Versailles earns home win over Anna


By Drew Terhall

VERSAILLES — The Versailles High School boys basketball team was tied with Anna High School, 14-14, after the first quarter. From that point on, the Tigers took over the game and won 67-47 at home on Feb. 4.

Versailles was able to win by a big margin because they took care of the ball. Head coach Travis Swank said earlier in the year, the inexperience of the team led to turnovers being an issue. Now with the regular season close to ending, the team is playing more clean basketball.

“A lot of our turnovers earlier on the year were some inexperience and just being young out there. Our kids have really grown and matured as the year has gone on. We’re taking care of the ball a lot better now,” Swank said.

The height of the Versailles forwards gave Anna problems. Swank said they knew they had the advantage there and tried to run the offense through them.

In the first three minutes of the second quarter, Versailles went on a 8-1 run. The Rockets didn’t have an answer for senior Connor Stonebraker. He had 10 points in the first half.

At halftime, Versailles was up 34-26. Anna was able to not let the game get out of hand early. They made some plays throughout the second quarter to stay in the game.

The Tigers were still trying to extend their lead in the third quarter, until Stonebraker committed his fourth foul with 3:09 left in the third quarter. Swank said they haven’t been in a situation this season where they had to sit Stonebraker for a long period of time.

Versailles was able to maintain their lead. The Tigers weren’t able to put the game out of reach yet in the third quarter.

In Stonebraker’s absence, senior Joe Ruhenkamp stepped up. Using his size, he was able to score six points in the second half. Swank said Ruhenkamp has been a solid defender for them all season. In this game, he was able to be a big contributor on the offensive end.

“Our kids responded really well. Joe Ruhenkamp came in and did a heck of a job for us here tonight. He was just prepared and did his job. That’s what you expect,” Swank said.

Versailles had a 10-point lead heading into the fourth quarter. Halfway through the fourth quarter, Stonebraker returned to the game and helped the Tigers put the game out of reach.

The team showed they have the talent to play great basketball in stretches without Stonebraker. Swank said he hopes this experience will give the team confidence if they are faced with this situation again, especially come playoff time.

Stonebraker led all scorers with 21 points. Junior AJ Griesdorn had 11 points and Ruhenkamp finished with 10 points. Sophomore Jace Watren also had 10 points.

The team will travel to Indian Lake High School on Feb. 7 for their next game. But before that, Versailles will know where they stand in the postseason tournament as the tournament draw will take place on Feb. 5.

Swank said he always gets excited on tournament draw day. He expects to be seeded where they have been seeded the past few years. The team is 10-9 with a 4-4 conference record.

No matter where they fall, the goal is still the same every year.

“We want to get to a district. Our goal as a team every year is to play into March,” Swank said.

Contact Daily Advocate sports editor Drew Terhall at [email protected]

No posts to display