The Festus Tigers are on some kind of a roll. They’ve now rattled off seven consecutive victories after taking down Herculaneum, Gateway STEM and Perryville this week. And all of the wins were in decisive fashion. The streak has the Tigers up to 14-3 on the season, and two of those losses could have gone either way. They’ve done a fantastic job recently though of putting a couple of heart-breakers from the Christmas Tournament behind them.
The week kicked off on Tuesday as the Tigers traveled to Herculaneum to take on the Blackcats. Festus went up early in this one, pouring in 17 points in the first and 21 in the second. Arhmad Branch had a huge half with five in the opening frame and ten more in the following quarter. The Tigers held Herky to just 11 and seven points, respectively, and took a comfy 38-18 lead into the break.
In the second half, Festus decided they weren’t quite done with their scoring frenzy. Another 20-spot in the third quarter extended their lead to 58-30. Carter Roth hit one from downtown and had five of the 20 points. Things slowed to a crawl in the fourth, with the Blackcats putting up desperation shots and the Tigers eating up the clock. Festus managed 11 and held Herky to just five to put the cap on the game at 69-35.
Branch led all scorers with his 23 points. He hit six buckets, a pair of threes and went 5-of-8 from the line. Roth, the deadly outside shooter, was next in line with 13 as he made three from beyond the arc. Logan Cash had 12 points on five buckets and Hayden Bates chipped in with 10 to round out the scorers in double figures.
With the winning streak up to five, the Tigers came home and hosted Gateway STEM the following day. This one wasn’t close either. Festus still had their offense humming, and the defense was even more on point than the previous game. They went up 23-3 after the first quarter with scoring distributed across the board. Gateway found a little rhythm in the second with a 14-point effort, but the Tigers were on fire from the floor, dropping another 24 points for a 47-17 lead at the half.
After the break, the game calmed down a bit and Festus used their sizable lead to work the clock. They scored 12 in the third and 13 in the fourth while holding the Jaguars to to just 11 and five points, respectively. When the dust settled it was 72-33 and the Tigers had their sixth straight victory.
Branch was the scoring leader once again with 15, but the offense was distributed quite evenly in this one. Jeremiah Cunningham was nipping at his heels with 14 and Cash had 12. Nine different Tigers scored in this one and, because of the early blowout, the bench got some valuable minutes.
Festus’ weekly slate ended on Friday as they stayed home and played host to the Perryville Pirates. Once again, the Tigers started out hot and stayed that way. Cash had a huge first quarter with 10 points on five buckets and Festus quickly had a 13-9 advantage. Then the second quarter happened.
The Tigers exploded for 35 points, getting contributions from everywhere. Branch had six, Hunter Bates had five, Jeremy Davis-Mayes had seven, Cash had eight and Roth had four. It was a truly impressive offensive outburst and it gave Festus a ridiculous 48-19 lead as the halftime buzzer sounded.
The bench got some solid time in the second half due to the massive lead, and the scoring intensity tempered a bit as a result, but the Tigers still remained in control the rest of the way. They were up 61-32 after three frames and they won the fourth-quarter battle 17-15 to claim the 78-52 victory.
Cash was the leading scorer in this one with 18, closely followed by Branch who had 15 of his own. They were the only two players in double figures, but ten Tigers scored in the game, and eight of them had at least six points.
That win made it seven straight for Festus and capped off an impressive week in what is becoming a special season. They will look to make it eight in a row next Tuesday, 1/24, as they travel to Farmington to take on the Knights.