When the Community R-6 varsity boys basketball team arrived at Wellsville-Middletown on Nov. 21 for an Eastern Missouri Conference contest, what it saw on the other side of the court was very different from a season ago.
That's because the Tigers all-time leading scorer, Jacob Ussery, graduated and former head coach/athletic director Darin Sehlke accepted a similar position in the Kansas City area. Wellsville-Middletown's new head coach Steve Lasman is far from new to the game, though, and had his team hustling up and down the floor for the duration of the contest.
So, when it was all said and done, this contest simply came down to who wanted it more. And, even though Trojans head coach Matt Thomas desperatley wanted his team to take a big lead and then build on it untul the opposition was nothing more than a distant memory, it took his team the entire four quarters to eventually defeat the Tigers 59-50.
"I was really proud of our guys. They shook off the loss on (Nov. 20) and came out and gave everything they had," said Thomas. "We couldn't hold a lead late in the game (against Sturgeon in the season opener), but on (Nov. 21) we had a little more composure and hit our free throws to seal the win."
One familiar theme that arose in this contest for CR-6 was Cordell Hollensteiner's name showing up at the top of the stat chart by going 5-for-6 from the charityn stripe to clock a 20-point performance and newcomer Bobby Jett lit the Tigers up for a team-high 27 points. Eric Hombs also had an eight-point showing and scoring the squads other four points was Evan Hartsock.
For the game the Trojans racked up 14 field goals, five three-pointers and went 16-for-23 from the free throw line.
"Community shot the ball very well and out-rebounded us. We were 5-for-16 from the foul line," ssid Tigers coach Steve Lasman. "Their 2 best players had 47 points combined and out played us. We played hard but on that night they were the better team."
CR-6, 1-1 overall, 1-0 EMO, welcomes Prairie Home on Tuesday for a non-league game.
Wellsville-Middletown is now 0-1 overall, 0-0 EMO.