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Mule-tide champs

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

BLOOMFIELD -- You could almost tell by their first defensive play just how things were gonna go for Bernie in the championship game of the 52nd Bloomfield Christmas Tournament.

Mules senior Daniel Becking got the crowd to its feet with a big block that turned into a 3-pointer made on the offensive end by junior Jake Owens.

Bernie, which once again played short two starters, didn't trail from there in a 69-45 thrashing of Portageville to win its third Bloomfield title and the first since 1993.

Bernie coach Brad Botsch couldn't help but reflect on the last time the Mules made the final back in 1996 but came up empty-handed.

"I'm so excited and ecstatic for this kids," Botsch said. "It's such a great feeling. A lot of old emotions come out because the last time we were here I was a senior in high school and we got beat by East Carter.

"It's such a great feeling to be in this situation and enjoy such a great game with such a great team."

Bernie (9-1) lit up the net in the first quarter against the Bulldogs with junior Jake Owens draining four 3-pointers to set the tone and get the crowd into the action. The team overall hit on five 3-pointers with Jordan McGowan adding one as well.

"Out of the gate, we shot the ball extremely well," Botsch said. "Our kids have been working and you know we haven't shot the ball well yet this year. We've haven't shot as well as we liked to and maybe tonight was the turning point.

"We've played defense all year, we just haven't shot the ball well all year."

After trailing the Mules 22-14 at the end of the first quarter, the Bulldogs came back with a solid second quarter. Six Portageville players scored in the second led by Dometric Treadwell with four points.

But unlike Monday night against Twin Rivers when Portageville went on a 19-0 run to start the second half, the Bulldogs went flat Tuesday night after halftime. Portageville scored just four points to Bernie's 15.

"We were playing a different team," Portageville coach Jim Bidewell said. "I think (Bernie) knew going into halftime what we did last night and they talked about it and they were not to be denied. With two of their starters out, to do what they did is phenomenal. Their coach deserves a lot of credit because I'm not sure we could've done that."

Bernie senior Jake Welch reeled off six straight points to start the second half including a couple hard drives to the hoop. Welch totaled eight points in the quarter and 20 on the game. He added 10 assists for the double-double.

Welch, who was selected as an all-tournament player afterwards, was tired from four games in five days but it was well worth the effort it took.

"It's unbelievable," Welch said. "Portageville -- they are an unbelievable team, they play great defense they have a great tradition -- but it feels great to be out here with the win."

Bernie closed out the game outscoring the Bulldogs 18-14 in the fourth quarter to seal the win.

Botsch knew coming in that Portageville would have a lot of momentum after a thrilling overtime win over Twin Rivers in the semifinals Monday night.

"You just gotta go up there and take your shots," Botsch said. "It just didn't seem like we were gonna be denied, every time Portageville would make a small run we'd get a stop on defense."

Although he was disappointed in how his own team performed, Bidewell came away thoroughly impressed with Bernie.

"They were the better team tonight by far," Bidewell said. "You gotta give them credit. They got after every loose rebound, they hit their shots, they hustled and they deserved first place. We're not at their caliber yet and we need a lot practice time to play the kind of ball they're playing right now."

Welch was taken back a little bit by the sweet stroke his teammate Owens had early on in the game.

"I've seen something like this, but he surprised me," Welch added. "I didn't know he could make that many (4) in a row. I just tried to find him when he was open."

Seeing Owens get hot beyond-the-arc didn't surprise Botsch one bit.

"Jake had a tournament last year where he hit in the 20s every game," Botsch said. "Up until (the Bloomfield Tournament) he hasn't played as well as he could. Jake's always gonna be a solid player but he hasn't played as well as he would like to. In this tournament, he's just filled it up."

Owens, who also made the all-tournament team, averaged 16.3 points per game and totaled seven 3-pointers in the tournament.

The win gives the Mules their second tournament title of the season as they won earlier this month at the Campbell Invitational. The only loss for Bernie this year came against Bell City back on Dec. 18.

Quinton Stevens finished with 13 points for Bernie. McGowan and Becking scored nine points apiece. Becking also added a team-high 13 rebounds.

Botsch used just six players as the Mules stayed out of foul trouble. Becking led the team with just two fouls.

Dometric Treadwell was the only Bulldog in double figures with 11 points. The loss for Portageville was their seventh straight in Bloomfield Tournament title game appearances.

Bernie dominated the game against Portageville from the start and generally ran away with all four games played. The Mules won by an average of 36 points per contest that includes a 70-point win over No. 16-seed East Carter in the first round.

Even without the 70-point margin against the Redbirds, the Mules' smallest margin of victory was 23 and they averaged a 25.7-point margin of victory from the quarterfinals to the finals.

The interesting thing about the Mules dominance though is how they did it -- without two starters -- for a little less than half the tournament.

Bernie first lost Jake Smith to a broken foot in the first quarter of the quarterfinals against Bloomfield then lost Zach Curry to an ankle injury in the first quarter of the semifinals against Dexter. Smith is out 4-for-6 weeks according to Botsch while Curry dressed but did not play Tuesday.

"These kids just showed such resiliency," Botsch said. "They were so determined to get the job done and I'm so, so proud of them."


