Dutchmen upset bid falls short

By Will Johnson, Sports Editor
Posted 1/6/21

Nursing a 42-40 lead with 5:47 remaining, Cullen VanLeer’s Owensville Dutchmen were right in the thick of their showdown with Steelville’s Cardinals in the opening game of the 32nd …

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Dutchmen upset bid falls short

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Nursing a 42-40 lead with 5:47 remaining, Cullen VanLeer’s Owensville Dutchmen were right in the thick of their showdown with Steelville’s Cardinals in the opening game of the 32nd Owensville Varsity Boys Basketball Tournament Monday night at Owensville High School.

Outscored 14-7 the rest of the game, OHS’ upset bid fell five points short by a final score of 54-49 against Steelville.

“We had lulls where we broke down allowing them easy drives to the basket,” VanLeer said. “If we cut our turnovers in half and shoot at least 50 percent from the field, we have a better chance of winning the game.”

Leading the majority of the first quarter, Owensville got four points from Derek Brandt helping them end the first eight minutes in an 11-11 tie with Steelville.

Trailing 21-14 with 4:28 until halftime, OHS closed the first half on an 8-3 run to go into halftime trailing the Cardinals 24-22.

Tyler Heidbrink led the Dutchmen with nine first-half points followed closely with seven markers from Brendan Decker.

Chase Cottrell paced Steelville with 11 first-half points.

Down 30-24 at the 6:07 mark of the third quarter, Owensville went on another run against Steelville.

Started by a Bryce Payne 3-pointer, OHS then got nine consecutive points from Heidbrink helping them to a 36-34 lead with 3:03 for the quarter.

“Tyler (Heidbrink) played a great game tonight,” VanLeer said. “He started slow but I challenged him to rebound and he stepped it up the rest of the game.”

Trailing 37-36 entering the fourth quarter, Payne scored with 7:19 remaining to put the Dutchmen back in front 38-37.

Following a Landon Mabe 3-pointer for Steelville, Heidbrink answered with back-to-back buckets giving OHS a 42-40 lead with 5:47 left in regulation.

A short time later, the Cardinals scored the next six points to take the lead for good.

Leading all scorers with a game-high 26 points, Heidbrink also pulled down 10 rebounds to complete a double double.

Decker nearly joined the double double club finishing with 10 points and nine rebounds.

Payne just missed double figures ending up with nine points, four rebounds and three blocked shots.

In spite of not figuring in the scoring, Zaid Epstein dished out a game-high five assists for OHS.

Cottrell led Steelville with a double double scoring 22 points and pulling down 12 rebounds.

Mabe added 10 points giving the Cardinals two in double figures.

Johnny Brice just missed a double double for Steelville finishing with eight points, nine rebounds, four assists, three steals and a blocked shot.

Connor Diaz also added four points and recorded a game-high four steals for the Cardinals.

Steelville advances to Friday’s championship semifinals against Fatima while the Dutchmen fall to the consolation championship game on Saturday at 3 p.m., against an opponent to be determined.

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