The Stags of Bishop Miege came into the Tigers’ main gym as perhaps the strongest team we will face this season. The Tigers, having been dealt crushing losses to St. Thomas Aquinas and Gardner-Edgerton, needed a win to get back to .500 with just two more games before the postseason. The Stags, at 13-3, were one of the state’s best teams and owned a 52-38 win over BV Jan. 13.
It all started well enough.The Tigers slowed the pace of play, limiting the Stags’ offensive opportunities. Careful shot selection and off-the-ball movement got around the Stags’ larger bodies, the largest towering at 6’7”, center senior Jacob Meurer. The first quarter was one of the lowest scoring of the season for either team, finishing at 8-8.
In the second quarter, Miege guard senior Alston Jones scored 8 of an eventual 22 points for the night. The pace began to pick up, but our team managed an even response. Four different Tigers got on the board in the quarter, including guard senior Jack Pagenkopf, sporting a masquerade-like mask to protect an injured nose. After the previous two matches saw the Tigers getting romped at halftime, the teams headed into the locker room with the Stags on top by just one, 20-19.
In the third quarter, things began to go south for BV. Bishop Miege proved to have simply too much power down low and muscled its way to several baskets. The Tigers were struggling from the field, hitting only three field goals in the quarter, and the deficit rose to nine points. But things would become interesting for all the wrong reasons in the fourth quarter.
Incredibly, the Stags managed to hit only one three-pointer all night long, one that they barely even needed. The Tigers, having been cold shooting all night long, became completely frozen. From midway through the third quarter until two free throws at the end of the game, the Tigers could not score a single point. The Stags, while not too prolific on offense, were on an incredible 20-0 run, featuring a handful of dunks. Airballs, missed layups and shots that rimmed out were the epitome of the entire night. The drought was by far the worst of the season, and the final score finished at 48-29.
The season is winding to a close, and it won’t get any easier. The Tigers are 8-11, 4-8 in the EKL, and have a road date with BV North on Tuesday. The regular season closes out on Friday, Senior Night, against formidable rivals BV West. After this loss, it is imperative that the team regroups quickly and focuses on two of the biggest games of the season.