Linn draws top seed, first-round bye for 31st Owensville Tournament

By Will Johnson, Sports Editor
Posted 12/31/19

Cuba’s departure following last year’s tournament leaves only seven teams for this year’s 31st Annual Owensville Varsity Boys Basketball Tournament.

Drawing the top seed and a …

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Linn draws top seed, first-round bye for 31st Owensville Tournament

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Cuba’s departure following last year’s tournament leaves only seven teams for this year’s 31st Annual Owensville Varsity Boys Basketball Tournament.

Drawing the top seed and a first-round bye, Clay Crouch’s Linn Wildcats will enter the tournament with an overall record of 8-1.

Linn’s only blemish on the season came in the Eugene Tournament championship game at the hands of St. Elizabeth’s Hornets by a score of 45-44.

In their only game against a tournament opponent, Linn handed the host Dutchmen a 59-36 loss in Osage County back on Friday, Dec. 13.

Carrying a four-game winning streak into the 2020 portion of their season, Linn capped off 2019 with a 72-51 victory over Highland’s Cougars last Friday during the Moberly Holiday Shootout at Moberly Area Community College (MACC).

Leading three Wildcats in double figures with 15 points against the Cougars, Caleb Maassen is among seven juniors that will be looking to lead Clay Crouch’s Wildcats to their first Owensville Tournament title since 2006 when they edged Steelville’s Cardinals 34-33.

Seniors suiting up for Linn looking for a title in their final Owensville Tournament include Parker Patterson, Alex Grellner, Drew Voss and Jackson Voss.

Juniors joining Maassen for the Wildcats include Alek Peters, Caden Robinson, Hayden Phillips, Andy Hueste, Drew Strope and Austin McKim.

Seeded second right behind Linn in close voting is the two-time defending Owensville Tournament champion Steelville Cardinals.

Looking to join Helias (2001-03) and Pacific (2012-16) as the only teams to win at least three titles in a row, John Tolly’s Cardinals will have four seniors to help them.

A first-team selection last year on the All-Tournament Team, Tanner Diaz will be joined on the roster by fellow seniors Rylee Mabe, Kadin Norris and Josh Earney.

Juniors Chase Cottrell, Mason Lorraine, Preston Lefler and Jacob Franz will look to provide minutes to spell the four seniors.

Underclassmen on Tolly’s roster include sophomore Toby Brown in addition to the freshman duo of Landon Mabe and Connor Diaz.

Sitting at 7-1 as of the seeding meeting, Steelville’s lone loss at this point of the season came to Waynesville by a score of 67-56 in the first round of the FCNB Bank-It Tournament at Sullivan High School.

In their only game against an Owensville Tournament opponent, Steelville defeated Salem 65-47 in the consolation championship game at Sullivan.

Steelville will face the seventh-seeded Belle Tigers in first-round action at Owensville High School on Monday, Jan. 6 at 5:30 p.m.

Earning the third seed was Salem’s Tigers coached by first-year sideline boss Bryan Carty.

Salem will be led by returning first-team All-Tournament selection Reese Dodson.

In addition to Dodson, three other Tiger seniors will lead Salem into the 2020 Owensville Tournament in Dawson Conway, Silas Wulff and Carter Chilton.

Upperclassmen also on the Salem roster include juniors Josh Arzt, Braiden Carmack, Ethan Simpson and Lucas Morrison.

Four underclassmen round out the Tiger squad in the sophomore duo of Garrett Connell and Levi Smith along with the freshman pair of Gunnar Konkel and Easton May.

Coming into the tournament with a 4-4 record, Salem has played two other teams in the tournament.

Defeating St. Clair 80-73 in the consolation semifinals at Sullivan, Salem fell to Steelville 65-47 in the consolation title game.

Salem will open the tournament also on Monday, Jan. 6 against the sixth-seeded School of the Osage Indians.

Tim Isgrig’s St. Clair Bulldogs earned the fourth seed for the upcoming 31st Owensville Tournament with a 4-2 record in 2019.

Closing 2019 with a 43-28 win over the host Dutchmen on Friday, Dec. 20, St. Clair will have to face Owensville again on their home floor to open their portion of the tournament on Tuesday, Jan. 7 at 7 p.m.

St. Clair also dropped an 80-73 decision to third-seeded Salem in the consolation semifinals of the FCNB Bank-It Tournament at Sullivan in early December.

Reigning Sixth-Man award winner Justin Hoffman is one of five seniors looking to help the Bulldogs to their first Owensville Tournament title.

Seniors along with Hoffman on Isgrig’s roster include Dayton Turner, Calvin Henry, Johnny Kindel and Nick Dierking.

Henry (17.4), Hoffman (12.8) and Turner (12.5) currently lead the Bulldogs in scoring through six games.

Junior Chase Walters leads St. Clair on the glass pulling down 8.5 rebounds per game.

Pulling in the fifth seed are the host Owensville Dutchmen coached by Todd Rehmert.

Going into 2020 with a 2-5 record, OHS will get a shot to avenge their 43-28 loss to St. Clair from Friday, Dec. 20 in the tournament opener for both teams on Tuesday, Jan. 7 at 7 p.m.

Bringing an athletic lineup into the 31st Owensville Tournament, Rehmert’s Dutchmen will be led by seniors Cason Gray, Daxton Mehrhoff, Justin Garner, Trevor Abernathy and Boyde Nicks.

Juniors looking for playing time during the tournament include Zaid Epstein, Macen Blankenship, Tyler Heidbrink, Austin Terry and Bryor Bogle.

Rounding out Rehmert’s varsity roster are the sophomore duo of Brendan Decker and Derek Brandt.

Current statistics for Owensville were not available at press time.

Reaching the title game last year as a sixth seed, Aaron Shockley’s Osage Indians will have another shot at the same feat this year as they drew the sixth-seed in 2020.

In spite of their current 0-7 record, Osage has played a brutal schedule mostly against Tri-County Conference teams.

Shockley’s Indians will be led by seven seniors in Cameron Hieser, Michael Lasater, Collin Chilton, Logan Havner, Dylan Long, Drew Edwards and James Hutchcraft.

Juniors Paven Clark and Andrew Bryant in addition to the sophomore trio of Brockton McLaughlin, Grant Steen and Alton Drace round out the Indian baskebtall roster.

Current statistics for Osage were not available at press time.

Drawing the seventh and final seed was Tim Evans’ Belle Tigers.

Like Osage, Belle will also have seven seniors at their dispoal in Owensville next week.

Seniors suiting up for Belle in their final Owensville Tournament include Jat Ridenhour, Eddy Paz, Brett Stewart, Carter Dunn, Dylan Light, Kyle Thullen and Colten Robinson.

They will have a familiar foe in fellow Gasconade Valley Confrence (GVC) opponent Steelville in first-round tournament action on Monday, Jan. 6 at 5:30 p.m.

Juniors making up Evans’ roster are Levi Hinz, Gentry Dunn, Brandon Ostertag, Lane Feeler and Jace Gieck.

Sophomores rounding out Belle’s roster include Shane Baumgartner, Thomas Lingo, Justin Lingo and Will Doss.

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