Ladue loses to Chaminade in championship game
The excellent season for the Ladue varsity boys came to an abrupt end March 1, when they lost 64-55 to Chaminade in the Class 5, District 2 championship game.
Throughout the first quarter, the game was a defensive struggle and despite junior guard Cornel Johnston‘s two fouls in the first two minutes, Ladue held an 8-5 lead at the end of the quarter.
Ladue scored seven straight points to open the second quarter, allowing them to take a 15-5 lead. Junior guard Connor Spirtas scored five points and played great defense during the stretch. He finished the game with 10 points overall.
However, Chaminade came right back with their own 7-0 run. Later in the second quarter, they used a second 7-0 run to take their first lead of the game: 21-20. Their lead didn’t last, however, and Ladue took a 29-25 lead going into the half, scoring 9 of the final 13 points. But Johnston, who had avoided his third foul after picking up his first two early, was hit with a technical foul along with Chaminade senior Andy Kleinlein for talking back and forth to each other with 18.3 seconds left in the half. Neither coach looked happy with the call.
Despite the slim lead, Ladue’s defense did an excellent job in the first half keeping Chaminade’s freshman standout Jayson Tatum, in check, holding him to a mere two points.
“We didn’t play that well in the first half, but Coach gave us a good speech and we came out here and performed well,” Tatum said.
The tide of the game didn’t turn immediately to begin the second half. However, immediately following a missed dunk by Ladue’s junior forward Andrew Maddock, Ladue coach Chad Anderson complained about a foul not being called, receiving a technical in the process.
Chaminade immediately went on an 11-7 run to close the quarter, taking a 44-41 lead going into the final quarter.
Maddock, who ended the game with a Ladue high 19 points, made it 44-43 early in the quarter, but the score would get no closer as Ladue’s normally reliable shooters went cold, forcing Ladue to foul in the closing minutes. Tatum, who up to this point still only had 4 points, hit 12 of his 14 free throws in the fourth quarter to ice the game, finishing with 16 points.
Despite the disappointment, Ladue (21-6) truly had one of the best basketball seasons in recent years and bring four of their five starters back for next year. Ladue’s team will not be going away anytime soon. #