The St. Louis Chaminade High School Red Devils continued to make Belleville East High School their home away from home Wednesday at the Belleville East Chick-fil-A Classic.
Junior center Frazier Ott scored on an offensive put-back with 1:21 remaining in overtime to give the Red Devils the lead and Luke Kasubke made four free throws down the stretch as Chaminade held off Althoff 81-76 in a first round game.
Playing one of the top teams in the St. Louis area and the two-time defending tournament champions, Althoff (9-9) rallied from a 12-point third quarter deficit behind red-hot 3-point shooting.
The Crusaders, who finished with 12 3-point baskets, cut the Red Devils’ lead to 54-48 after three quarters on baskets by Greg Wells and Will Ache.
The comeback continued in the early stages of the final quarter and when Wells, who led his team with 24 points, canned the Crusaders’ 11th 3-point shot of the night with just over four minutes remaining, Althoff had a 63-62 lead.
The teams exchanged the leads the rest of regulation. Althoff, holding the ball with the scored tied at 70, had a chance to win the game, but Ache’s jumper bounded off the rim with less than a second remaining in regulation.
Althoff junior guard Anthony Reed gave his team a 74-72 lead early in the overtime period, but with 1:21 remaining, Ott grabbed a rebound following a missed free throw by Matteus Case and scored to give the Red Devils the lead for good.
“It was just a case of being in the right place at the right time,’’ Red Devils coach Frank Bennett said of Ott’s basket. “He (Ott) went behind the defender and got the rebound.’’
Kasubke, who led all scorers with 28 points, then increased the lead to 79-76. On the Crusaders’ next possession, Wells turned down an apparent open 3-point shot, choosing instead to take the ball to the basket. He missed the shot.
“I’m not going to question it. If Greg thought we had an open look to the basket, he took it,’’ Althoff coach Greg Leib said. “That’s a very good basketball team (Chaminade) we played tonight and they play very well in this event. We’re still a young team. But we’re getting better. I was very proud of our effort.’’
The win extended the Red Devils’ winning streak to seven straight at the Belleville East Chick Fil-A Classic and moves them into a semifinal round game at 7:30 p.m. Friday against Soldan.
Al;thoff will take on Belleville East in a consolation semifinal at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
Harrison Vickers added 20 points and Case chipped in with 18 for Chaminade (8-5), while Anthony Reed and Patrick Readye added 13 each for Althoff.
Soldan 71, Belleville East 61
Elijah Bishop led a balanced Eagles attack with 16 points and Soldan (13-4) held off a furious Belleville East fourth quarter comeback attempt to move into an all St. Louis semifinal against Chaminade.
Shooting a blazing 60 percernt from the field (27 of 45), the Eagles led throughout, holding a 40-27 advantage at halftime and extending the lead to as many as 16 points on three occasions in the third quarter.
But Belleville East didn’t quit. Getting several turnovers off their press, the Lanccers (8--11) closed the gap and got within four points in the final minute following a basket by freshman Braxton Stacker.
But a pair of free throws by James Little and a basket by Ahain Barnett sealed the win for the Eagles.
“I wasn’t displeased with the effort in the first half. They (Soldan) just didn’t miss many shots. We figured they had to cool off eventually,’’ Lancers coach Jeff Creek said. “I was very pleased at the fact that we kept battling and got back into the game in the last quarter.
“We need to cut down on the turnovers and do a better job at the free throw line.’’
Senior Kienen Waller led the Lancers with 14 points while Stacker added 13.