(Park Hills) Thursday night was a great night to listen to J-98 for our coverage of the boys semifinals at the 66th Annual Bob Sechrest Jr. Christmas Tournament. Both games came down to the final buzzer.
In the first game top seed South Iron beat five-seeded North County 71-68. The Panthers led by 19 at the half thanks to 17 first half points from Drenin Dinkins. The senior came out of the break firing.
That 22 point lead for South Iron was washed away by the fourth quarter. North County kept charging along and got a big bucket from senior Clayton Chandler.
Defense was a big part of the Raiders’ comeback.
But free throws were the key for South Iron late in the game. The Panthers went 8 for 8 in the fourth quarter and escaped the comeback by North County.
Dinkins was the Applebee’s of Farmington Player of the Game with 33 points and was perfect from the charity stripe. South Iron coach Dusty Dinkins tells us how his team came away with the win.
South Iron improves to 10-2. North County drops to 5-5.
The second-semifinal was equally as thrilling as the Festus Tigers defeated the Central Rebels 58-56. No team was able to maintain a significant lead throughout the game, but Central found themselves with a three-point advantage with one minute left to go. The Rebel’s were fouled and missed the front-end of a one-and-one. This gave the Tigers a chance to trim it down to a one-point game.
The last time these two schools met, it was Festus that couldn’t hit free throws down the stretch to seal the win. In this edition, it was Central that couldn’t connect from the charity stripe in crunch time. The Rebels missed the first free-throw again in a one-and-one situation and the Tigers pushed the ball up the floor.
After a few timeouts, Rebel’s stud sophomore Jobe Bryant tried to drive into the lane but was called for a carry and gave the ball back to Festus. Eric Ruess would go to the line and would only hit one. Bryant had one more look for the win.
Festus improves to 8-2 while Central falls to 7-2. Here is what Tigers Coach Jason Therrell said about the dramatic victory.
The South Iron Panthers and Festus Tigers will square off in the championship game of the 66th Annual Bob Sechrest Jr. Christmas Tournament tomorrow night at 7:30. North County and Central will play in the 3rd place game at 4:30. Championship Friday coverage from T.J. Foulon Fieldhouse starts at 2:45 on J-98 The Boot.
South Iron Coach Dusty Dinkins Interview:
North County Coach Jimmy Palmer Interview:
Festus Coach Jason Therrell Interview:
Central Coach Brad Gross Interview:
South Iron 71 – North County 68 Full Game Audio:
Festus 58 – Central 56 Full Game Audio: