Sesser-Valier captures Conrad Allen title
Red Devils overcome sluggish play, edge Cisne 56-54

@ The Conrad Allen Holiday Tournament
WAYNE CITY - The Sesser-Valier Red Devils came into Monday night's title game at the Conrad Allen Tourney as the prohibited favorites to take home the championship of the 49th Annual event.

However someone forgot to tell the Cisne Lions that they were not supposed to be in this game.

In a contest that saw 12 lead changes and six ties, Sesser managed to hang on for a 56-54 win to claim the title.

The Red Devils did corral Cisne's 'slinging sophomore' Drew Glover, holding him to just seven points on the night.

However this 5-11 guard still managed to become a factor late in the contest and played the role as assist man very well on this night.

His two baskets late in the fourth quarter helped get his team close and his running one hander that would have sent the game into overtime fell just short as time expired.

"We didn't play very well but it is a win and I guess you have to look at it that way," said Sesser-Valier coach Rick Metcalf after the contest. "We really struggled out there tonight but to win a game when you don't play your best says something about this team. The kids dug down deep and won the game at the end."

One would get a sense early in this contest that the Red Devils didn't bring their A-game to the court on this night and the Lions took advantage of the opportunity, especially early on.

Cisne scored the first two baskets of the game on nice assists by Glover. He hit Lance Endsley with a nice pass in the lane for the first basket of the contest.

On the next trip, after coming up with a steal, Glover whipped a 'no-look' pass to Shane Gill for a lay up and a 4-0 Cisne advantage.

Sesser got its first lead of the game when Alex Kramer hit a pair of free throws at the 3:46 mark to make it 6-5.

Tony Martin scored in close on a pass from Bryan Galloway to push the lead to three.

But Cisne's Boyd would score again in the paint, this time while being fouled by Ryan Ptero. His free throw tied the score at eight.

Kramer hit his second shot of the night on the next Red Devil trip down the floor, and the 3-point play parade continued as Jake Tannahill fouled him.

His made charity made it 11-8 S-V.

Endsley got loose in the lane and scored once again while being fouled, this time by Kramer, and Endsley knotted things once again at 11.

So for the next trip down the floor, the Red Devils looked for a 3-point shot and they got one as Jared Shelton stepped out and canned a 20-footer to give Sesser the lead once again.

However the Lions were not to be outdone, as Luke Smith nailed a 3-pointer to even things at 14 after eight minutes of play.

Sesser finally put together a nice run in the middle part of the second quarter. Galloway hit a soft running shot in the lane to give Sesser-Valier a 19-18 lead.

Then on consecutive offensive opportunities, Matt Carpenter scored two baskets.

His first shot found the bottom of the basket from 10 feet out. His next bucket came after he made a steal. His fast-break lay in gave the Devils a 23-18 advantage.

After another quick turnover, Cisne burned its first timeout at 3:36.

The Lions managed to run a play that got Smith a wide open look on the left side of the court on their next trip. He knocked down the 20-foot bomb to cut the margin to 23-21 and Sesser-Valier decided to talk things over with a timeout at 2:57.

After a Sesser turnover, Cisne tied things again with Smith shaking loose from his defender underneath the basket. Glover found him with a 'back door' pass and his lay up evened things at 23.

Kramer scored in close to the basket with 1:52 left before halftime.

But Cisne would score the rest of the first half points, with Endsley and Boyd getting open looks in the lane.

Endsley was fouled on his chance but he failed to convert the 3-point play. Boyd hit his shot in the lane after receiving a pass from Gill.

Sesser worked the ball at the end of the half but Carpenter missed a shot underneath the basket just before the horn.

These Lions were off and running in the second half.

Making its biggest run of the night, Cisne pushed out to an eight-point advantage.

Boyd was the main man on this Cisne run, scoring six points.

With Sesser-Valier switching to a zone defense on a few trips to open the second half, Boyd found a open spot along the right baseline. His first jumper found the range to make it 31-27 Lions.

His second shot on the next possession came on a falling away offensive rebound put-back.

The final score of the run came by Boyd again, as he took a nice pass from Glover and his shot pushed the Lions advantage to 37-29 and forced another S-V timeout with 2:58 left in the third.

