ST. JOHN (CIK) The St. John Tigers defeated the Ness City Eagles by a score of 64 to 56 to open up the 2019 half of the basketball season.
St. John Tiger #2 Eddy Calleros drives to the basket in the first quarter. The St. John Lady Tigers hosted the Ness City Lady Eagles at St. John High School in St. John, Kansas on January 4, 2019. (Photo: Joey Bahr, www.joeybahr.com)
Both teams entered the contest with rankings by the KBCA. St. John held the number five spot for Class 1A. While the undefeated Ness City Eagles held the number three ranking for Class 2A.
The game started with an awkward tip off that eventually ended up in an Eagle being called for a foul. It showed that this game would not be a soft affair.
Ness City took an early lead in the first quarter. St. John would storm back with a late five-point run to take a 11 to 10 lead at the end of the quarter.
The Tigers would press that advantage out to nine points in the second quarter. Ness City clawed back and went into the locker room for halftime trailing by only one point, 30 to 29.
The Eagles kept that momentum going to start the second half with a quick four point run. Yet once again, the Eagles failed to hold their lead.
Ness City's top players, Andres Rios and John Pfannenstiel found themselves in foul trouble midway through the third frame. This gave St. John an opening. They used an eight-point run to open up the game and end the quarter ahead 49 to 40.
Ness City tried to tie up the game but could not get closer than three points at times. By the end of the game, St. John scored 64 points to Ness City's 56.
St. John's Tanner Halling lead all scorers with 22 points for the game. Mason Osborne added 17 points and fellow teammate Marshall Woolf tallied 10 points.
For the Ness City Eagles, John Pfannenstiel and Landon Reinhardt both scored 13 points. Andres Rios came close to them with 12 points.
"We didn't get a few things to go our way tonight," said Ness City Head Coach Brandt Rogers. "We've got to be able to play defense better. We would get a good run but then our defensive rotation sunk and they would get a run."
"Those guys are really good. That's a tough game that will help us down the road," said St. John Head Coach Clint Kinnamon. "When we make easy plays and are in an aggressive mode we will make runs."
The St. John Tigers improve to 7 and 2 on the season. Ness City sees their undefeated run come to an end and now have a record of 7 and 1.
Both teams have a chance to face off again in a couple weeks at the St. John Lion's Club Mid-Winter Classic.