The St. John-Hudson Tigers outscored the Hanover Wildcats 30-22 in the second half Thursday to beat the Wildcats and send them home, winning by a score of 53-48.
The Tigers will take on the Osborne Bulldogs, who narrowly beat Lebo earlier Thursday.
“You know what, when you’re leading scorer plays 10 minutes and you’re still able to win a first-round State game, I’m happy,” Tigers head coach Clint Kinnamon said. “We had some guys really step up and made plays.”
One of those who stepped up was junior Collin Halling, he said.
“He hadn’t been playing particularly well the last, I don’t know, five or six games and he kind of stepped up and did a nice job and made some plays,” Kinnamon said.
Halling was one of two Tigers players with a team-high 9 rebounds. The other was senior Mason Osborne, who had 14 points. Junior Marshall Woolf also had 14 points for the Tigers, and senior Eddy Calleros had 12.
Calleros hit a 3-pointer as time expired in the third quarter to put St. John up 36-33. Yet he was also the player Kinnamon pointed to as someone the game’s statistics probably wouldn’t give enough credit to for how he impacted the game.
“How many deflections did he get? How many steals did he end up getting just because he’s in the right place at the right time,” Kinnamon said.
Calleros’ 3 was big and got a little momentum going for the team, Kinnamon said.
“I knew it was going to be a tough one,” Hanover head coach Kim Lohse said. “St. John’s got a great program and well coached, and I knew if we didn’t shoot well, we’d have a tough game.”
The Tigers outrebounded the Wildcats 45-32 Thursday, and that was something Lohse pointed to as having had a major impact on the game. That, and not shooting well, were the difference as far as Lohse was concerned, he said.
“I don’t take anything away from St. John, but we didn’t shoot the ball well and we didn’t rebound well, and to me that was the difference in the game,” Lohse said.
Hanover senior Daiken StallBaumer finished with game highs in both points and rebounds, scoring 23 and recording 14 rebounds.
No other Wildcat had double-digit totals in either category.
St. John-Hudson will play Osborne Friday in a game scheduled for 4:45 p.m. inside United Wireless Arena. Hanover finishes the season 24-2 overall.