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Flyers ride Dressel to tourney win

ALBANY – A common philosophy in athletics says that if you have a good horse, you ride it.

Tuesday, February 19, 2002

ALBANY – A common philosophy in athletics says that if you have a good horse, you ride it.

The St. Joe Flyers must have thought they saddled Secretariat at halftime Monday night.

Down by six points at the half, the Flyers got on the back of senior Bill Dressel and rode his 25-point second half explosion to a 69-58 win over the South Gallia Rebels in the Division IV sectional semifinals.

Dressel, who finished with 32 points, knew what he had to do.

"I had to. I just didn’t want this to be my last half of the year. We wanted to play Wednesday," Dressel said.

The Flyers, 7-14, get to play at 8 p.m. Wednesday and it will be against top-seeded Reedsville Eastern, a state tournament qualifier last season.

Dressel wasn’t the only horse in the win. Chris Laber hauled down 14 rebounds, Danny Stack had four assists, Joe Laber had three key steals, and Chris Carte came up big at the foul line as he sank 8 of 10 free throws the fourth quarter including six straight to ice the win.

St. Joe coach Adam Simpson said it was a gutty effort by the entire team.

"I think it was effort. They were tired and South Gallia was quicker, but they just wanted to play Wednesday. We just dogged them the second half," Simpson said.

"Plus Bill Dressel had a monster second half, Chris Carte hit some huge free throws, Joey Laber and Chris Laber were great on the boards, they couldn’t press us because of Danny Stack, and Kyle Johnson and Shawn Hacker did a nice job off the bench."

South Gallia (5-16) stayed in the game with its outside shooting including 7 of 21 from behind the arc. Jason Merrick scored 23 points – he was 4 of 10 from 3-point range - and Kyle Mooney added 17 points. Brandon Caldwell had 15 rebounds.

The lead changed hands four times the first half until the Rebels got the lead at 17-14 on a 3-pointer by Mooney with 5:57 left in the second quarter. South Gallia was up 29-23 at the break.

Then Dressel took over.

A three-point play by Dressel tied the game at 37-37 before Mooney hit a 3-pointer and Merrick a baseline jumper for a 42-37 lead.

Back-to-back baskets by Hacker closed the gap to 42-41, but Mooney’s baseline shot with four seconds left gave the Rebels a 44-41 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

Dressel, who scored nine points the third quarter, hit a 3-pointer to start the final quarter and tied the game.

The scoring went back and forth until Josh Waugh’s 3-pointer with 3:08 left put South Gallia up 53-52. Dressel’s 3-pointer sent the Flyers back on top before South Gallia tied the game at 55-55 with 1:53 to go on two foul shots by Waugh.

Dressel nailed a 12-footer at the 1:39 mark to put St. Joe up for good at 57-55. Carte hit a foul shot, Chris Laber followed up a missed shot, Joe Laber made a free throw and Dressel followed up the missed second shot on a back door rebound to extend the lead to 63-55 with 1:07 left.

Merrick’s 3-pointer stopped the Flyers run, but Carte made six straight foul shots over the final 48 seconds to seal the outcome.

"I wanted the ball. I was feeling it," said Carte. "I knew they had to foul and I was confident I could hit (the free throws)."

Carte finished with 10 points, Chris Laber nine and Hacker added eight.

South Gallia 9 20 15 14 – 58

St. Joseph 9 14 18 28 – 69

SOUTH GALLIA (5-16): Josh Waugh 2-6 (1-4) 3-4 8, Kyle Mooney 7-15 (2-7) 1-3 17, Jason Merrick 8-17 (4-10) 3-4 23, Zach Haner 1-3 (0-0) 0-0 2, Brandon Caldwell 3-7 (0-0) 0-0 6, Teddy Fortner 1-1 (0-0) 0-0 2, Dustin Lewis 0-0 (0-0) 0-0 0, David Bayless 0-0 (0-0) 0-0 0, Kevin Lamphier 0-1 (0-0) 0-0 0, Gerald Cade 0-1 (0-0) 0-0 0, Chris Temple 0-1 (0-0) 0-0 0. Totals: 22-52 (7-21) 7-11 58. Fouls: 20. Fouled out: Merrick (0:25 4th). Rebounds: 11-24=35 (Caldwell 15). Team/deadball rebounds: 3. Assists: 9 (Waugh 2, Merrick 2, Mooney 2). Steals: 4 (four with 1 each). Turnovers: 23. FG% – 42.3. FT% – 63.6. 3pt% – 33.3.

IRONTON ST. JOSEPH (7-14): Chris Carte 1-3 (0-1) 8-10 10, Danny Stack 1-7 (1-4) 3-4 6, Bill Dressel 14-25 (3-7) 1-2 32, Joe Laber 1-4 (0-0) 2-6 4, Chris Laber 3-8 (0-0) 3-4 9, Shawn Hacker 4-8 (0-0) 0-0 8, Kyle Johnson 0-1 (0-0) 0-0 0, Chris Keeney 0-0 (0-0) 0-0 0. Totals: 24-56 (4-11) 17-26 69. Fouls: 13. Fouled out: None. Rebounds: 12-21=33 (C. Laber 14, Dressel 5, Stack 5, Hacker 4). Team/deadball rebounds: 1. Assists: 9 (Stack 4, Carte 2). Steals: 9 (Carte 3, Stack 2, J. Laber 3, Stack 2). Turnovers: 15. FG% – 42.9. FT% – 65.4. 3pt% – 36.4.