Bearcats, Spartans post wins @ Waltonville
Christopher holds off Patoka, hosts hammer Sandoval in Thurday action

WALTONVILLE - In the second game Thursday night of the Waltonville Round-Robin, the Christopher Bearcats jumped out to an early lead in the first few minutes of the game against Patoka and then closed the deal in the final few minutes from the free throw line.

However the minutes in between those two occurrences were pretty even and the Bearcats finally held off the hard working Warriors, 56-44 in the nightcap at Waltonville.

The pride of the Black Diamond Conference improved its overall record to 15-5 on the season and 2-0 in the five-team, round robin event.

Baskets by Joe Kretz and Nathan Burnett spurred an 11-2 run to start the contest as Christopher jumped on Patoka in the first few minutes to establish a lead.

A steal and subsequent lay in by Sidney Stephens just :03.1 before the first horn put Christopher in command 15-6 at the end of the first quarter.

The Bearcats were up 18-9 with 5:52 to go before the half when the upstart Warriors made their first move of the night.

Six-three senior Christopher Felchlia canned a short jumper on the move to cut the lead to seven.

The next two Christopher possessions resulted in turnovers with Patoka scoring points on each opportunity.

Mike Criner swiped an errant pass and went the length of the court for a lay in to make it 18-13 with 5:16 to go.

Justin Miller scored a lay up after another Bearcat miscue, which forced a Christopher timeout at 18-15.

However coming out of the break, Kretz got on a roll by scoring the teams next eight-points to push the Christopher lead back to double-digits.

He hit on a soft 10-foot baseline shot to get the lead to 20-15.

His next two attempts were 3-pointers from the same spot on the floor each time.

His second one from the left corner with :43 seconds before intermission gave the Bearcats some breathing room at 28-17.

However Patoka freshman Brandon Metcalf, who scored four points in the quarter, hit a short bank shot in the lane and Patoka entered the halftime break down just 28-19.

"We told the kids that this was not going to be the same Patoka team we watched the other night," said Christopher coach Jeff Johnston, referring to Patoka having four suspended players back in the lineup for this game. "We got out early on them but they showed a lot by coming back."

After Christopher's Matt Stallman and Patoka's Felchlia traded buckets, the 'Cats pounced on the Warriors with a big third quarter blitz, which was the same way that they started the game.

Kretz canned another 3-pointer, this time from the left side, and the lead was 33-21.

Stallman then scored in the paint while being fouled. His converted free throw ballooned the lead to 14 with 3:37 left in the third.

Jared Adams scored for Patoka, which stopped the Bearcats' run temporarily.

However three free throws by Stallman on two separate trips, and a put back by James Trogolo off of his own missed shot had Christopher breathing a bit easier at 40-24 with 1:16 to go in the frame.

Patoka did score another basket before the horn when Chad Barnes knocked down a short bank in the lane to make it 40-26 heading into the final quarter.

CHS appeared to have put away Patoka in the early part of the final quarter.

After Patoka's Criner scored a pair of baskets in transition to get the lead down to ten, Christopher's Kretz and Sidney Stephens scored on back-to-back trips to make it 46-32 with 4:52 to go.

But instead of sitting on the lead, the Bearcats made some poor offensive choices that allowed the Warrior to quickly slash seven points off of the lead.

Patoka sophomore Justin Miller scored a pair of baskets in that 7-0 blitz.

Barnes scored on a spinning 10-foot shot in the paint and Miller scored on a nice pass by Criner that made it 46-39 with 2:42 left.

But the Bearcats finally decided to play 'keep-away' from Patoka, which resulted in a parade to the free-throw line.

Christopher finished off the Warriors by hitting 10-of-13 from the charity line in the final 2:11 of the game.

"We had a couple of possessions in the fourth quarter where we didn't make good decisions, but we managed to make our free throws tonight in the fourth quarter." added Johnston.

Kretz topped all scorers with 15 points while Stallman and Trogolo added 13 and 11.

Patoka (4-15 overall, 0-2 in the tourney) got 12 points from Barnes and 10 from Miller.

"I am so proud of the way that the kids played tonight, they worked hard and didn't give up when we got down." said new Patoka coach Terry Hearn, who took over the team last week after Brian Cain resigned.

Christopher and Woodlawn hook up Friday night in what may prove to be the championship game as each team is 2-0.

Patoka will take on Sandoval Friday night as well.

The host Spartans broke open a close game with a 20-2 sprint at the end of the first quarter and the beginning of the second to post a win over Sandoval.

The Blackhawks kept the game close in the early going but the tourney hosts poured it on in the second and third quarters to keep its title hopes alive.

Sandoval sophomore Jason Bosler scored on a spinning move in close to the basket while being fouled by Waltonville's Matt Waldman. His free throw cut the Spartans lead to 16-13 with 1:23 to go in the first stanza.

But after Waltonville's Derek Lemke and Sandoval's Jonathan Hayes exchanged baskets, the Spartans turned up the defensive pressure.

Justin Williams got Waltonville cruising with a pair of field goals in the final minute.

His shot in from the left side of the free throw line with :04 left made the score 22-15 Spartans.

Waltonville increased the lead by putting in the next eight points with Williams collecting two more baskets.

His turn-around 15-footer from the corner found the bottom of the net and pushed the lead to 30-15 with 5:30 to go.

Sandoval senior Adam Hanks stopped the Spartan onslaught for a moment with bank shot in the paint.

However Lamke and Andy Kitowski scored four points each in the next minute and when the dust had settled on the Spartan scoring trail, the score was 38-17 and the rout was officially on.

Sandoval managed to cut the deficit to 40-24 at the half when Bosler hit again from the baseline.

But Waltonville's Jeff Dees canned a 3-pointer from the top of the key to finish another Spartan scoring spree and the score was 51-30 with 4:56 left in the third quarter.

Waltonville had its largest spread of the night at 59-32 near the end of the third quarter when Williams again scored on consecutive Spartan chances, both of which were easy fast break lay in shots.

Sandoval got no closer than 17 in the final eight minutes.

"We 'got after it' defensively tonight and our trapping defense was effective, especially when we made our first run at them." said Waltonville mentor Brandon Miller. "Williams, Lamke and Kitowski had good offensive games tonight. We got some easy baskets because we got 'up-and-down' the floor well."

Waltonville improved to 2-1 in the tournament and 10-10 overall with the triumph.

Williams topped Waltonville with 24 points while Lamke and Kitowski notched 18 apiece.

Sandoval got 14 points from reserve Jeremy Conrad along with nine and seven from Josh Telleson and Bosler. The loss dropped Sandoval to 2-16 overall and 0-2 in the tourney.

"These kids are learning and part of the learning process is to become more instinctive about how this game is played," said Sandoval coach Chad Harper. "We don't have that 'hoop' instinct yet but we will someday soon, I think."

Sandoval plays again Friday night against Patoka and then they will tackle Christopher Saturday night. Waltonville will challenge conference rival Woodlawn for the third time this season in Saturday night's tourney finale.