Alton Marquette remained undefeated with a convincing win over Civic Memorial in the title game at the Columbia-Freeburg Holiday Tournament.
But that’s not the game that had the tournament field buzzing. That distinction belongs to Triad and Waterloo, who gutted it out through six overtimes in pool play Friday.
The Knights topped the Bulldogs 111-106.
“And a lot of people don’t realize that it was our second game of the day,” said Triad coach Josh Hunt Tuesday. “We beat Sparta (63-35) in the morning session. I remember watching Alton play Edwardsville in the regional final in 1997 and that game went six overtimes. But I’ve never been a coach in anything like that before.
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“I’m very proud of the effort because you are talking about a full two games and then another 24 minutes of overtimes. That’s a lot of basketball.”
Senior guard Kyle Cox led Triad (8-6) with six 3-point baskets as part of a game-high 31 point performance. Beau Barbour added 28, while Jaden Deatherage (18 points) and Luke Cox (16) were also in double figures.
Seniors Derek Smothers (26 points) and Eli Dodd (24) paced Waterloo (6-10) while junior Tre Wahlig added 21.
Both teams had chances to win the game.
“I really haven’t had time to sit down and go through the tape and in a game like that one, everything kind of runs together,” Hunt said. “I do know that Waterloo rallied in the fourth quarter and had a chance to win the game at the end of regulation and that Jaden Deatherage hit a shot at the buzzer at the end of one of the overtimes to keep the game going.”
Waterloo bounced back the next day to defeat Freeburg, 40-38, in the fifth place game, while Triad lost to co-host Columbia 58-38 in the third place game.
Hunt said his team may have run out of gas against the Eagles.
“We got beat by a very good Columbia basketball team in the third place game. I think that was the main reason. But I also think that our legs got a little heavy in the fourth quarter of that game,” Hunt said. “I know it’s something coaches say all the time, but we’re trying to become a better basketball team each day. We just want to be playing our best basketball at the end of February.”