Final Four Bound: De Smet Jesuit Shoots Past Jackson
The Spartans shot 57.7 percent from the field in a convincing victory over the upset-minded Jackson Indians Saturday.
The Hot Read: De Smet Jesuit may have been the visiting team in Saturday’s MSHSAA Class 5 Quarterfinal basketball game at Lindenwood University’s Hyland Arena against Jackson, but the team played like it was right at home.
The Spartans shot 65 percent from the field in the first half to jump out to a double digit lead it would not relinquish en route to an 81-48 victory. The win sends De Smet to the Final Four in Columbia for the first time since the Blake Ahearn era.
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Nolan Berry led five Spartans in double-figure scoring with 20 points along with 7 rebounds and what the team scored as 8 blocks. Mitch Plassmeyer had 15 points on 5 of 8 shooting from three point range. Jimmy Barton had 14 points and 13 assists, Alec Bausch had 12 points and Brandon Shackleford added 10.
Blake Reynolds paced the Indians with 13 points and 8 points, who were trying to extend the school’s postseason magic after an upset win in Sectional play against Chaminade Wednesday.
Quotable I Spartans Head Coach Kevin Poelker
“We talked about making them defend all of us. This year we’ve done a good job of moving the ball around and making them defend everybody and everybody did play their role, everybody did what they needed to when they got their opportunity.”
Quotable II Nolan Berry
They were trying to pack it in, play really physical. For those guys to spread the floor and knock down shots, it really opened up the game down low , it opened up rebounding opportunities, it opens up everything for our offense so when they’re hitting shots we’re really tough to guard.
Patch MVP: Mitch Plassmeyer
The junior guard’s shooting contributed to a torrid start for the Spartans. He had 15 points in 14 minutes of play, but Poelker praised his overall performance.
“He had an awkward matchup, he had to guard a big thick post player and one of their leaders and he did a nice job of not giving him baskets early, keeping him off the boards so while everybody notices the shots he did a lot of little things as well,” Poelker said.
Stat of the Day: According to the De Smet Jesuit coaching staff, 25 of the Spartans’ 30 field goals came on assists.
Play of The Day: A three quarters court pass from Barton to Berry for the easy finish, giving the Spartans a 57-32 lead in the third quarter.
What's Next: The Spartans (25-6) will meet Metro Catholic Conference rival Vianney in Friday's state semifinal at 3:20 p.m. at Mizzou Arena. The Griffins defeated McCluer North Saturday and haven't lost since a February 15 defeat against Chaminade.