Thanks be to Williams’ 11 fourth quarter points
by Kirk Whitaker
In the fourth quarter of Tuesday night’s non-conference bout between St. Teresa and Arthur-Lovington, St. Teresa senior Christian Williams showed why he already has a scholarship offer to a Division I school under his belt and is garnering interest from multiple top-tier Division one schools, including the University of Illinois, after leading his team in the fourth quarter to a 51-48 comeback victory.
On top of the challenge of Williams, the Knights lost senior Caleb Schrock to a sprained ankle in practice last night.
The Knights roared out to an early lead via 3-pointers, and the Knights held the lead at the end of every quarter except the one that mattered.
In the second, AL was able to get the ball down low to sophomore center Colton Yeakley, who scored six of his eight points in the quarter in spite of a size mismatch down low for the Knights.
“We shot the ball great tonight,” Knights head coach Dale Schuring stated. “Jeremy came out hot for us and it kept us in the game and gave us a lead, but we tend to live by it and die by it. It was the natural flow of the offense getting Colton the ball down low, and he is getting used to the system and playing with this group of people.”
The Knights were able to keep up the break-neck pace through the middle of the third quarter, and had the lead stretched to 11 at 37-26 after a 3-ball in the corner by senior Clayton Honn, but the Bulldogs closed the quarter on a 7-0 run which was capped by a two-offensive rebound possession by St. Teresa’s John Radley to cut the lead to 37-33 at the end of the third.
“We did a better job rebounding tonight,” Schuring explained. “However, as things went on two things beat us: the inability to grab defensive rebounds consistently and the inability to attack the zone. When we run, it is because we rebound well, and we didn’t do that, and give them credit they got out on us and came back. We haven’t worked against a zone in three weeks, and that’s my fault, but still we didn’t do terribly against it.
Knights senior Curtis Plank opened the final stanza with a slashing bucket along the baseline, but then Williams took over.
The Bulldog senior scored four of the next six St. Teresa points, cutting the lead to two with a finger roll and forcing a Knight timeout with 5:17 to go. A 3-pointer from St. T’s Madison Velchek gave St. Teresa a one-point lead and after a Knights’ turnover, Williams sent down a two-handed alley-oop to push the lead to three with 2:06 remaining.
On the return trip down the floor, Honn nailed another three from the corner to tie the game at 46, but Williams and the Bulldogs would not be denied, and the senior took over the game, slashing to the bucket and sealing the game from the free throw line.
The Knights had a final shot with 3.6 seconds left on the clock, but a shot from the volleyball line by Plank to tie the game hit the backboard and caromed off the right of the iron.
“The guys that came off the bench in place of Caleb did well tonight,” Schuring added. “When we get him and Logan back, we will be a very good basketball team. The team that just beat us is projected to win the Okaw Conference which is a very good conference, and they are a very good team and have a very good player. They controlled the boards and got out on us late, and the shots we were making early we didn’t make late. I don’t like losing, but I am not ashamed to lose to this team.”
The Knights travel to the Kansas Holiday Tournament and have a rematch against Stewardson-Strasburg with the game slated to start at 4:30 p.m. Monday.
AL: C. Plank: 6-2-15 points, 7 rebounds 1 steal, 1 assist; J. Plank: 3-0-9 points, 2 rebounds; C. Honn: 3-0-9 points, 1 rebound, 3 assists; C. Yeakley: 3-2-8 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist; A. Schrock: 2-0-5 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists; T. Schuring: 0-2-2 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists