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The Sun-Times - Heber Springs, AR
  • Conway St. Joseph upends scrappy Ramblers

  • Down by one after Rose Bud guard Dillon Reesnes drained a three-pointer from left wing, Conway St. Joseph's Bulldogs closed the third quarter with an 8-0 run and held off a late fourth quarter surge by the Ramblers for 57-53 victory on Friday at Rambler Arena.
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  • Down by one after Rose Bud guard Dillon Reesnes drained a three-pointer from left wing, Conway St. Joseph's Bulldogs closed the third quarter with an 8-0 run and held off a late fourth quarter surge by the Ramblers for 57-53 victory on Friday at Rambler Arena. The Bulldogs improved to 12-1, while Rose Bud, playing in its home opener, fell to 1-4. “I thought we played well and Conway St. Joseph played well,” said Rose Bud Coach Rob Welch. “Right now I think conditioning is a big factor. We lost our legs there about halfway through the third quarter, gave up some transition baskets that we don't want to give up. Hopefully when we get our conditioning we will get rolling. “Conway St. Joseph has a very good team and they have some great players. I felt like we played real well tonight and I was proud of my kids,” added Welch. Rose Bud led 14-8 after the first quarter but trailed 28-26 at halftime and 38-31 after three quarters. The Ramblers sliced their deficit to three points on four occasions during the final two minutes of the fourth quarter. Rose Bud first pulled within three at the 1:41 mark when guard Brad Moss nailed a three-pointer from left corner in transition. Forward Christian Reynolds' stick back brought the Ramblers within three with 1:02 left and a three-pointer by guard Cole Robertson with just under 30 seconds remaining once again made it a one possession game. Rose Bud trimmed its deficit to three a fourth time when guard Dillon Reesnes, who pumped in a game-high 20 points, slashed into the lane and finished in traffic. “You can tell Dillon wants to have a very successful senior season,” said Welch. “He started the game real well and he attacked throughout the whole game. He got us some transition baskets and I was very proud of his defensive effort tonight.” Leading by three, St. Joseph post player Drake Cooper finally sealed the game, sinking the front end of a 1-and-1, giving the Bulldogs a four-point cushion with 9.9 seconds left. Reesnes propelled Rose Bud to a 14-8 lead in the opening eight minutes, pouring in 10 points during the first period, including a driving layup and three-pointer from right corner, giving the Ramblers an 8-6 advantage. After St. Joseph tied the game with a pair of free throws from guard Andrew Beck, the Ramblers closed the third quarter with a 6-0 spurt, sparked by Reesnes, who hit a tough hanger from right baseline. Forward Tyler Mercer followed with a midrange jumper from left wing off an assist from post player Brandon Hampton and Reynolds scored from right block, boosting Rose Bud's lead to 14-8 entering the second quarter. Reynolds gave Rose Bud its largest lead of the night early in the second quarter with a midrange jumper from left baseline off an inbound play, but St. Joseph guard Andrew Kordsmeir responded with a driving layup. Rose Bud extended its lead to eight two more times on buckets inside from Hampton and Mercer but St. Joseph ran off four straight before Reynolds scored in transition and Mercer turned an offensive rebound into a bucket for a 24-16 lead. St. Joseph guard Taylor Schrekenhofer scored seven points over the next two minutes, including a three-pointer followed by a steal and layup that suddenly sliced the Bulldogs' deficit to one. The Bulldogs took their first lead on a pair of free throws from Beck, but Reesnes drove right baseline and finished in heavy traffic before Beck knocked down 3-of-4 free throws to in the final minute of the first half, giving St. Joseph a 28-26 lead. St. Joseph outscored Rose Bud 10-5 in the third quarter as five different players chipped in two points, while the Ramblers hung around with a three-pointer from Reesnes and backdoor layup by Mercer off a lob pass from guard Jake Pratt. Rose Bud outscored the Bulldogs 23-19 in the fourth quarter but never drew closer that three. Power forward Cole Schichtl led Conway St. Joseph with 17 points, including six in the first quarter and six in the fourth quarter. Beck, who hit 11 free throws, added 13 points for the Bulldogs, while guard Landon Enderlin and Schrekenhofer each scored seven. Following Reesnes' game-high 20 points for Rose Bud, Mercer added 11 points, Reynolds had 10 and Moss scored six – all in the fourth quarter.

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