Focused Berry, De Smet Jesuit handle CBC in district championship
By: Jonathan Duncan
It was plain from the outset that Nolan Berry, and the second-seeded DeSmet Jesuit Spartans were locked in and ready to take are of business against arch rival CBC in their Class 5 District 4 championship game at Parkway Central.
Berry pumped in a team-high 21 points and the Spartans hit clutch free-throws in the waning moments to roll to a 64-57 victory Friday night.
The win moves De Smet Jesuit (22-6) into a Class 5 Sectional against Eureka (18-10) at Maryville University Wednesday night at 6 p.m. The victory also erases the sting of last year’s loss to Parkway North in the district final a season ago at Parkway Central.
“We were looking forward to this game since the districts came out and knew this was the matchup we’d see so we feel good about that but we know we’ve got a long way to go,” Berry said. “It feels really good right now, we were looking forward to this game.”
Top-seeded CBC (20-8) pulled ahead on a Pat McCaw three-ball 7-6 after falling behind 6-2 in the first four minutes of play.
McCaw turned in a monster-night with a game-high 29 points for the Cadets.
De Smet Jesuit got rolling some in the second quarter as Berry scored eight points to help push the Spartans to a 27-22 halftime lead.
“Against a real good team like this, you can’t just play five or six guys,” De Smet Jesuit coach Kevin Poelker said. “We had guys in and out and guys foul out, so everybody had to give us something.”
A 5-0 run keyed by an Alec Bausch jumper propelled the Spartans to a 38-30 edge with 2:34 left in the third quarter.
Barton got in on the act in the fourth quarter drilling a three-ball from the left elbow and then knocked down a pair of free-throws pushing the Spartans to an 48-37 with 4:53 left to go.
Barton contributed 11 points on the night.
CBC pulled within five on a pair of McCaw free-throws, making it 62-57 with 19.5 left.
That was as close as the Cadets could get as Mitch Plassmeyer and Berry each canned a pair of free-throws to kill the Cadets hopes of getting back to the Class 5 sectional round.
De Smet Jesuit knocked down 26 of 29 free-throws to salt away the win.
The night ended up being a tough finish to a great season for CBC as the Cadets’ super junior forward Jordan Barnett was limited to just 9 points due to foul trouble and tough shooting. Ray Doby added 8.
“We fouled them, they made their free-throws, we stumbled a little bit at the start of the second half and had to play catch-up and that’s hard to do against a good passing team like De Smet,” CBC coach Bobby McCormack said. “They deserved it tonight.”