Versailles takes down California

Versailles came ready to play Friday night in a road trip to California. 

The Tigers jumped out to an early 21-8 lead after the first quarter and never looked back in an 88-65 win over the Pintos to secure the first Tri-County Conference win of the season. 

Versailles’ Wyatt Espinosa had a productive night for Versailles, knocking down 30 points to lead the Tigers in a game where four players reached double figures. Coby Williams finished the night with 19, Chase Hyman and Ayrton Gennetten both recorded 10 and Jonathon Geier put up eight respectively.

Versailles coach Jason Ollison was pleased with his club’s efforts, but also noted that his team certainly did not take anything for granted.

“We played really good defense tonight and rebounded the ball well. We were able to turn them over in the press and get some easy buckets,” he said. “It was a well-earned win and the score does not indicate how difficult it was for us.”

Versailles improves to 8-7 and 1-2 in the conference. The Tigers will return to the floor Tuesday night in tournament action where they will take on Odessa in the first round of the Clinton Tournament at 6 p.m.

Tough second half hurts Eldon in loss at Southern Boone

Eldon hit the road Friday night to take on the Eagles of Southern Boone in Tri-County Conference action and the Mustangs were in striking distance after the first half of play. 

However, the Eagles managed to go on a big run in the second half on their way to a 74-43 win. 

“We were down five (points) at the half and played a pretty clean first half of basketball,” Eldon coach Brandon Kliethermes remarked. “I thought we executed the gameplan pretty well in the first half and got the ball where it needed to go against the matchup zone.”

“They (Southern Boone) went on a big run to start the second half and we couldn't recover. When that happened we forced a little bit offensively, which dug the hole even deeper.” 

Clayton Moore led Eldon with 14 points while Jordan Metz and Elijah Rivera both finished with eight, Devin Degraffenreid added seven and Logan Hall contributed six. 

Chase Fitzpatrick was injured in the first quarter and Kliethermes noted that it did not make things any easier for his club.

“Chase Fitzpatrick’s injury in the first quarter hurt our depth down the stretch. Not to mention, he is an incredible leader for us,” the coach noted. 

Eldon (0-15) will return to the floor next week for the 87th Annual Eldon Tournament, which starts on January 25 and runs through January 27.

Osage comes up short against Eugene

It was a tough night on the floor for Osage as the Indians visited Eugene Friday night and came home with a 78-45 loss.

It was just a 13-10 game after the first quarter, but the host team broke the game wide open in the second quarter, outscoring the Indians 28-11 for a 41-21 halftime lead that the visitors could not overcome.

"We started the game matching points with Eugene and playing good defense. We had a few starters get in early foul trouble then Eugene put together a huge second quarter run making six 3-pointers to take a 20-point lead into the locker room," Osage coach Kevin Schnicker said. "We played the third quarter almost like the first, but never could gain any momentum to bring the score closer."

Zach Wheeler led Osage with 16 points while Drake Gaines finished with eight and both Trey Rassenfoss and Keyton Knamiller contributed five.

"We need to regroup and get back to the basics at practice to prepare for a 4-game week this week. Our guys played hard, we just couldn’t execute in situations where it was crucial that we did," Schnicker said. "We look forward to learning from this game and moving on to improving." 

Osage (8-6, 1-0 Tri-County Conference) will host Fulton Tuesday night at 5 p.m.

Climax Springs falls at Fair Play

Climax Springs visited Fair Play Friday night and came home with a 72-45 defeat. 

Jesse McCartney led the Cougars with 16 points and although the scoreboard was not in Climax Springs' favor, Coach James Butterfield said there were some positive takeaways.

"Jesse played his best basketball of the season. Even with a lopsided loss to a really good team we showed some signs of growing up," he said. 

And Butterfield has seen what his club is capable of after knocking off Bunceton 71-41 just a day prior. Jake Reed had a double-double in the contest with 20 points and 16 rebounds, Pake Moppin had 15 points and four blocks and Jacob Bryant finished his night with seven points.

"We were really balanced in the win. Pake had his best night of the year for us and it was a total team effort," Butterfield stated.

Climax Springs (3-8) is scheduled to play in the Osceola Tournament this week, which tipped off Monday night and runs through Saturday.