During De Smet Jesuit's march to the state finals, the Spartans used a high shooting percentage and strength on the interior to muscle their way to Columbia. But Saturday, the team ran into a Rockhurst club opponent that could shoot and rebound better than they could, en route to a Hawklet 73-59 victory in the Class 5 State basketball title game played at Mizzou Arena.
The game was broadcast statewide on FOX Sports Midwest.
Nolan Berry got on the board with an eary lay-in 15 seconds in for the game's first basket, but Berry, the Butler signee, was double-teamed by the Hawklets early and often, and Rockhurst (26-5) used a decided rebounding edge to get second-chance scoring opportunities.
It didn't hurt that Rockhurst senior Kyle Wolf was the game's high scorer with 30 points.
The Hawklets led by as many as 14 in the first half before De Smet (25-7) whittled it to 33-27 at the half. But Rockhurst, behind Wolf's shooting, rebuilt the advantage into double digits for most of the second half.
The game was a rematch from January, when Rockhurst came away with the win 75-66 in the Coaches vs. Cancer matchup at Scottrade Center, which was also the last time De Smet Jesuit lost, en route to a 11 game winning streak heading into Saturday's final.
Jimmy Barton finished his Spartan career leading the team with 20 points. Berry added 16, while Alec Bausch had 10.