Saint Paul turns tables on Chiefs for third place

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

After a nip-and-tuck first quarter, the Saint Paul Saints dominated play, en route to a 63-35 win over Santa Fe to claim third place at the 22nd annual Lafayette County Tournament (I-70 Conference/MRVC East Challenge) at Knob Noster Saturday.

The Saints and Santa Fe pretty much traded baskets in the first quarter, the Saints holding a 15-14 lead after a quarter.

Then came the second quarter and a lid went on the Chiefs' basket.

The Saints dominated the scoreboard putting up 16 points and led 31-18 by halftime.

Santa Fe held tough in the third quarter, but the Saints still increased their lead to 46-31 with a quarter to play.

SPLHS head coach Monte Pitsch preaches defense to his team, and that paid off with their play on that end of the floor.

"I thought we did a nice job defensively," he said. "We got a lot of deflections and steals."

And scoring was a big factor, too.

"We got really good looks at the rim and finished them which is something we have struggled doing," he said.

The Saints were led by the play of Peter Lemmons with 16 points and five boards. Peyton Kusel had his best game of the season with 15 points. Eric Allen added 13 points and nine caroms. Along with his six points, Simon Schmidt dished out five assists.

Luke Schmidt was the only Chiefs' player to reach double figures with 13 points. Truman Sleeper and Ben Hinz each added nine points.

"We are really happy we got third in this tournament because there are some really good basketball teams," Pitsch said.

The Saints dropped the championship game of the I-70 Conference Tournament 46-38 to Santa Fe in December at Saint Paul.

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