The Waterloo High School boys basketball team is playing winning basketball for the first time in several years.
The last time the Bulldogs were above .500 during a season was back in March 2014.
With wins in four of the past six games, Waterloo sits at 4-3 on the season entering Saturday’s home match against Roxana.
Unfortunately, the ‘Dogs lost to Mascoutah on Tuesday, 64-36, despite 19 points from Ty Lenhardt.
Waterloo looked to be on its way to another loss at home on Thursday, trailing Highland by eight points at halftime. But Waterloo surged back in the second half and pulled out a 50-47 win on a three-pointer by Dustin Crawford at the buzzer.
“Our success can be attributed mostly to our commitment to the defensive end,” first-year Waterloo head coach Scott Spinner assessed.
Last Thursday, Waterloo pulled off a 54-51 victory at home against Jerseyville. It was Spinner’s first win as a Bulldog, and he was presented the game ball.
Waterloo led 37-26 after three quarters and held on late for the win. Logan Calvert led the ‘Dogs with 15 points and nine rebounds. Dustin Crawford added 12 points and seven rebounds. Lenhardt contributed 11 points (9-for-11 on free-throws) and seven rebounds.
On Friday, the Bulldogs downed Civic Memorial at home, 55-40. Crawford was the high-point man for Waterloo in that win, scoring 15 points.
Next up was a Saturday showdown with cross-town rival Gibault. Waterloo posted an impressive 51-32 victory over the Hawks.
Gibault was held to 30.6 percent shooting from the floor, including 1-for-9 from three-point range.
Up seven at halftime, the Bulldogs pulled away from the Hawks courtesy of a 12-2 run to begin the third quarter.
Calvert, a 6-foot-5 junior, was a strong presence inside for Waterloo, scoring 18 points and pulling down nine rebounds. Lenhardt (who is shooting 43 percent from three-point range this season) added 10 points.
“We knew the rivalry would generate emotion and intensity in our guys, and I think we did a good job of taking that emotion and channeling it into the game plan,” Spinner said.
Spinner added that due to the snow last week, his team played four straight games without a true practice.
“The players have shown an ability to take information from our scouting reports, film sessions and walk-throughs and apply those strategies in the game,” he said. “That’s a very tough task without having practices, so we are very proud of them for doing it.”
Waterloo dropped a 51-36 contest at home Monday night against a tough Triad bunch. The Bulldogs committed 23 turnovers in the loss.
Prior to Saturday’s loss, Gibault (2-5) dropped a Friday night home game to Marquette, 43-37. Sophomore Kameron Hanvey led the Hawks with 17 points.
The Hawks escaped with a 55-51 win at Wood River last Wednesday. Gibault led 35-22 after three quarters but had to hold on late for the narrow road victory. Ryan Bollinger scored 22 points to lead Gibault. His younger brother, Ian Bollinger, added 12 points.
The Hawks played Tuesday at Mater Dei, falling 77-39. Gibault trailed 37-11 at halftime. Ryan Bollinger scored 14 points.
Gibault plays at Red Bud on Friday and hosts Granite City on Saturday.
Columbia (2-5) has dropped fifth straight following a 2-0 start. The latest loss on Thursday night came in heartbreaking fashion as the Eagles lost at home, 53-51, to Okawville.
Columbia led 35-28 at halftime, but the Rockets clamped down on defense in the second half to pull even late. Trailing by a basket with the ball in the final minute and working the clock for a final shot, an Okawville steal and layup gave the Rockets the win. To see photos from the game, click here.
Jonah James led the Eagles with 20 points, including six three-pointers. Jackson Holmes added 12 points and 10 rebounds. Columbia attempted just two free-throws all game, both misses.
The Eagles play at Salem on Saturday.
Columbia dropped a home contest last Thursday night to unbeaten Breese Central, 40-37. The Eagles got off to a flying start, leading 13-4 after one quarter. But the Cougars clawed back and took control of the contest from there. Holmes led Columbia with 17 points and seven rebounds. James added 12 points.
On Saturday, Columbia lost 57-45 in double overtime at Carlyle. Holmes again led the Eagles with 13 points and eight rebounds. Columbia shot just 33 percent from the floor in that loss, including 6-for-27 from three-point range.
Last Monday, Columbia lost 63-45 at Okawville. The Eagles trailed 31-19 at halftime. Dylan Murphy, a 6-foot-3 sophomore, led the Eagles with 17 points, including four three-pointers. Holmes added 15 points and nine rebounds.
Columbia played at Wesclin last Tuesday, falling 55-37. Holmes was held to just six points before fouling out.
Valmeyer is 5-2 on the season following 62-20 win at Dupo on Thursday. The Pirates closed out the game on an 18-0 fourth quarter run. Henry Weber led Valmeyer with 22 points and 12 rebounds.
The Pirates also won 59-37 over Lebanon on Tuesday following Monday’s loss at Steeleville, 60-31. Weber was the high-point man for the Pirates on Monday, scoring 13 points.
On Saturday, Valmeyer won 54-40 at New Athens. Jacob Rowold led the way with 20 points and seven rebounds. Nathan Touchette turned in a 14-point, 12-rebound, five-steal performance.
Gannon Birkner scored 16 points to lead New Athens.
Last Thursday, Valmeyer lost 47-41 at Freeburg. The Pirates trailed 37-26 after three quarters but outscored the Midgets 15-10 in the final frame to make it a close outcome.
Weber scored 14 points and Rowold added 13 points for the Pirates, who travel to Marissa on Saturday.
Dupo (0-4) lost 53-16 to Steeleville on Thursday. The Tigers trailed 30-3 at halftime.
On Monday, Dupo dropped a 57-23 contest to New Athens. Freddie McMahon led the Tigers with 10 points.
Birkner led New Athens again with 19 points.
Red Bud (3-2) lost 44-29 at Steeleville on Saturday. Mason Ferrell, a 6-foot-9 senior, led the Musketeers with nine points.
Red Bud won convincingly over Marissa on Thursday, 45-25. Ferrell and Nic Fehr each scored 10 points for the Musketeers.