The Ladue High School basketball team brought new meaning to the word adversity. The Rams overcame several key issues to defeat Roosevelt, 49-38 in the quarterfinals of the Class 5, District 2 game at St. Louis University High School.
The Rams play CBC Wednesday night at 7 p.m. “We have absolutely zero to lose,” said winning coach Chad Anderson, moments after leaving the Danis Fieldhouse court. CBC swept aside Ladue by 18 points earlier in the season.
About that overcoming adversity.
6-foot-8 junior Austin DaGue is sporting a bright blue cast on his right arm. He broke his arm in a pick up game at the Center of Clayton Sunday. He is kaput for the season.
Subtract 10.3 points per game from the offense.
Senior guard Ryan Dean got himself into all kinds of trouble, picking up four personal fouls in the first half.
At just 5:54 of the third quarter, Dean ran up the frontside of a Rough Rider defender and was gone for the game.
Subtract another 10.3 points per game. Dean fouled out having more fouls than points (just three points in the contest).
Ladue refused the lay down and role over. One guys issues is another guys opportunity. Seldom used senior John Thomas stepped directly into the breach.
Using very good judgment and some eagle-eyed shooting, Thomas scored eight points and basically led the Rams to their19th win of the season, and likely the most important one. Ladue is 19-8 heading into the semis versus CBC.
Thomas got a nice round of applause from his teammates in the visitors locker room.
“I guess I did make good decisions. When they (the coaches) called my number, I was ready to play. My advice to my teammates is always be mentally ready to go into the game. You just never know when that will happen."
Ladue got points from all kinds of heroes. Steady sophomore guard Cornell Johnston drained 13 points. Another sophomore, Andrew Maddock battled his way inside he lane often, also netting 13 points. Hamm Hooper, playing a supporting role added eight big ones.
Down the stretch, the Rams played their best ball, one of their best efforts of the season.
Assistant coach Todd Basler sees it this way. “After the whipping we took by CBC, we turned our whole season around."
Anderson was proud of the second half effort. “We decided to run in transition in the second half and we executed much better then.”
“Like I say, we face CBC with zero pressure. They’d better be ready for us,” he said boldly.
Nigel McMorris led Roosevelt with 17 points; Damian Ross had 13. The Riders ended the season 6-16.