In a back and forth event, the entire Fulton Boys basketball team stepped up and Hornets’ Walker Goering scored his 1,000th career point.
As a result, Class 4, No. 7, No. 1 seed Fulton defeated No. 3 seed Southern Boone, 71-65, in the Saturday night championship game of the 89th Annual California Tournament in California, Missouri. I was.
Before Saturday’s contest, Fulton defeated Southern Boone last Wednesday and each team had a feel for how the opposition would play. and Colby Lancaster had to be contained.
Southern Boone limited Fulton’s star duo in the first half, holding Walker to six points and Lancaster to four. However, they were unable to keep it up in the final 16 minutes as Walker scored 15 points and Lancaster 14. Walker scored a game-high 21 points while Lancaster scored 18.
Fulton coach Justin Gilmore said, “They did a really good job doubling Walker, taking up the slack and doubling Colby.” It was effective, we had to move more aggressively, we were stagnant, we were trying to do everything one-on-one, we moved a little more in the second half, we were more aware of that. I think that kind of opened up a few things for us and made our lives a little easier in the second half.”
Regardless of how either team executed their game plan, it was anyone’s game until the final minutes of the contest. The game had 13 lead changes and 7 ties, including 3 lead changes and 2 ties in the fourth quarter.
Southern Boone was leading 50-49 at the start of the fourth quarter. The Eagles extended it to a three-point advantage on their fourth first possession before Lancaster hung around the rim while dunking the ball.
Lancaster’s crowd-pleasing slam cut Fulton’s deficit to 1 at 52-51. Then, after his two scoreless drives for the Eagles and his one drive for the Hornets, Ethan Milius put Fulton up his one (53-52).
Brady Dapkus, who replaced Southern Boone with a team-high 20 points, had the last of six 3-shooters in the game, including 12 points in the first half, to lead the Eagles 55-53.
“He’s a really good player,” Gilmour said. “We knew it. I remember seeing him last year when he was in the eighth grade. He’s really a very good player. Later, we were conscious of where he was.” He’s been on our side.When we switched to him, Donny[Weigel]connected with him. We were able to hold on and keep raising our hands. I think that really helped us until the end.
Fulton’s Lancaster wasn’t content to go down, showing that on the court by scoring three dunks in the contest while the game was tied 55-55. After that play, Hornets’ Walker pulled down his board defensively before scoring a layup in transition to give Fulton a 57–55 lead he had.
The Eagles tied it on the ensuing possession when Carter Salter made two free throws after being fouled.
From there it was all Hornets.
Milius, who put Fulton forward in the fourth inning, did it for good again.
Excited to give his team the lead, Milius punched Fulton’s assistant in the chest as the Hornets crowd roared in applause.
“He was huge for us all year,” Gilmore said. He’s a player who can do it.There was no hesitation.He stroked it with confidence.He’s the kind of guy that we’ve seen especially these days, his growth and maturity as a sophomore has been really beneficial to this group. It was something.”
That play became a dagger for Southern Boone as Fulton led the rest of the game and were up by as many as eight points before ending.
The Hornets’ great finish came after trailing 34-32 by two at halftime.
Donovan Weigel went all out for Fulton in the first half, scoring 11 of 17 points and blocking two shots. In addition, he scored two lead-changing layups for Fulton. The Hornets led three times in the first half, with Walker making two free throws on other lead-changing plays.
“We were sober in the first half, struggling to score and find easy buckets,” Gilmore said. And he was able to get some boards, put the back back in and knock down a lot of the free throws in the second half.Donnie was huge.”
Adding more names to the Hornets team’s effort: Rowdy Goring hit two 3s and scored a steal in the first quarter. Dusty Hagens, meanwhile, scored a layup and stole the ball after a scoring play in the second quarter.
In what may be a classic sports story, the team’s performance led the Hornets to a tournament championship victory.
With the win, Fulton is the second winner of two tournaments this season with a 4-1 record in games on neutral sites. It’s a notable stat for a team hoping for a deep postseason run.
“Great,” said Gilmore. “Some of my goals this year were to win tournaments. I won two. I played two games, won two. It’s very special what you’ve done and it’s also great and cool.Seniors — a good way to finish three careers in California in a row …this group, special, special group , from one to number 11 on our team. Everyone has a role. Everyone plays their part together. We were together. That’s what I love about this team.
Before the next tournament, Fulton (11-2, 3-1) has two games this week, and Moberly (2-10, 0-0) will play Tuesday in the North Central Missouri Conference at 8pm in Moberly. 2 losses). Last season, the Hornets won the conference game against the Spartans by at least six points.
“Conference games are always tough,” Gilmore said. “The NCMC is one of the best conferences. When the conference has a game, it tests. Some Moberly stuff I know Saw them play earlier this week They had some good guards We need to stay ahead and contain It’s an easy test for us.”