First rule of basketball: Don’t lose the game going into the District playoffs. MICDS coach Matt Hixenbaugh would agree with that axiom.
“It’s good to have a solid victory over a good player and a well coached team,” said Hixenbaugh just after his Rams polished off St. Mary’s in the final regular game of the season.
This was redemption. The Dragons beat MICDS in the Rams Christmas tournament December 27, 63-59.
Behind senior Trey Pettus’ red-hot shooting of 19 points, MICDS beat visiting St. Mary’s Saturday, 57-39. Ironically, both teams finish the regular season with identical 12-13 records. Each will have to win a first-round district contest just to draw to .500.
The Rams came out firing with a 6-0 top-of-the-game start. St. Mary’s fought back behind the blazing shooting of their junior Josh Robinson who hit a game-high 30 points. Robinson is 4th in the area in scoring with an average of 25.3 points per game.
When the worm turned.
The Rams were clinging to a 38-32 third-quarter lead when junior reserve Justin Randle stepped up.
St. Mary’s backed off the shooting guard, urging him to take some long range shots. Randle responded in kind, knocking down two wide open 3 point shots, and suddenly a close game was the start of a route.
Both teams had to persevere to even play this game. It was originally scheduled for Thursday at St. Mary’s and snowed out. A “Night of the Races” forced the site to move to MICDS Friday. Same story, another snow cancellation. Finally, Saturday, the game was played.
The Rams know the one loss season is upon them.
Trey Pettus: “Yes, especially the (seven) seniors on our team. “I don’t know if I will be playing in college so the next game could be the last competitive game I might ever play.”
Robin Thompson: “We played a lot better than we played them earlier this year. We showed a lot better team defense.”
Thompson, quote two:
“That (Josh) Robinson can light it up. He is possibly one of the better shooting guards in the area.”
MICDS struggles to finish its shots.
Matt Hixenbaugh: “That’s for sure. You see that at every level, and hopefully through practice we can get there. Sometimes it just seems mental. One ball goes in and you can just see the increase in confidence.”
MICDS will play in the Clayton District Monday. Games are divided up between Clayton and MICDS. The Rams host University City at their place; tip off is 6 p.m.
St. Mary’s hosts a 5-team district. The Dragons face Bayless in the quarterfinals, Tuesday night. Gateway is seeded No. 1 in that district.
High scorers, MICDS: Trey Pettus 19, Robin Thompson 14, William Morehead 10.
St. Mary's: Josh Robinson 30.