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Musketeers Squeak Past Meteors

Gina Phegley

Gina Phegley

Blake Cowell, Staff Writer

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The Musketeers were slated to take on the Marissa Meteors this past Tuesday, but the contest was postponed to Saturday due to the threat of inclement weather in the forecast. After a ten day game layoff for the Musketeers, they were finally able to take on the Okawville Rockets last Friday. From the very start of the game the Musketeers were not ready to go. In the first quarter the Rockets offense was off and running getting whatever they wanted on the offensive side of the floor. Scoring in the paint and from beyond the arc, the Rockets were able to build an early 14-7 lead at the end of the first quarter. The second quarter consisted of more of the same from the Musketeers. They struggled to score on offense and their defense allowed too many easy baskets around the rim. Okawville held a commanding 30-14 lead at halftime. In the second half the Musketeers began to get embarrassed on their home floor. They could not get anything going on offense, continued to be slow on defense, and did not have the right attitude to even be competitive in this game. Senior guard, Alex Birchler, made his return to the floor after missing a couple weeks due to illness. He made a solid impact on the floor hustling for loose balls and threw in seven points of his own. Griffin Ziebold led the team in scoring with eight points, but his efforts were not enough to overcome a 61-29 loss to the Rockets.

Saturday afternoon the Musketeers took on the Marissa Meteors for a conference matchup. Red Bud needed to win their final three conference games to clinch the conference title. In the first quarter the Musketeers came out with a lot of intensity on the defensive side of the floor. They put pressure on the guards and forced them to put the ball into their post player’s hands. The Meteors’ post players were able to create their own scoring opportunities and carry the load for them in first quarter. Griffin Ziebold nailed a three pointer in the first quarter for the Musketeers. Red Bud trailed 10-9 at the end of the first quarter. In the second quarter the Musketeers kept the intensity turned up on defense. Although they were working hard, the Meteors did a good job at hustling for loose balls and not coughing the ball up to the Musketeers. Cory Fithian made two of his four two point field goals in the second quarter, and helped the Musketeers lead 20-18 going into halftime. In the second half the Meteors would not lay down and they continued to battle with the Musketeers. Blake Cowell made a jump shot in the lane while being fouled and was able to convert the free-throw. Fithian swished a pair of jump shots to help Red Bud lead 34-28 heading into the final quarter. The final quarter was very intense and was tight all the way down to the wire. Red Bud held a one point lead with under a minute to go. Alex Birchler drove into the lane before he dumped the ball down to Shaye Carter who made the layup, giving Red Bud a three point lead. Ziebold then stole the ball on the defensive side and put the game on ice converting two consecutive free throws. Red Bud squeaked past Marissa 43-38. Ziebold led the team in scoring with 13 points. Fithian also had a career night scoring eight points.

Red Bud will take on the New Athens Jackets and the Dupo Tigers this upcoming week. They need to win both games to clinch the conference title.

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