SPRINGFIELD – Logen Plumb made sure the Reeds Spring boys’ basketball team got off to a good start in the Blue Division first round at the Greenwood Blue and Gold Tournament on Tuesday morning.
He also made sure the Wolves enjoyed an even better finish.
Plumb scored the first six points of the game for Reeds Spring and finished with a game-high 20 points and 12 rebounds against eighth-seeded Stockton.
Most importantly, he drew two charges in the final 20 seconds to help seal Reeds Spring’s 50-46 victory.
“I’m a charge fanatic, and I always have been,” Reeds Spring coach Barry Yocom said. “I think it’s the most selfless thing you can do on the basketball court.
“He’s just a very unselfish guy, willing to put his body on the line for his team. That’s a big-time game for him. A lot of guys contributed tonight, but obviously he did a lot of good things for us.”
The key moments in the game came in the final minute, when Stockton took a 46-42 lead on a bucket off a low post move from Gannon Kenney.
On the ensuing Reeds Spring possession, Plumb scored on a putback of an offensive rebound and was fouled. He went to the line with 41.5 seconds left and Stockton leading, 46-44.
He missed the free throw, and the ball found its way to Reeds Spring senior and leading scorer Lane Carroll. Carroll let it fly, and the ball bounced off the front rim, then softly fell through.
The unlikely 3-pointer gave the Wolves a 47-46 lead with 34.3 seconds remaining.
“We practice that every day,” Yocom joked. “That 50-50 ball off the free throw that bounced out, we got a very favorable bounce, but that’s basketball.”
That sequence left Reeds Spring with the lead, but it only set the stage for the dramatics in the final 20 seconds.
Kenney took a pass in the corner and drove baseline, with the go-ahead basket in his sights. Plumb slid into position and drew a charge.
After a Stockton timeout and two free throws from Carroll, the Wolves led 49-46 and 18 seconds to play.
Plumb found himself in a similar position on Stockton’s next possession. He stepped in front of Clayton Hubbard, taking another charge with 7.7 seconds to play.
Cole Nordin added one free throw to seal the victory.
“It wasn’t pretty by any stretch of the imagination; it was pretty ugly,” Yocom said. “But we made some stops at critical times.”
Plumb made 9-of-12 shots from the field en route to his 20-point, 10-rebound night, and Carroll finished with 15 points, five rebounds and four assists.
Cole Crutcher had eight points, and freshman Lance Hafar came off the bench to finish with four points, seven rebounds and two blocked shots.
Carroll missed his first four 3-point shots of the game, before his game-changing try found a friendly bounce.
“He’s a guy that has carried us a lot this year, as far as scoring,” Plumb said. “Tonight we were fortunate enough to have a couple of other guys step up and contribute.
“He’s carried us offensively, and he’s a tough-minded kid, to be able to take that shot and hit that shot. Any good shooter will tell you it doesn’t matter what happened up to that point, you have to believe the next one is going in, and he has that quality about him.”
NIXA 75, REEDS SPRING 43
The Wolves gave top-seeded Nixa a run for the first half in Wednesday’s second round, trailing only 32-30 at halftime, but the Eagles pulled away in the second half to advance to the Blue Division semifinals.
Carroll scored 17 of his 24 points in the first half to key the Wolves’ charge. He made two free throws, then drained a 3-pointer, and Plumb scored on a tip-in to make it a two-point game at halftime.
“I thought we came out with a good game plan, and the players executed it,” Yocom said. “That’s a credit to those guys. Nixa is good, you have to give them credit, they can shoot the ball.
“We’ve got to find a way to sustain the execution and the effort that we had in the first half.”
The Eagles outscored Reeds Spring 41-15 in the second half to put the game away.
Robbie Huseman added eight points for Reeds Spring, with Plumb finishing with seven points and seven rebounds.
“I’m proud of the kids’ effort – they went toe-to-toe with them for a while, but it just comes down to the minor things, and being more consistent,” Yocom said.