Caleb Riordan | Ameritime Sports Writer
The Festus Tigers led off the new season with a comfortable 73-51 win over the Northwest Lions. This is the third consecutive meeting of these two teams where the Tigers have come out on top, with Festus beating them twice last season. They boys were excited to be back in action.
“It was nice to be out on the court and getting back into the swing of things playing ball,” Cole Rickermann said. “I am really looking forward to seeing what this year has in store for our team. We have a lot of talent that can take us a long way if we take the right steps.”
The Tigers wasted no time showcasing that talent and jumping ahead in this one. Rickermann scored eight of Festus’ 17 points in the first quarter. They led 17-11 after one. They extended their lead even further in the second, as the Tigers blew up and outscored the Lions 22-13 in the quarter. Arhmad Branch made it a mission to get to the free-throw line. He went 3-4 from the stripe and added another basket which gave him five points in the second alone. Foul trouble for the Lions led to 15 Festus free-throw attempts in the half. The Tigers found themselves ahead 39-25 going into the third quarter.
True to form, the Tigers’ attack did not let up. Collin Weinhaus hit two of his four total three-pointers to start the half, helping lead the Tigers to a 16-point third quarter. The defense held Northwest to only 11 and Festus led by 20 going into the fourth. The Tigers narrowly outscored Northwest 18-16 in the fourth quarter to cap off the 73-51 win and start their season off 1-0.
“It felt great to be out there with the guys again,” Weinhaus said. “I felt like we did a lot of good things, but there are some areas that definitely need some work.”
Branch finished as the team’s leading scorer with 14 points. Weinhaus was just behind with 12 of his own. All four of his baskets were from three-point land. Rickermann finished with 11 points, while Connor Westhoff hit two threes and had ten points of his own.
“We kept the speed high and we played at our pace,” Head Coach Jason Therrell said. “We played hard and got a lot of our players in tonight who contributed just as much as the others.”
This was the first time in three seasons Festus started out the season 1-0. Twelve different Tigers saw the court in this win and eight of them were able to score. This was a comfortable win that saw a ton of Tigers contribute to the cause.
Festus will try and carry over their momentum into next Friday’s contest (12/4) against Park Hills Central.