The Festus Tigers are back on a roll and ran through the Farmington Knights and the DeSoto Dragons this week for their third consecutive win. The Boys Varsity Basketball squad took down the Knights on Tuesday 81-53 before pummeling the Dragons 73-33 on Friday to improve to 14-4 on the season.
The Tigers were hot from the jump in the game against Farmington, as they leapt out to a 15-11 lead after the first quarter. Then, using the hot hand of Cole Rickermann from downtown, they ripped off 20 points in the second and held the Knights to 11 once again. The 35-22 halftime lead was highlighted by a trio of deep balls from beyond the arc by Rickermann, and set the stage for a big second half.
The Knights had their best quarter after the break with 18 points, but so did the Tigers as they exploded for 29 and took an insurmountable 64-40 lead. Threes were raining down in the third quarter as the Tigers hit four of them, and the big guns were on display once again with Rickermann putting up 12 points in the quarter and Arhmad Branch draining nine of his own. The fourth was an afterthought at this point, but Festus won it anyway with a 17-13 frame that sealed the victory at 81-53.
Branch and Rickermann were the headliners with 22 and 21 points, respectively, but Eric Ruess and Collin Weinhaus also reached double digits with 10 apiece. Branch had the best all-around game with seven boards, eight assists and a pair of steals added to his gaudy point total, but it was a complete effort from the entire roster. Especially defensively.
Head Coach Jason Therrell thought so too, saying, “Arhmad and Cole really had great games but everyone who played contributed and did a good job. Our defense was able to hold them to 24% (8/33) from the 3 point line which helped us win the game. ”
Friday’s tilt against DeSoto was similar to the Farmington game in most regards, as the offense was distributed nicely and the defense was suffocating. The Tigers jumped out to an early lead in the first as they put up 21 and held the Dragons to a meager seven points. That trend would continue in the second as Festus generated another 22 and allowed just 4 for a 43-11 advantage heading into halftime.
There wasn’t much else to be done, as the game was more or less in the bag at that point, but the Tigers went ahead and won the third and fourth quarters anyway. A 19-12 third and an 11-10 fourth sealed the deal en route to a 73-33 victory, a third straight win and a 14-4 record.
Coach Therrell praised the offensive distribution and accuracy in the win, saying, “We had eight different players score five or more points with good energy and contributions from our bench and starters. We had 16 assists and went 26/37 from two point range and 15/21 from the FT line.”
Branch led the way again in this one with 16, but four other players finished with nine or more points. Ruess had 11, Weinhaus and Hayden Bates each had 10 and Connor Westhoff rounded out the top scorers with nine. It was a collaborative effort across the board and a convincing win to say the least.
The Tigers are hunting right now, and every opponent looks like prey. Next on the menu are the rival Hillsboro Hawks who will travel to Festus on Friday 2/4.