Bulldogs fall in championship game to Marquette

Waterloo’s Rick Weigand goes to the hoop in Saturday’s championship game against Alton-Marquette as Shane Lenhardt looks on. (Greg Stanek photo)

Waterloo gave Marquette all they could handle for three periods, but the Explorers pulled away in the fourth to take their third Columbia-Freeburg Holiday Tourney title in as many years.

The Bulldogs trailed 16-12 after a first period that was dominated by two players: Waterloo’s Ryan Aycock put up 10 points for his team while Marquette’s Deion Lavender scored 14.

“Lavender is a very good player,” Bulldogs coach C.J. Cruser said after the game. “We knew to have a chance we had to find a way to contain him.”

Waterloo stayed close with the Explorers until the final second of the third period, when Lavender hit an amazing 3-pointer at the buzzer to give his team a 7-point lead.

The ‘Dogs tried to get back in the game, but could not catch a break as several shots just would not drop.

This was Waterloo’s first trip to the championship game of the holiday tourney since 1972.

Aycock led the ‘Dogs with 17 points; Zach Schaab added 8 points.

In the third place game, Columbia fell to Freeburg. The Eagles trailed the Midgets 39-25 after three periods, but rallied in the fourth to make a game of it. The Eagles put up 26 points in the final period, but it was not enough as Freeburg went on to win, 59-51.

In Pinckneyville’s Duster Thomas Hoops Classic, Gibault lost to host team Pinckneyville in a tight early game, 56-52, but bounced back to win the third place game over Olney on Saturday night, 53-41.

To view and purchase photos from the tournament, click here.

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