Saints bring home Class 3-District 14 championship

Wednesday, February 27, 2019
Saint Paul Lutheran High School senior Dobrivoj Andrejic (34) gets up a shot over a Richmond defender in their Class 3 District 14 championship match on Friday, Feb. 22, a victory for the Saints.
Rocco Scarcello/The Concordian

Some games were easier than others for the Saint Paul Lutheran High School Saints and Concordia High School Orioles boys basketball teams, but the end result was the same: district championships for both squads. The Orioles won top spot in Class 1-District 8, and the Saints dominated throughout the Class 3-District 14 tournament.

Congratulations to both squads!

Saint Paul Lutheran HS Saints - Class 3 District 14 Quarterfinals — Tuesday, Feb. 19
Lafayette County High School
(8) Brookfield 55
(1) Saint Paul 85

In their quarterfinal matchup, the Saint Paul Lutheran High School Saints got busy against Brookfield High School, cruising to the 85-55 victory.

The Saints had no plans of letting the Bulldogs get their hopes up, carrying a big first quarter lead into the second quarter and halftime, 49-29. Things would get worse for Brookfield, as they would continue to fill it up en route to the 85-55 blowout.

There are many reasons the Saints are so good, and if you ask 10 different fans you might just get 10 different answers. But through the eyes of this sports reporter, the biggest difference between the Saints and their competition is the fact that they can get serious buckets from up to seven players on any given night, In this matchup, only six players scored, but five of them went for double-digits.

Junior Dominic Alicea led the way for his team, bombing the competition to the tune of six three-point field goals en route to a 20 point performance. He was closely followed by seniors Dobrivoj Andrejic (17 points, 10 rebounds) and Elijah Muehler (16 points, three steals, three assists). Sophomore Vlado Vretenicic finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds, but senior Micah Lemmons might have played the most complete game for his team, balling to the tune of 13 points, eight assists, and six rebounds. Junior Aaron Kirby once again impressed in his playing time, collecting just two points but grabbing five rebounds and returning one shot back to the sender.

The win moved SPLHS to 23-1 (7-0) and a second round matchup with Trenton High School.

Brookfield ended their season at 4-17.

Class 3 District 14 - Semifinals — Thursday, Feb. 21
Lafayette County High School
(4) Trenton 39
(1) Saint Paul 61

A date with Trenton High School in the semifinal round proved to be a tune-up for a well-oiled SPLHS squad, as they would extend their winning streak to 24 games with the victory, 61-39.

If any Trenton players or coaches had happened to scout the Saints in their first round matchup, they wouldn’t be surprised to look back at their semifinal matchup and see that another big first quarter lead (22-7 Saints) would help the Saints coast to victory. Although the game never truly got out-of-hand, a 52-28 SPLHS advantage heading into the final quarter would closely foreshadow the final result, as the Saints would cruise to the semifinal win.

Senior Elijah Muehler led all Saints in points (19), assists (six), and steals (three). Dominic Alicea was money from outside, with the junior banging net on four three-point field goals. Senior Dobrivoj Andrejic scored nine points and snagged seven rebounds, while fellow senior Micah Lemmons finished with seven points and five rebounds. Sophomores Vlado Vretenicic and Justin Griffith four points and two steals apiee, while Vretenicic also corralled five rebounds. Juniors Aaron Kirby and Trey Beerman also added valuable minutes to their squads, finishing with two points apiece.

The Saints sealed their spot in the district championship match with the victory, moving to 24-1 (7-0) in the process.

Trenton fell to 10-12 to end their season.

Class 3 District 14 Championship — Friday, Feb. 22
Lafayette County High School
(3) Richmond 40
(1) Saint Paul 54

An impressive performance by the Richmond High School Spartans made them just the sixth team this season to come within 15 points of Saint Paul Lutheran in their Class 3 District 14 championship match, but there was no chance the Saints were going to come short of their goal in this one, winning the district championship for the second year in a row with the 54-40 victory.

A sneaky-good Richmond squad trailed by just one after the first quarter (12-11), but Saint Paul extended the margin a bit heading into the half, 28-22. Another tight quarter kept the lead from expanding much, moving the score to 38-30 heading into the third quarter, but the Saints lit up in the fourth period, quelling any concerns and jumping on the Spartans en route to the 54-40 victory.

Another game, another leading scorer for the Saints, as sophomore Vlado Vretenicic collected 17 points and seven rebounds. Senior Dobrivoj Andrejic finished with another double-double, managing 14 points and 13 rebounds. Senior Elijah Muehler endeed the night with 11 points and six assists, while fellow senior Micah Lemmons concluded with seven points.

Despite finishing both of the prior games with double-digit scoring, junior Dominic Alicea took on a different role against richmond, collecting five boards and two assists while failing to hit any of his three shots. It seemed to have been a sound adjustment for head coach Monte Pitsch, who has developed a reputation as one of the area’s most meticulous coaches.

Along with the district championship trophy and a spot in the state tourney, the Saints won their 25th game of the season and 25th in a row, moving to 25-1 (7-0)

Richmond ended their season at 19-7.

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