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St. Mary 60 Hennessey 52

MUSTANG Lorenzo Jones knew he would have to play big.

As the sole interior presence for Mount St. Mary (one of only two guys on the team listed above 6 foot 4) Jones said he felt like it would be up to him to protect the paint.

“I know my role,” Jones said. “For us to win, I have to get rebounds and use my athleticism down low.”

When matched up against 6 foot 8 big man Dalton Vinson from Hennessey in the quarterfinals of the Class 3A state tournament, Jones’ presence was essential for Mount St. Mary.

After overcoming a 13 point first quarter, Mount St. Mary raced back behind the scoring punch of seniors Stephon Hall and Jack Harstad, who combined for 33 points, and the rebounding of Jones to win 60 52.

Jones finished with six points and 12 rebounds as well as two blocks, while holding his own against Vinson.

Mount St. Mary coach Kellen McCoy said limiting Vinson’s offensive rebounds was key.

“Dalton Vinson is one of the better big men in the state,” McCoy said. “He’s going to get some, but Lorenzo did a really really good job of playing smart defensively. Really proud of his efforts.”

For Hennessey, Vinson finished with a game high 25 points and nine rebounds.

A quick jumper by Smith pulled his team within six points of Idabel in the Class 3A quarterfinals at Mustang High School. A steal and a layup by Smith got Star Spencer within one point at the end of the first.

“I know when I hit the floor I better find my groove,” Smith said. “Otherwise I’ll be back on the bench.”

Star Spencer used a 15 4 run to grab a 7 point halftime lead against Idabel and never looked back, outscoring Idabel 20 7 in the third quarter and advancing to the semifinals with a 68 54 win.

Star Spencer coach Lance Cudjoe Jr. deployed his 12th different starting lineup of the season, bringing Smith, the team’s leading scorer of the year, off the bench.

“If you want something, you have to come to work every day, practice every day and you have to work hard,” Cudjoe said about why he changed his starting five. “It’s not a fair world we live in, so these guys have to work harder than everyone else to get what they want.”

That mindset worked again on Friday as Smith led a big group of scorers with 16 points. Senior forward Deandre Parker added 11 points, and Brandon Zeno finished with 10 points.

“You want to stay out there? Then you bring it,” Cudjoe said.

“I ask coach every day to let me try,” Germany said. “I’ll keep working on him.”

Germany finished with 25 points, 16 rebounds and five blocks for Kingston as it sailed past Sperry 68 45 in the quarterfinals of the Class 3A state tournament at Mustang High School.

While Germany didn’t run point guard, he did run the offense from the low block for Kingston. Germany towered above his tallest defender from Sperry as guys sometimes a foot or more shorter tried to come over and double team to little effect.

On defense, the junior eliminated nearly all paint options for Sperry, finishing with five blocks but also altering several others.

“You can’t teach 6 foot 11,” Kingston coach Taylor Wiebener said. “He really changes things defensively for us because our guards are able to guard tighter on the perimeter because they know he’s back there.”

Germany was quick to point out his teammates’ contributions. Senior Stoney Lowe scored 14 points while junior guard Jacob Whipkey added 11.
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