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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Wildcats finish strong in area basketball tournaments

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Verona's Cody Ernsberger floats through the lane to score 2 points against Exeter Friday night in the Pierce City Invitational basketball tournament. Ernsberger finished the contest with 28 points and was named to the All-Tournament team. [Times Photo by Jared Lankford]
After losing a close contest to defending Class 2 champion Crane to open the Pierce City Tournament, the Verona Wildcats ripped off two wins to claim fifth place.

On Friday, the Wildcats dispatched Exeter 63-28.

"For a Class 1 school we are pretty athletic," said Verona head coach Brad Stewart. "Tonight, we played really well in spots. We still have areas in which we need to improve, but the boys played well."

Verona's defense caused havoc for the Tigers all night. The Wildcats forced 17 Exeter turnovers in the first half that led to 22 transition points.

"We got outworked, outcoached, outplayed and plain beat tonight," said Exeter coach Jay Allen. "I think we came into this game overconfident and not mentally prepared to play. We gave up way too many easy baskets."

Verona jumped out to a 19-10 lead after one period of play and took a 36-18 advantage into halftime. The Wildcats dialed up the pressure in the third frame, outscoring the Tigers 23-7 to lead 59-23.

"If we can continue to play with this type of energy and intensity, we are going to be a tough team to beat," said Stewart.

Cody Ernsberger led Verona's scoring attack with 28 points, including a tournament record eight 3-pointers. Ernsberger hit five treys in the third period alone.

Also scoring for the Wildcats were: Wesley Kissinger, 12 points; Nick Washam, 8 points; Caleb Patterson, 7 points; Seth Losack, 4 points; and Justin Smith and Ryan Stanley, 2 points apiece.

Verona vs. Sarcoxie

On Saturday, Verona picked up a 66-51 victory over Sarcoxie to earn fifth place in the Pierce City Tournament.

The Wildcats led 18-9 after the first period and outscored the Bears 15-13 in the second period to lead 33-22 at intermission. The Wildcats continued the offensive output in the third frame, outperforming the Bears 19-10 in the frame. Sarcoxie would make a run in the fourth quarter, scoring 19 points to Verona's 14, but it was too little, too late.

Scoring for Verona were: Kissinger, 20 points; Washam, 12 points; Ernsberger, 11 points; Patterson, 10 points; Losack, 9 points; and Thomas Estrada and Dalton Miller 2 points apiece.

Ernsberger was named to the All-Tournament team

The Wildcats will be in action on Tuesday at home against Exeter. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m.

Verona girls

The Verona Lady Wildcats finished second in the Thomas Jefferson basketball tournament on Saturday night.

On Friday, the Lady Wildcats defeated Jasper 53-48 in overtime.

Verona led 23-22 at halftime but trailed 38-37 at the end of the third. The Lady Wildcats tied the game in the fourth and outscored Jasper 7-2 in the extra frame.

Tristan Carrasquillo led the Lady Wildcats in scoring with 23 points. Amanda Mullen added 8 points. Tessa Youngberg tallied 7 points. Taylor Pinkly chipped in 6 points. Leann Hesemann pitched in 4 points. Shelby Barsotti added 3 points, and Rachel Welters scored 2 points.

On Saturday, Verona fell 67-28 to Southwest.

Scoring for the Lady Wildcats were: Pinkly, 8 points; Mullen, 7 points; Barsotti and Welters, 4 points; Tessa Bilyeu, 3 points; and Carrasquillo 2 points.

The Lady Wildcats travel to Wheaton on Friday. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m.

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