While we weren’t able to get a preview article done for the boy’s side of the Walnut Grove tournament done, that didn’t stop us from checking out what the guy’s side had to offer. First up was top seeded Hollister vs 16 seed Walnut Grove. Next up was 8 Fordland vs 9 Niangua. Afterwards we caught 4 Verona vs 13 Pierce City. The night cap featured 5 Sparta and 12 Miller.
1 Hollister vs 16 Walnut Grove
Hollister came out on fire as they would hit a three on three of their first four possessions and four of their first five. From there on out it was all Hollister and Josh Barlow. Hollister was able to control just about every aspect of this game. Barlow was able to finish with 20 points in a convincing win.
Final: 77-29 Hollister
8 Fordland vs 9 Niangua
This was a fantastic game from start to finish. The lead never got over 8 for either team until Fordland until late. Caden Kindall was fantastic for Fordland and really gave them a chance late. The Eagles were able to really gain control for most of the fourth quarter. However, the Cardinals rallied late to erase an 11-point deficit late in the fourth to just three with about a minute left. Caden Kindall got an and-1 to go late to secure the hard-fought win. Niangua had three players in double figures, but Kindall’s 26 was enough to do it.
Final: 58-49 Fordland
4 Verona vs 13 Pierce City
Verona started fast as Jaiden Carrasquillo scored the first 7 points of the game. Then Jacob Stellwagen absolutely went off hitting about four threes from the volleyball line in consecutive possessions as he would score the next 22 points in part of a 28-0 lead from the Wildcats. Stellwagen and Carrasquillo would do the majority of the scoring but Verona as a team would hit 12 threes as a team in a great three-point exhibition. Carrasquillo and Stellwagen led the way with 25 and 23 respectively.
Final: 79-49 Verona
5 Sparta vs 12 Miller
This was a great game start to finish. Miller plays in a way that screams “Hoosiers” They want to wear you down defensively and use great defense as their best offense. Brendan Thom plays the Merle Webb role to a T as he was made for this kind of team. Their gameplan worked as they shut down Jacob Lafferty for the most part. Sparta was able to get some breathing room in the fourth quarter and finished the Cardinals late.
Team of the Day
Hollister. Yes, you can claim that Josh Barlow had just as crazy of a day and a stretch as Stellwagen. However, Hollister absolutely dominated the host school, and it didn’t take long jumping out to a huge lead. They never looked back as they dominated both ends of the court in every aspect in their 77-29 win. They truly looked like the unquestioned 1 seed.
Player of the Day
Any answer other than Jacob Stellwagen is wrong. He played the most insane four minutes of basketball I have seen in my 24 years of life on this earth. I already talked about his volleyball line threes but pair that with good defense and the fact that he completely took the pep out of the Pierce City step essentially three minutes into the game tells an even bigger story.