The Helias Catholic basketball teams won a pair of district titles at Eldon High School on Friday night. The Lady Crusaders overcame a slow start to beat Osage 39-31. In the nightcap, Helias dodged Eldon's upset bid to win 54-46.
Trailing by 3 with possession and less than 25 seconds remaining in regulation, the Eldon Mustangs found themselves in a position they wanted to be on Friday night.
But as John Hall's potential game-tying trey spun agonizingly in and out, Eldon's chances for a monumental upset ended.
Helias made just enough free throws in the final minute and dodged Hall's 3-point bullet to win 54-46 in the Class 4, District 10 boys' championship game at Eldon High School.
"All year long, we've had adversity, surgeries, and kids being out with injuries," Eldon coach Jim Lincoln said. "We had a goal the whole time to get to this game and just see what happens... Tonight, our kids were confident and felt like they could play with (Helias). I know it looks like an 8-point game, but we were right there. Just a few missed buckets here and there."
After Helias senior Zach Rockers made one of two free throws with 31.2 seconds to go, Eldon called a timeout to setup a game-tying play down 49-46.
Mustangs senior guard Cannon Carlock drove the lane and dished out to an open Hall, who was well behind the 3-point line on the right wing. Hall's shot did everything but go in.
Helias grabbed the rebound and added a few more free throws to seal the win.
"We put the ball in Cannon's hands and he made the right decision," Lincoln said. "It was a good look that just didn't go down."
Eldon gave the No. 10 ranked team in Class 4 all it could handle thanks to a roaring crowd on hand and an energetic Eldon student section.
Hall converted a steal into a 3-point play early in the fourth quarter to give the Mustangs a 40-37 lead and send fans into a frenzy. The Crusaders answered back, scoring seven in a row and taking a lead they would not relinquish.
Rockers led all players with 22 points. Junior forward Ryan Kliethermes led Eldon with 15 points.
With Eldon in a zone, the Crusaders took their chances on the perimeter in the first half — but with little success.
Helias shot 7-for-28 in the first half and finished 17-for-50.
A steal and layup from senior Dakota McDaniel in the final seconds put Eldon up 23-17 at halftime. Helias quickly erased the deficit in the third quarter on back-to-back 3-pointers in the first minute.
The Mustangs conclude the season 15-12 overall.
"I couldn't ask for anything more from our team tonight," Lincoln said. "I'm very proud of them."
Eldon 9 14 13 10 46
Helias 7 10 20 17 54
Eldon scoring — Ryan Kliethermes 15, Dakota McDaniel 10, John Hall 9, Cannon Carlock 9, Sam Lincoln 3
Helias scoring —Zach Rockers 22, Deion Hughes 11, Dylan Gish 9, Clay Schwinke 5, Dean Wiley 3, Josh Smith 2, Ryan Bax 2
Helias 39, Osage 31
A prolonged scoring drought prevented the Osage Lady Indians from winning a historic district championship on Friday night.
Leading 16-7 early, Osage saw Helias go on a 13-0 spurt that extended into the second half and gave the Lady Crusaders control. The Lady Indians never led again as Helias won the Class 4, District 10 girls' championship at Eldon High School.
"We couldn't have had a better start," Osage coach Scott Rowland said. "We spaced the floor, set some screens and got backdoor looks. In the second half, we weren't able to do that as much and (Helias) was able to score a little more."
The Lady Indians went up 16-7 on consecutive 3-pointers from Tara Allman and Summer Dean. But after Dean's 3-pointer at the 3:40 mark of the second quarter, Osage didn't score again until another basket from Dean nearly three minutes into the third quarter.
Helias' all-around size limited Osage down low and forced the Lady Indians to score from outside. Osage was able to get some open perimeter looks but couldn't convert.
The Lady Indians shot 12-for-43 from the field, including 2-for-13 in the second quarter.
"I told them as long as you feel like it's a good shot within the flow of the offense, take it," Rowland said. "Against a team as big as that, that's one of the few times we've faced a team that's bigger than us across the board, to get that many looks is a great job. We just didn't knock them down."
Dean led Osage with 15 points. Olivia Hackmann had 13 points for Helias, including a jumper before the third quarter buzzer that put Helias ahead 29-22. Osage never got closer than 8 points in the fourth quarter.
The Lady Crusaders shot 14-for-43 overall after going 6-for-23 in the first half. Osage had 13 turnovers while Helias finished with 9 of its own.
"We got in trouble on the defensive end, got a little tired and couldn't get our hands up in the passing lanes as much as we'd like," Rowland said.
Osage prevented Helias from getting second-chance looks in the first two quarters. Blocking out Helias 6-foot-1 center Krista Haslag proved to be a challenge as the game continued.
Haslag finished with 9 points and 10 rebounds.
Tara Allman scored 8 for Osage and Brooklyn Samson and Tiffany Urwiler had seven rebounds apiece.
The Lady Indians finish the season 18-8. A victory over Helias would have given Osage its first district title in program history.
Helias 7 7 15 10 39
Osage 10 6 6 9 31
Helias scoring —Olivia Hackmann 13, Krista Haslag 9, Arielle Chambers 9, Alex Heislen 3, Ginny Trauth 2, Hillary Hentges 2, Taylor Hagenhoff 1
Osage scoring — Summer Dean 15, Tara Allman 8, Lindsay Dullard 4, Renee Cisar 2, Tiffany Urwiler 2