at New Athens before hosting Sparta on Monday.