Catch up with … Glendale Falcons (B)
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Monty Johal, Jordan Walton and the Glendale senior class has waited years for their turn to shine on the big stage at the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions and on Thursday they hung tough with nationally ranked La Lumiere of Indiana.
Glendale was within shouting distance throughout the first half, trailing 20-15 at the end of the first quarter, 48-35 at the half and trailed by 20-plus throughout the second half.
However, the Falcons got several strong individual performances from a senior class that has done at lot at the high school level throughout their time at Glendale.
Johal, a 6’3 2018 shooting guard, recently became Springfield Public Schools’ all-time leading scorer, surpassing the previous total set by Doial Green-Beckham in a runaway win on Tuesday at Camdenton where he poured in 41 points. On Thursday he went for 27 points, five rebounds and three assists, but they didn’t come easy.
“They (La Lumiere) are really physical, they play great defense and teams around here, you don’t have five Division I guys guarding you,” Johal said. “That is hard to play against — their length and width was just unbelievable.”
On Thursday, 2018 shooting guard Jaxon Davis poured in 20 points for Glendale and went 6 for 10 from 3-point range, while Walton, a 6’0 2018 guard, added 12 points, three rebounds and a pair of assists.
“It was definitely cool playing in front of all of these people,” Walton said. “Sitting and watching the game before and seeing all the people pour in continuously and realizing that I was about to go out and be a part of that … and then during warm-ups looking around and seeing all the people and all the faces, it was definitely cool — especially growing up watching this tournament for years.”
Glendale entered the game on a roll, having won eight straight games, including tournaments at Mexico and Greenwood, Ark. Now 9-3 overall this season, the Falcons have put up some big scoring games this season and become known for their outside shooting.
“We’ve talked about that a lot, outside of Ozark and maybe Webster Groves, we’re not going to see anybody at the caliber that is here right now,” McTague said. “If we can compete, even in small increments our guys are coming out of this game confident.
“They know we didn’t play as well as we can, but they also know who we just played against. They have high major kids and we are a bunch of 5’10, 150-pound kids. It wasn’t perfect, but we had some good spots here and there and gave ourselves a chance to hang around for a while. I wish we would have made more shots and got a couple more stops.”
La Lumiere had a significant size advantage in the paint, especially, where 6’9 2019 forward Isaiah Stewart went for 22 points and 16 rebounds.
“They were super physical and super long,” Walton said. “There were five Division I guys on the court at any given time, but I was kind of proud of us, we had a season-low in turnovers (7), but their physicality definitely began to wear on us though.
“That’s not something we will see again around here unless we make it to the Final Four. We definitely learned some lessons today.”
Glendale will face Wasatch Academy of Mount Pleasant, Utah, in the consolation round at 4:30 p.m. on Friday.
“Playing in this tournament is an honor so taking any game for granted would be stupid,” Walton said. “We’re excited and we’ll think about this game for 15 minutes after the game and then we’re focused on the next one and take it one game at a time.”