Red Bud’s Huge 3rd Not Enough In Loss to Pirates

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Nolan Cowell, Staff Writer

After stomping Lebanon by 27 points in their season opener on Tuesday, Coach C.J. Cruser and the Musketeers looked to start their season 2-0 in their home opener on Thursday. Facing off against the Valmeyer Pirates, Red Bud sought to cut back on turnovers after committing 29 in Tuesday’s contest. It was a slow first quarter for the Red Bud offense, scoring only 6 points, all of which from Red Bud’s big men. An impressive block by Red Bud’s starting center Mason Ferrell in the first quarter contributed to Red Bud’s effort to keep the Pirates down by 2 before Coach Cruser subbed out his starting 5. The Pirates went on a 9-2 run to end the first after a ball handling fundamental relapse by Red Bud’s subs, turning the ball over 4 times in less than 3 minutes. Valmeyer closed out the first with a 13-6 lead over the Musketeers. Pirates sophomore Harry Miller splashed a three-over Senior Wyatt Cowell to begin the second. Cowell would later answer later in the quarter with a long field goal of his own to bring the lead back down to 10. The Musketeers encountered a bit of foul trouble toward the end of the half, as the Pirates reached the bonus with 2 minutes remaining in the half. Valmeyer Senior Nathan Touchette caught fire in the final minute of quarter 2, scoring field goals on back to back Pirate possessions, as they headed into the locker room with a commanding 30-12 lead. Red Bud came out scorching hot to start the third. Their momentum began when the mighty 6’9” Mason Ferrell had a sensational block on Pirate Henry Webber’s attempted layup in the paint, followed by a midrange stepback 2 by Austin “A-Train ” Grohmann for the Musketeers first points of the half. Red Bud’s defense put on a clinic in the third, holding Valmeyer to 5 total third-quarter points. The Pirate lead dwindled as Junior point guard Logan Cathel sank, two threes. In combination with a three and a sensational baseline layup by Junior Nick Fehr, the lead was cut to 3. The Pirates held onto a slim 35-32 lead as the fourth quarter began. Red Bud once again struggled in the fouls category in the fourth, after a technical by Senior, Parker VanDorn. The Musketeer momentum seemed to have run out as the quarter progressed, with Red Bud unable to connect on their field goal attempts. Aside from Red Bud forward Devin Hall, the maroon and white had a tough time converting from the free-throw line all night long, missing 7 free throws in total. In a last-minute attempt at winning, Red Bud would foul the Pirates off the inbound in their final few possessions, in which they capitalized on a large percentage of shots from the stripe. Valmeyer would chew the clock down to nothing, as the Musketeers comeback fell a tad short to grab the win. 43-36 was the final from Red Bud, as the Musketeers look forward to their next matchup against the Dupo Tigers on Saturday afternoon.