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Musketeers Keep Rolling

Gina Phegley

Gina Phegley

Blake Cowell, Staff Writer

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The Musketeers kept the season rolling when they traveled north to Wood River to take on the Oilers. Red Bud came into the contest with a 5-2 record looking to improve their record. The Musketeers opened up the game hot, firing on all cylinders and building a nice lead early on. Starting off the game on a 11-2 run the Musketeers were in good shape till they hit a wall on the offensive end. Red Bud led the oilers 11-5 after the first quarter, but only led the Oilers 24-19 at the half. The Musketeers lacked second half intensity, and put then in a bad position down the stretch of the game. Alex Birchler continued to be a lethal scoring threat for the Musketeer offense, and continued to drive to the hoop and score the basketball from inside the paint. Birchler also sunk a three point field goal in the third quarter. The score after three quarters of action was 35-33 with the Musketeers still out in front. The fourth quarter have arguably been the best quarter for Red Bud all season long. The Musketeers have been able to recognize tough situations, and close games out when they matter most. Birchler was able to attack the hoop, get fouled, and make some foul shots. He had five points in the final quarter. The defense for the Musketeers has been solid all year long, being able to stifle teams, and leave them in an offensive standstill. Red Bud turned up the intensity on the defensive end, and held the Oilers to four total points in the final eight minutes. Thanks to the defensive intensity, the Musketeers scratched out another hard fought victory, winning 49-40. Birchler led the Musketeers in scoring with 19 points, followed by Ziebold with 11.

On Saturday the Musketeers were able to enjoy their first home game of the season. Red Bud was playing host to the Valmeyer Pirates. The Musketeers were looking to advance to a 3-0 conference record, and finish the week with an impressive 7-2 record. In the first quarter, the Musketeers had the offensive eight minutes that they have had all year. Feeding off of the home crowd’s energy, they were able to score the basketball efficiently, and play solid defense. Blake Cowell and Griffin Ziebold both nailed three point field goals in the opening quarter. At the end of one, the Musketeers led 18-9. All season up to this point, the Musketeers have been able to get out to solid leads, but lack a killer instinct to put their opponents away for good. Valmeyer proceeded to fall back into a zone defense, forcing the Musketeer guards to make perimeter shots. Griffin Ziebold proceeded to put the team on his back offensively, and carry the load for the larger portion of this game. At the half, the home team was in front 25-22. In the second half, the Musketeers again fell back on their team’s best attribute, defense. Red Bud held Valmeyer to four total points in the third quarter, but still struggled to put the ball threw the hoop. Ziebold continued to find creative ways to score the basketball. From elusive drives to the basket, three point field goals, and late game free throws, he was able to lead the offensive charge for the home squad. The fourth and final quarter was a little closer than the Musketeers would have liked, giving up a few easy baskets late in the game. Even with the defensive lapses, they were still able to close out the Pirates, defeating them 44-41. Ziebold led all scorers with 25 points.

The Musketeers advanced to 3-0 in the conference, and 7-2 on the season. They will play host to the Wesclin Warriors on Tuesday, before wrapping up their pre-holiday schedule on Friday when they travel to Freeburg to take on the Midgets.

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