Boys basketball 8-6 at half way point of season

Boys basketball 8-6 at half way point of season

Molly Duggan

Tristan Buckhaulter (11) drives the lane in a game against Parkway South on Jan. 4.

The OHS boys basketball team is 8-6 through 14 games this season. The Tigers have had some big wins, but at the same time a few disappointing losses along the way. This week the Tigers have no games and will have a chance to get healthy and fresh for the second half of the season.

The Tigers started the year off with a disappointing loss to Rockwood Summit 44-51. After that game, the Tigers won five straight games including wins over highly ranked McCluer North and Lincoln High.

The win over Lincoln was followed by two losses to East St. Louis and Decatur MacArthur, leaving the Tigers with a 1-2 record in the Collinsville Tournament.

The Tigers followed the tournament up with a loss to Parkway South to start Conference play. Since the Parkway South game the Tigers are 3-2. Both losses came at the Belleville East Tournament, where the Tigers again went 1-2. The one win was significant though because it was the first win ever in that tournament for OHS.

“I’m happy with the team as a whole, we have played tough competition and are riding the roller coaster of high school basketball, when we are playing well we are tough to beat, when we are not though, we are a very average team,” said head coach Nick Traxler.

Through 14 games the leading scorer is Ervin Sarajlic (11) averaging over 16.6 points a game. Fellow junior Austin Gillmann leads the teams in rebounds and blocks with 9.2 rebounds and almost three blocks a game. Mike Munsell (12) and Tommy Bruening (12) have brought  experience to the team. Munsell has by far been the emotional leader for the Tigers and has been the best defensive player on the team.

    “Mike showed great leadership at the Belleville East Tournament and got us motivated during halftime of the games,” Traxler said.

The Tigers schedule does not get any easier playing multiple conference games and two tough non-conference games against DeSmet and Washington. The Tigers next game is Feb. 1 at home against Lafayette.

“The schedule does not get any easier, but with focus win can win our conference and can compete in districts.” Traxler said.