Tuesday's scores

Final

Bernie 69, Portageville 45

Third-place final

Dexter 77, Twin Rivers 51

Fifth-place final

Van Buren 58, Bloomfield 55

Consolation final

Hayti 55, Doniphan 53, OT


Monday's Scores

Semifinals

Bernie 68, Dexter 41

Portageville 63, Twin Rivers 62, OT

Fifth-place semifinals

Bloomfield 79, Puxico 61

Van Buren 65, Richland 50

Consolation

Hayti 60, South Pemiscot 54

Doniphan 65, Malden 49


Saturday's Scores

Quarterfinals

Bernie 64, Bloomfield 41

Dexter 74, Puxico 38

Twin Rivers 72, Van Buren 59

Portageville vs. Richland

Consolation

Hayti 64, East Prairie 49

Malden def. Kennett, forfeit

Doniphan 56, Greenville 35

South Pemiscot 63, East Carter 22


Friday's Scores

Bernie 100, East Carter 30

Portageville 59, Greenville 26

Van Buren 55, Kennett 47

Puxico 72, Hayti 61

Dexter 75, East Prairie 29

Twin Rivers 72, Malden 26

Richland 62, Doniphan 40

Bloomfield 78, South Pemiscot 71


Doniphan 12166163--53
Hayti51712165--55

DONIPHAN -- Smith 1(1) 0-0 3. Asay 1-2 1. Granier 7(4) 1-2 19. Rush 2(1) 0-0 5. 1 0-3 2. Wilfong 2 1-2 5. Davis 8 2-5 18. Totals: 21(6) 5-14 53.

HAYTI -- Williams 4(2) 2-4 12. Abbott 1 2-4 4. Luster 4(1) 0-0 9. Presberry 7(1) 6-10 21. Guyton 0 0-0 0. Rodgers 0 0-1 0 . Clay 2 3-3 7. West 1 0-0 2.

Van Buren10151716--58
Bloomfield1091026--55

VAN BUREN -- Duncan 5(4) 4-6 18. Newberry 0 1-2 1. Dazey 0 0-0 0. Freeze 2 6-8 10. Burke 4(1) 0-2 9. Simmons 1 0-0 2. Crawley 5 0-0 10. Kennedy 3 2-4 8. Totals: 20(5) 13-22 58.

BLOOMFIELD -- McNeil 0 3-4 3. Harris 5(2) 1-1 13. Hensley 6 2-4 14. Rice 2 0-0 4. Hill 2 5-6 9. Caldwell 0 0-0 0. Conner 0 0-0 0. Bader 1(1) 1-2 4. Smith 0 3-6 3. Totals: 16(3) 15-123 55.

Dexter23171918--77
Twin Rivers916818--51

TWIN RIVERS -- Tinsley 0 1-2 1. Boyles 1 0-0 2. Stockton 3(1) 3-4 10. KOberkramer 7(1) 6-9 21. Whitlock 1(1) 5-6 8. Payne 1 4-6 6. McBroom 1 1-1 3. Miller 0 0-0 0. Totals 14(3) 20-28 51.

DEXTER -- Kelley 8(1) 6-9 23. Starling 2 3-6 7. Windham 3 0-1 6. Stephens 2 0-2 4. Flannigan 8 1-1 17. Bowman 6(6) 2-2 20. Totals 29(7) 12-21 77.

Portageville1413414--45
Bernie22121718--69

PORTAGEVILLE -- Wright 2 0-0 4. Brown 1(1) 0-0 3. FTreadwell 1 0-0 2. RoBooker 2 1-2 5. DTreadwell 4(2) 1-2 11. Mathis 3 2-2 8. Minnis 3 0-0 6. Totals: 18(5) 4-6 45.

BERNIE -- Welch 6 8-11 20. Stevens 5(1) 2-2 13. Owens 4(4) 2-2 14. Becking 4 1-3 9. McGowan 3(2) 1-2 9. Walker 0 4-4 4. Totals: 22(7) 18-24 69.

SCORING LEADERS

Jarvis Finley, Kennett21.0
John Smith, Puxico21.0
Tyler Thompson, South Pemiscot18.3
Jake Owens, Bernie16.3
Jon Bowman, Dexter16.0
Leighton Hensley, Bloomfield15.8
Cody Russom, Puxico15.6
Drew Thornton, Richland15.6
Scott Conner, East Prairie15.0
Denzel Presberry, Hayti15.0
Kyle Oberkramer, Twin Rivers14.8
Quinton Stevens, Bernie14.3
Greg Davis, Doniphan13.8
Tyler Freeze, Van Buren13.8
Keenan Williams, Hayti13.8
Byron Wright, Portageville13.8
Ryan Kleffer, Richland13.6
Drew Kelley, Dexter13.5
Alan Flannigan, Dexter13.0
Jordan McGowan, Bernie12.0
Dometric Treadwell, Portageville11.8
Brett Whitlock, Twin Rivers11.8
Doriyon West, Hayti11.6
Blake Harris, Bloomfield11.5
Jake Welch, Bernie11.5
Mitch Granier, Donaphin11.3

All-Tournament Team

playerschool
Greg Davis Doniphan
Dometric TreadwellPortageville
Tyler FreezeVan Buren
Kyle OberkramerTwin Rivers
Jon BowmanDexter
Leighton HensleyBloomfield
Jake WelchBernie
Byron WrightPortageville
John SmithPuxico
Brett WhitlockTwin Rivers
Denzel PresberryHayti
Drew ThorntonRichland
Jake OwensBernie

Honorable Mentions

playerschool
Keenan WilliamsHayti
Zach CurryBernie
Drew KelleyDexter
Jordan McGowanBernie
Ryan MillerTwin Rivers
Alan FlanniganDexter
Mitch GranierDoniphan
Seth HillBloomfield
Donnell MinnisPortageville
Fernando MinnisPortageville
Tyler ThompsonSouth Pemsicot
Luciano StarlingDexter
Garrett RiceBloomfield
Quinton StevensBernie



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