The next few minutes of the game saw the Red Devils awaken from their scoring slumber and take the lead before the quarter ended on a 12-3 scoring spree.

Galloway and Shelton dialed long distance on consecutive 3-point attempts to cut into the Lions advantage.

Then Galloway scored in the lane while being fouled by Endsley. His free throw got the Devils within one at 37-36.

Galloway would then come up big on the defensive end with a steal. He found Carpenter on the fly heading to the basket and his shot put Sesser-Valier back on top.

Cisne got the lead back with Glover scoring his first points of the night while being fouled on a running one handed shot in the lane. His free throw gave Cisne a 40-38 lead.

But just before the horn, Galloway shook loose for a 3-point attempt and his shot fell threw the net to give S-V the lead heading into the final frame.

At this point, it was the Red Devils who looked the fresher of the two teams.

Once again Galloway scored from downtown, this time from the left side to give the Devils some breathing room.

After a Cisne turnover and subsequent timeout, Shelton found Martin open on the left block and his short shot attempt banked home for a six-point margin.

Galloway struck again, this time driving the lane to lay one in and Sesser-Valier had a comfort level at 48-40 with 6:11 to play.

Endsley managed to make 2-of-4 free throw attempts in his next two opportunities.

Glover made a steal near half-court but his lay in attempt missed the mark.

Galloway again scored in the paint, this time tipping in his own miss to make it 50-44.

However Cisne wasn't done quite yet. Glover hit a bank shot in the paint and reserve Derrick Simpson hit on a rebound shot after a Glover miss to cut the lead to 50-48.

Galloway scored his third bucket in a row for the Red Devils, this time on a 'scoop' shot in the lane to make it 52-48.

Cisne would score the next four points, two by Boyd on a short jumper on the baseline and a pair of free throws by Endsley with 1:37 remaining to tie the game at 52-all.

However coach Metcalf would get some needed help on a couple of offensive trips to get the lead back.

With Sesser working the ball in the offensive end, a near turnover resulted in an easy basket in the paint.

A hustling Jake Morhet reached over the end line and tipped the ball back into play in the paint, where it went right to Martin who put it up and in to make it 54-52.

After Cisne missed on its next opportunity, Sesser-Valier managed to play 'keep away' from the Lions for :28 seconds. Morhet was fouled by Glover and he made both free ones to make it 56-52.

Cisne had a golden opportunity to tie this game but couldn't get the final shot to fall.

Endsley scored in the paint while being fouled by Carpenter.

But he missed the foul shot. After getting the rebound, the Lions fouled Shelton and his subsequent free throw attempt was off the mark.

Cisne had time to get a shot off, but some confusion in the backcourt cost the Lions some time and Glover's shot fell just short.

Bryan Galloway led Sesser-Valier (8-3) in scoring with 19 points. Carpenter added 11 and Shelton pitched in nine in the low scoring contest.

Boyd and Endsley topped Cisne (9-2) with 15 and 13 each.

These two teams put six players on the all-tournament team.

Galloway, Shelton and Carpenter for the Red Devils. Cisne's Boyd and Glover joined them on the team.

Others on the squad included Joey Ullery and Brad Bane of Webber Township; Nathan Loker of Wayne City; Ryan Murrell of Grayville; Jordan Wheat and Joe Murphy of Edwards County; and Miles Vaughn of Thompsonville.

Wayne City made a big fourth quarter comeback to take the lead 58-56 with :04.4 seconds left when Eric Collins scored in the paint while being fouled by Heath Copeland.

His made free throw appeared to have the given the host school the third place game.

But WC's J.D Loker accidentally fouled Copeland on the ensuing inbounds play.

His two free throws sent the game into overtime.

In the extra period, the Lions outscored the Indians 10-5 to pick up the win.

Michael Snidle led Edwards County with 14 points while Jordan Wheat added 11.

Adam Minor led Wayne City with 16, while Nathan and J.D. Loker added 12 each.

The Trojans used a 16-8 edge in the first quarter to get the lead and held on to beat conference rival Grayville (2-9) in the fifth place game.

All-tournament selection Joey Ullery topped Webber (6-5) with 15 points while Brad Porter pitched in 10.

Grayville's Ryan Murrell led all scorers with 16 and teammate Tyler Howell added 11.