De Smet Jesuit falls to Wolfe, Rockhurst in Class 5 Championship
By: Jonathan Duncan
After back to back years of frustrating playoff finishes, the 2012-13 De Smet Jesuit Spartans had a grand finish in mind for this season.
All the way up until Saturday night, those plans looked wonderful.
But Rockhurst’s Kyle Wolfe and the Hawlets proved to be too big of a mountain to climb to reach the top of the heap
Wolfe and a veteran Rockhurst squad cruised to an impressive 73-59 victory in the Class 5 championship game at Mizzou Arena in Columbia.
De Smet Jesuit (25-6) had won 11 straight games heading into the state weekend and was trying to win its first title since 1999, but Rockhurst (26-5) had the Spartans number, handing them a 75-66 loss on Jan 31. And then on Saturday in the state championship game.
Senior point-guard Jimmy Barton kept De Smet Jesuit in striking distance for most of the first three quarters as Barton scored a team-high 20 points including eight in the fourth quarter along with five assists, and five rebounds.
Nolan Berry battled foul trouble but still wound up with 16 points and seven rebounds while Alec Bausch chipped in 10 points.
The Hawklets got a prime-time performance from Wolf, who pumped in 30 points on 11 of 19 shots from the floor with 12 boards.
Bradley Wilkins and Thomas Keller also had strong nights with 12 and 11 points.
Rockhurst took a 22-14 lead after the first quarter and led by as much as 14 points but a late De Smet Jesuit run keyed by Barton pulled the Spartans within six at the intermission.
De Smet Jesuit struggled out of the gate to start the second half and could not get much offense generated.
Rockhurst, led by Wolf in the third quarter, outscored De Smet Jesuit 16-11 in the third quarter and pulled away in the fourth quarter with another 24 points to lock up the victory.