Williams named MVP
Tigers are Stover Tournament champs
The Versailles Tigers won the 63rd Annual Stover Tournament championship with a 79-64 victory against Cole Camp Saturday, Jan. 5 in Stover. The Tigers evened their record at 6-6 for the season with the three wins.
It was the fifth time the Tigers have won the tournament, the last time coming in 2014. Versailles also won the title in 1957, the first year the tournament was held, 1993 and 1998.
Tigers 79 Cole Camp 64
The Tigers pulled away in the second quarter of the championship game Saturday in Stover.
Versailles led, 15-12, at the end of the first quarter. With the game tied at 17-17 early in the second quarter, the Tigers went on a 7-0 run to take the lead for good and held a 40-28 lead at the half.
Coby Williams led the Tigers with 31 points and seven rebounds. Wyatt Espinosa added 20 points and had six assists and five steals. Quinn Randall scored nine points. Austin Zolecki put in eight points and had five steals. Brayden Morrison finished with seven points. Sha Leach contributed four points.
Kaden Harms scored 21 points for the Bluebirds and Ethan Ives finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Tigers 79 Dixon 77
Coby Williams scored the game-winning basket with one second left to send the Tigers to the championship game Thursday, Jan. 3 in Stover.
Dixon held a 34-31 lead at the half and the Tigers rallied to go in front, 55-53, heading into the fourth quarter.
Dixon led, 73-72, when Wyatt Espinosa knocked the ball away from Dixon’s Trey Holzer and scored on a layup to put the Tigers in front with 1:19 to play. The Bulldogs missed a shot on their next possession and fouled Austin Zolecki, who converted one of two free throws with 54 seconds left for a two-point lead. Holzer then tied the game with a floater in the lane with 42 seconds remaining. The Tigers then ran some time off the clock and Williams scored a bucket in the lane off a pass from Brayden Morrison to give Versailles a 77-75 lead with 19 ticks to go. Dixon’s Tyrone Harris got behind the defense and scored on a layup to tie the game at 77 with 12 seconds left. Williams then took the inbounds pass and dribbled the ball from the backcourt to the left of the lane, then put a spin move on the defender at the base line and scored the game winner as the Versailles players and fans erupted in celebration.
Williams finished with 34 points. Espinosa had 24 points, eight assists, and three steals. Zolecki scored 10 points and pulled down 10 rebounds. Morrison finished with four points and seven rebounds. Colbey Boicourt, Sha Leach, and Garrett Boatright put in two points apiece and Quinn Randall scored one point.
Harris poured in 35 points for Dixon, making seven three-pointers.
Versailles coach Jason Ollison said he hopes the team’s performance in the tournament is a harbinger of good things to come later in the season, “I was very proud of the way we executed our game plan throughout the tournament. Our juniors are starting to get more comfortable and that is allowing us to get settled into roles that will benefit everyone. It is good to come out of Christmas break playing this way, but we have a long couple of months and we have not even scratched the surface of our potential. If we continue to improve defensively, I think we can make another run at it in February.”
Dixon won the third place contest, 90-73, against Green Ridge. Russellville defeated Stoutland, 60-55, in the fifth-place game. Jamestown posted a 72-38 win against Stover in the seventh-place contest.
Coby Williams was named the tournament Most Valuable Player and voted to the all-tournament team was Wyatt Espinosa of the Tigers along with Clark Rohrbach of Jamestown, Zane Hodges of Stoutland, Carson Brown of Green Ridge, Tyrone Harris and Trey Holzer of Dixon, Mason Stewart of Russellville, and Kaden Harms and Ethan Ives of Cole Camp.