ADAMS – Freeman’s tough defense was able to deal Falls City Sacred Heart its first loss of the season Friday night.
The Falcons defeated the Irish 40-33 in the first round of the Freeman Holiday Tournament.
With the win, the Class C2 No. 10 Falcons improve to 6-2 on the season and will play in the tournament championship Saturday against Syracuse at 3:30 p.m. The Class D2 No. 3 Irish fall to 7-1 and will play in the consolation game against Lourdes Central Catholic – also at 3:30 p.m.
Freeman’s Logan Anderson opened the game’s scoring with a three pointer, but Sacred Heart’s Sean Arnold came back with a three pointer of his own.
The Irish followed that up with baskets from Tyler Witt and Drew Bippes to make it 7-3. Freeman’s Tyler Adams then scored to cut the deficit to two, but the Irish answered with a basket to make it 9-5. Blake Kastanek then finished the first quarter with two free throws for the Falcons to make it 9-7 after one.
Gabe Eisenbarth opened the second quarter scoring with a take to the basket, but Sacred Heart’s Witt came back with two free throws. The Falcons then went on a 9-0 run thanks to two three pointers by Adams, a jumper by Kastanek and a free throw by Anderson, which made it 18-11.
Sacred Heart’s Witt came back with two straight baskets to make it 18-15, but Cacek’s buzzer beating putback basket made it 20-15 at half.
Sacred Heart’s Witt started the second half scoring with a free throw, but a three pointer by Adams and a lay-up by Trey Yates extended Freeman’s lead to 25-16.
The Irish came back with a basket, but Adams answered with a basket in the post, making it 27-18.
Sacred Heart’s Witt hit two free throws and Theo Rohrer followed that up with a lay-up to cut the deficit to 27-22, but Freeman’s Korey Beu ended the third quarter scoring with a take to the basket to make it 29-22 after three.
Sacred Heart opened up the fourth quarter scoring with a steal and a lay-up by Witt, but a basket from Anderson on a sideline out-of-bounds play followed by a steal and lay-up by Cacek extended the Falcon lead to 33-24.
Adams then gave Freeman their biggest lead of the game with two free throws, but a three pointer by Witt cut the Irish deficit to 35-27. With 1:18 left in the game, Sacred Heart’s Tristan Keithley hit a jump shot to make it 35-29.
The Falcons would hit enough free throws down the stretch, though, to get the 40-33 win.
Tyler Adams led the way for Freeman with 14 points while Logan Anderson, Blake Kastanek and Lane Cacek had six points each. Korey Beu had four points and Gabe Eisenbarth and Trey Yates had two points each.
The Falcons and Irish could potentially see each other again soon. They are both in the A Division of the MUDECAS Basketball Tournament that begins on Jan. 9. Freeman is the No. 3 seed and Sacred Heart is the No. 1 seed. The two teams wouldn’t meet until the championship game.