When the two teams went into the locker room at halftime of last Tuesday night’s contest, the score between Potosi and Cassville was nearly identical.
But following an eventful third quarter, the host Chieftains had the game well in hand, and cruised to a 60-44 victory over the visiting Comets.
Coach Mike Uppena’s Chieftains came into the game as the league’s leading squad with a conference record of 5-1.
His father’s team from Cassville, was hoping to shake up the league standings with a win, but instead fell to 4-3 in league play with five conference games remaining.
A buzzer beating 3-pointer by Potosi junior Hunter Leibfried brought the first-quarter of Tuesday night’s game to a close with the two teams knotted at 17-17.
The two teams went back-and-forth in the second quarter, which also ended with a buzzer beating 3-pointer, this time by Cassville sophomore Ty Kartman.
At the half, Cassville held a slim 28-27 lead over the host Chieftains, and looked poised to give the league leaders a run for their money.
But all that changed in the third quarter, where Mike Uppena’s squad outscored his father’s, 23-8, taking a 50-36 lead into the final eight minutes.
“We really didn’t do anything different to start the second half,” said a surprised Mike Uppena.
The Chieftains held Cassville to just two field goals in the entire third quarter, one being a 3-pointer by Ryan Kirschbaum to open the second half and give the Comets a 31-27 lead.
“I think we got real tired in that third quarter,” admitted coach Dennis Uppena. “We just didn’t start well, we were out of sync offensively, and we had a little problem with a couple guys being real sick.”
It was obvious Cassville forward Josh Mumm just wasn’t himself on Tuesday, as the senior spent much of the game on the bench suffering with the flu.
With a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter, Potosi was able to take a ton of time off the clock with each possession against Cassville’s zone defense.
Potosi’s Mitch Langkamp scored six of his 16 points in the fourth quarter, after scoring eight in the first half. He also pulled down a team-high 11 rebounds.
On the glass, Potosi out-rebounded the Comets 37-17, and pulled down 13 offensive boards.
It was Leibfried scoring a team-high 18 points for the Chieftains, 11 coming in the first quarter.
Spencer Hawes added 10 points, four assists and three steals to his team’s win.
Cassville was led by sophomore Ty Kartman, who scored 18 points in the first half, and finished with 24. He also led the team in rebounds with seven, assists with five and steals with three.
Cole Adams added seven points in the loss.
Potosi finished the game making 27-of-57 (47%) shot attempts from the field, including 4-of-17 (23.5%) from downtown. They were 2-of-2 from the charity stripe, committed 11 turnovers and came away with six team steals.
The Comets made 15-of-45 (33%) field goal attempts, including 4-of-14 (29%) from long range. They were 11-of-16 (69%) from the free throw line, committed seven turnovers and had five team steals.
In non-conference action, the Chieftains suffered a 60-46 loss to visiting Barneveld last Friday night, followed by a 77-63 loss to visiting Galena on Saturday.
Against Barneveld, Tim Fritz scored a team-high 11 points, while Leibfried and Jase Udelhofen each finished with eight.
Leibfried also pulled down seven rebounds and dished out three assists, while Hawes had three of his team’s five steals.
Leibfried poured in a team-high 20 points to go along with 13 rebounds in his team’s loss to Galena.
The Comets also suffered two non-conference losses after Tuesday’s thriller.
Last Friday night in their Six Rivers Crossover contest, Cassville fell to Monticello, 47-43.
Kartman finished the game with a team-high 17 points and four rebounds, while Adams added nine points and four assists.
This past Monday night, Cassville wound up on the short end of a 59-44 final to host Lancaster, where Kartman put in 18 points and Adams eight.
This Thursday night, the Chieftains (11-4, 6-1 SRW) have a big match-up against host Benton (12-2, 5-2 SRW), who is looking to even up the league standings.
Cassville (9-7, 4-3 SRW) hosts Shullsburg (9-7, 5-2 SRW), who is also looking to grab a share of this year’s conference title.
Potosi 60, Cassville 44
(from Tuesday, Jan. 24)
Cassville 17 11 8 8 - 44
Potosi 17 10 23 10 - 60
Cassville - Elijah Okey 2, Ty Kartman 24, Vince Reynolds 2, Cole Adams 7, Josh Mumm 4, Ryan Kirschbaum 5. Totals - 15 10-15 44.
Potosi - Jace Udelhofen 5, Logan Udelhofen 3, Hunter Leibfried 18, Mitch Langkamp 16, Alex Wright 8, Spencer Hawes 10. Totals - 27 2-2 60.
3-point goals - C: Kartman 3, Kirschbaum 1; P: Leibfried 2, J. Udelhofen 1, L. Udelhofen 1. Team fouls - C: 10; P: 12. Fouled out - None. J.V. - Potosi won, 43-37.