Mother Nature gave us a great week of weather and the spring sports athletes continued to perform in great conditions. The GAC is getting very interesting on the diamond as Howell and Fort Zumwalt West are tied for the top slot in the South Division as both teams are heading to Columbia, Mo., this weekend. In boys’ lacrosse, De Smet earned a big victory over the top team in the area Thursday night to highlight action this week.
It is time for this week’s Friday Fast Break sponsored by Triad Bank.
The GAC South is loaded once again this year with the top two teams in this week’s HSSC/Scoops with Danny Mac baseball rankings sitting tied for first at 3-1.
Howell earned a split with Troy this week as the Trojans won the opening game of the set 10-3 while the Vikings earned a hard-fought 2-1 victory in the second contest.
Troy opened the first game with a four-run first inning and was able to add to the lead through the middle innings to earn their first conference win of the season. In the second contest, Howell scored a run in the first and then what turned into the winning run in the fourth frame to hold off the Trojans. Leo Humbert was 2-for-3 at the plate with a double and a run scored to lead the Viking offense while Brysen Nepute went the distance for the win on the mound with 10 strikeouts to aid Howell in improving to 3-1 in league play.
Fort Zumwalt West also gained a split in conference play this week as they dropped their opening game against Howell North 3-1 and then bounced back the next night to get a 5-3 victory over the Knights.
In the opener, the Knights fell behind 1-0 after the second frame before scoring a run in the third and a pair of runs in the sixth inning to gain their first conference victory. Carter Stover led the Knights efforts at the plate by going 3-for-3 with a run scored and two runs batted in while Trey Schneider tossed a complete game gem surrendering two hits and striking out six Jaguars. In the second game, Fort Zumwalt West pushed in a pair of runs in the home half of the first frame to gain an early 2-0 lead only to see North tie the game in the top of the second inning with two runs of their own. The Jaguars regained the lead in the home half of the frame and scored runs in the fifth and sixth innings to get the win. Cooper Robinson was 2-for-3 at the dish with a double and two runs batted in to pace the Jaguars while Jeter Rupp earned the win in relief of Collin Greiner to help the Jaguars improve to 3-1 in conference play.
On a side note, longtime Howell North head coach Bob Dunahue announced earlier this week that he will be retiring at the end of the season. Dunahue has guided the Knights to nine district titles, six sectional appearances, and two quarterfinal trips. He also has taken the Knights to a pair of runner-up finishes in the state. He has won 539 games in his career thus far and has seen 228 players move on to play at the college level.
Boys’ Lacrosse is in full swing and De Smet is turning into one of the hottest teams in the area after increasing their current winning streak to five games after handling Chaminade their second loss of the year Thursday night by a score of 18-15. Chaminade is the top team in the area with a record of 7-2. The Spartans are in the second slot with a record of 8-3 and are led in scoring by Graham Labonte who has 27 goals and 10 assists while Kyle Sindelar is second on the squad with 17 goals and 10 assists. Jack Lainauer and Brosnan Mark have been outstanding in splitting up time in goal as they have combined for 98 saves on the season.
In girls’ lacrosse action, Eureka has grabbed the top spot in the rankings with a 4-0 record while John Burroughs is second with a mark of 3-3. The Wildcats are paced by Bailey Boulay who has scored 17 goals and has added 13 assists on the year while Macey Rickles has been outstanding in goal as she has only allowed six goals per game and has made 23 saves thus far this season.
This weekend, some of the area’s top baseball teams are heading to Columbia to take part in the Rock Bridge tournament while on the track the annual All-Catholic Meet will take place at Chaminade. In volleyball action, many of the top squads will head to Fort Zumwalt South for their yearly tournament.
Jim Powers has been covering prep sports in the St. Louis area for 15+ years and a part of the Missouri State High School Activities Association Championship Broadcasts for the past 11 years. Powers is also a part of the Fox 2 Verlo Mattress Prep Zone Friday nights at 10:10 during the football and basketball seasons. If you have a prep sports story, please contact Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Jim at @hssportscaravan