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Vandals honor seniors, but fall to Roxana

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After snapping losing streak at Southwestern, Vandalia unable to get by Shells on senior night

By Andrew Harner

VANDALIA – Roxana had little trouble spoiling Vandalia’s senior night, utilizing a 6-foot-9 post player and a cast of other strong players on Tuesday to beat the Vandals.

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Hunter Reine had 22 points, nine rebounds and two blocks for the Shells as they dispatched Vandalia, 58-43.

“We were overmatched tonight by a good ballclub,” said Vandals coach Brian Buscher.

Reine scored throughout the game, but got in 12 of his points in the final period, when the Shells matched Vandalia point-for-point in the highest scoring quarter of the game.

He had a breakaway slam dunk in the first quarter, and his defensive presence forced the Vandals to settle for outside shots instead of layups.

“He’s definitely the biggest threat in the conference,” Buscher said. “He’s long, and that made us do some different things tonight, because we had to game plan around him.”

Reine did get into some foul trouble, however, twice going to the bench during the game.

He picked up his second with 1:56 left in the first half, and 16 seconds later, Buscher subbed in 6-foot-6 senior Chase Woolsey, who also had two fouls.

Woolsey made a second-chance layup with 27.9 seconds in the quarter to cut Roxana’s lead to eight at halftime.

“We went with a little more size to try to make a little run, and it worked,” Buscher said. “It was a risk to put Chase in.”

Reine again went to the bench just 1:15 into the third period, and would remain there until the fourth quarter began.

Roxana, however, showed its depth, outscoring the Vandals, 13-7, in the period without its star player.

“That’s an attribute to how good their other players are,” Buscher said. “Even with Reine out, they’re tough.”

The Vandals (14-11, 5-3 SCC) scored 20 points in the fourth quarter of the final home game of the season, but Roxana (21-7, 8-0 SCC) kept pace with 21 points of its own take the victory on Vandalia’s senior night.

Five players and their parents were honored prior to the game, with Wade Cowger, Leyton Godoyo, Aaron Harter and Michael Wells joining Woolsey.

“This is a class where the majority of them played down,” Buscher said. “They’ve come a long way and have fought through a lot of adversity this year.

“Any time you have a program where there are kids in front of you who are getting the job done, then you have to work hard,” he said. “I think that makes kids better, and for this group, not playing varsity basketball very much in the past has made them better as they’ve worked to get there.”

Harter led the team in scoring with 13 points – including three 3-pointers – while Godoyo added 11 and Woolsey had a double-double, with 11 rebounds and 10 points.

The Vandals close the regular season on Friday with a South Central Conference game at Carlinville, and begin play in the regional tournament next Wednesday at Hillsboro.

Tuesday, Feb. 12
Roxana 58
Vandalia 43
R: 12-12-13-21—58
V: 8-8-7-20—43
Points: Harter, 13; Godoyo, 11; Ch. Woolsey, 10; Wells, 3; Carson Smith, 3; Jussi Craycroft, 2; Luke Hollinshead, 2.
Rebounds: Ch. Woolsey, 11; Harter, 5; Godoyo, 4; Wells, 4; Team, 3; Colton Woolsey, 2; Jake Bowen, 1; Cowger, 1; Craycroft, 1; Hollinshead, 1.
Assists: Cowger, 4; Harter, 1; Wells, 1; Co. Woolsey, 1.
Steals: Cowger, 2; Co. Woolsey, 2; Godoyo, 1; Smith, 1; Wells, 1; Ch. Woolsey, 1.
Block: Ch. Woolsey, 1.
Record: 14-11 (5-3 SCC)

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Last Friday, Vandalia snapped a three-game losing streak with a tight win at Southwestern.

The Vandals nearly blew a 12-point lead during the South Central Conference game, but came away 49-45 winners in the first victory since Jan. 25.

Senior Aaron Harter led with 13 points, and senior Michael Wells had 11 for the Vandals (14-10, 5-2 SCC) in a game that assures the team has a winning season.

Friday, Feb. 8
Vandalia 49
Southwestern 45
V: 10-8-18-13—49
S: 10-13-12-10—45
Points: Harter, 13; Wells, 11; Godoyo, 9; Ch. Woolsey, 8; Co. Woolsey, 5; Cowger, 3.
Record: 14-10 (5-2 SCC)