The Ladue Rams took care of business in the opening game of the American Heart Association Public-Private Showcase at Maryville University City Saturday.
Ladue’s four guards combined for a splendid 39 points and the Rams crushed Whitfield 62-36. Ladue runs its record to 16-4, and winners of 9 of the last 10 in a row. They suffered a disappointing road loss to Normandy earlier this week, 47-41.
Ladue’s coach Chad Anderson likes what he sees from his talented guards. “When teams zone us, we’re going to get our shots from our guards. They have the green light to shoot,” said Anderson.
Smurf patrol takes charge
Sometimes, the Rams back liners look like smurfs running around. The Rams had 11-3 pointers in the victory. Cornell Johnson (13), Connor Spirtas (12), Jordan Cosby (8) and Cameron Harder (6) combined for 39 of the 62 total points. All are juniors and return other than Harder.
The Rams are proud of their achievements, including winning the CBC tournament over the host Cadets in the title game.
“Connor and me just create opportunities and this is a total team effort,” said Johnston, rising to become one of the premier point guards in the area.
“The guards were on fire. Not me,” said Johnson. “Connor got me involved with his passing and Jordan (Cosby) had a heckuva game,” said Johnston.
Spirtas shows the spirit
“We’ve been playing together (Cornell) since our freshman year,” said Spirtas. “We’re having a good year. The guards move that ball around and we’re playing solid “D” (defense),” said Spirtas.
Their coach agreed. “We have a lot of guys who can shoot it. We had a tough shooting night (Wednesday) in the loss to Normandy after being off for 12 days,” said Anderson.
“It was good to see us rebound back and knock down some shots and play with confidence,” said Anderson.
In the first half, the Rams were steady, if not spectacular. They led by five at the quarter (21-16) and had a comfortable 31-18 half time lead.
By the fourth quarter, Anderson was clearing his bench with everyone getting a chance to be on the floor.
“I’ve been talking to the boys, and its not about the number of wins. Its about taking care of business and taking one game at a time,” said Anderson.
The Whitfield perspective
Mike Potsou, Whitfield coach (8-11) has had better years. He’s lost some of his top players to injuries. “Going in, we knew they would be tough to manage. Obviously, they (Ladue) are a good ball club.”
“What I took away from a game like this; when we are fresh and have our wits about us and our legs fresh, we can be in the game. In the second quarter, we just got beat on those little balls by the rim and got beat on put backs and turnovers led to two’s and you can’t let them do that,” said Potsou.
Whitfield’s Justin Thomas took top scoring honors for the game with 15 points.