Rams top De Smet in shootout

Creel and Williams meet again


Brandyn Wilcoxen , Sports Writer

The battle between teacher and pupil is a story told in many different ways, and on Saturday afternoon, it was told on the basketball court.
The Rams boys basketball team, led by head coach and MV Hall of Famer Doug Creel, went to Edwardsville to take on the De Smet Spartans, coached by MV’s all-time leading scorer and former player under Creel, Kent Williams.
Mt. Vernon (5-1, 1-0), coming off a win at Marion the previous night, went into the game as the underdogs against an undefeated De Smet team that defeated Centralia 69-43 last week. However, the Rams pulled off the upset, stunning the Spartans 46-43 in a back-and-forth affair that had everyone in attendance on the edge of their seats.
At the Scott Credit Union Shootout, an MVP award was given out for every game, and Amir Spann, ’20 was awarded with the honor after an 11-point performance. He was complimented by 13 points each from Weston Brockhouse, ’19 and Simon Wilson, ’20, which were game highs for the Rams.
The Spartans started hot, jumping out to an 11-4 lead before a Rams timeout halted their momentum. Mt. Vernon responded with 16-6 run that gave them a 4-point lead heading into halftime.
The Rams came back onto the court on fire, aided by two baskets from Spann and a 3-pointer from Brockhouse that made the score 27-17. De Smet responded with a 7-0 run that kept it close, but Brockhouse closed the third quarter with 5 points to the Spartans’ 3 to make it 32-28 Rams headed into the final period.
In the huddle prior to the fourth, Coach Williams threw his whiteboard down in frustration. De Smet responded with 5 consecutive points to give them a 33-32 advantage, their first since the beginning of the second quarter. The Rams’ Wilson took control of the game, converting an and-1 play and hitting a three-pointer to push their lead to 5. De Smet would not be downed easily, coming back to take a 43-42 lead.
With 40 seconds left, the Rams, down 1, were forced to pressure the De Smet offense. In a critical possession, Spann came up with a steal that gave a fastbreak for Luke Cooper, ’19 to give the Rams the lead back. With one more opportunity to take the lead back, De Smet committed a charging foul taken by Spann, whose free throws sealed a 46-43 victory for the Mt. Vernon Rams.
The Rams improved to 6-1, while the Spartans dropped to 4-1.
The Rams will play their home opener against the Carbondale Terriers at Chaganon Gymnasium on Friday, December 7th.