Feb 24, 2013 - By Randy Tucker, Staff WriterSt. Stephen's outgunned Dubois 89-71 Saturday morning to advance to Class 1-A state tournament play next weekend in Casper. The Eagles take the fourth seed, having lost their opening-round game to the other morning qualifier, the Snake River Rattlers. Class 1-A regional rules call for teams that have met on opening day to not play again in the third-place game, with the opening-round winner taking the third seed.
The Eagle scoring came in an outstanding performance from Kole Littleshield and Sam Teran. Littleshield blistered the nets for 34 points, while Teran poured in 26. Most of their scoring came in transition or on one-on-one post moves, but Littleshield added two treys and Teran one during the game.
St. Stephen's built a quick 19-9 margin with 3:16 remaining in the first period on a pair of Littleshield free throws, but Dubois quickly answered with a follow shot and 3-pointer form Nathan Moore.
The Rams went inside as often as they could against the swarming Eagle defense, and when they did they found 6-5 junior post Austin Tharp. Tharp paced the Rams with 18 points on nine point-blank shots.
Dubois closed to two points with 7:04 left in the opening half on a pair of Billy Yaracz free throws, but St. Stephen's quickly responded with a Salvador Brown layup and jumpers from Teran and Littleshield.
St. Stephen's led 46-35 at the half.
A pair of Tharp baskets cut the margin to six points, but St. Stephen's had an answer each time. When the Rams stopped Teran or Littleshield, the Eagles surprised them with points coming from freshmen Derrick Roman and Jaron Arthur.
Dubois closed to three points with 5:44 in the third on a Stephen Collins layup, but a 12-0 St. Stephen's run put the game way for good.
Leading by 15 as the third came to a close Littleshield took a charge from Kolter Leseberg that negated a basket and continued the momentum in the Eagles favor.
The final period was back and forth with Dubois trailing by 10 for most of the period. With 39 seconds left in the game Moore hit his final 3-pointer to close the game to 83-71.
St. Stephen's reserves entered the game, and Jeremiah Fighting Bear and Dustin Blackburn each 3-pointers in the final 30 seconds of the game.
St. Stephen's will play either Kaycee or Upton at noon at the Casper Events Center this Thursday to open state tournament play.
ST. STEPHEN'S 23 23 20 23 - 89
DUBOIS 16 19 16 20 - 71
St. Stephen's - Salvador Brown 2 1-2 5, Kole Littleshield 12 (2) 4-6 34, Ruben Roman (1) 4-5 8, Sam Teran 8 (1) 7-12 26, Dustin Blackburn (1) 0-0 3, Jeremiah Fighting Bear (1) 0-0 3, Derrick Roman 1-2 1, Jaron Arthur 2 0-0 4, Brandon C'Hair 2 1-5 5. Totals 26 (6) 19-33 89
Dubois - Austin Tharp 8 2-3 18, Billy Yaracz 1 5-6 7, Stephen Collins 3 (1) 2-5 11, Kurt Leseberg 1 0-0 2, Kolter Leseberg 5 (3) 2-3 21, Skylar Neumeyer 1 0-0 2, Walker Carrico 1-2 1, Nathan Moore 1 (2) 1-2 9. Totals 20 (4) 13-21 71
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