Last Minute Change is No Big Deal as CCP Moves to Final 4


Photo by Gordon Radford (Post Dispatch)

Owen Boyette

As the Chaminade Basketball team walked into the locker room at halftime, they were down 21-20, but two quarters later, the Red Devils punched their ticket to a fifth trip to the final four in six years after defeating Mehlville 60-51. CCP came out on a defensive tear in the second half, grabbed a 30-27 lead, and never gave it back. Coach Bennett and his squad are now on a nine-game win streak.  Win two more, and they’re champions.

The conditions of this quarterfinal matchup were anything but normal. After Chaminade’s Wednesday night win over Marquette, the plan was to face Mehlville at Lindenwood University, at 2:45, completely open to the public; fast-forward 24 hours, and plans changed. MSHSAA announced that not only would the game be moved to Francis Howell Central and played at 1:45, but it would be closed to the public, with only sixty people (including players and coaches) from each school to be allowed into the gym.

For Luke Kasubke, this change meant nothing. The 6’5″ Kansas-State signee lead the team with 20 points and did so in emphatic fashion. Kasubke attack the rim like a man, which was especially impressive as he had to get through Mehlville’s 7-footer Davion Bradford and 6-7 forward Lamontay Daugherty who guarded the rim. Kasubke’s eagerness to attack the basket resulted in eight trips to the free throw line where he knocked down all but one.

When he was making the shot, it was usually a reverse layup where Kasubke would release the ball over his head and avoid Bradford’s thunderous blocks. To cap his off his strong performance, the senior forward hit a three with less then 2:30 left on the clock that gave Chaminade a 52-43 lead; and more importantly, marked the beginning of the end for Mehlville. From there, it was a foul fest putting #0 on the line to knock down shots.

While guarding 7 footers sounds like a daunting task to most, it must feel natural to Tarris Reed. Back in January, Reed was responsible for shutting down Trinity Catholic’s skyscraper Ryan Kalkbrenner. On top of that, TReed has previously defend DeSmet’s twin towers who sit at 6’10 and 6’11. This time, Chaminade’s sophomore center was asked to slow down Mehlville’s post player star; and for the most part, Reed did his job holding Bradford to 5 points and 4 rebounds. Tarris Reed three quarter fronted Davion, with his closer arm behind Bradford, resting on his back, and his far arm reaching across Davion’s chest to deny the pass into the paint. Reed did all off this while only committing 3 fouls and only 1 in the second half keeping Tarris out of foul trouble.

Offensively, Tarris Reed was force, as always. He continued to finish soft at the rim, and at one point, he even utilized a reverse layup beating Bradford of the dribble. The center finished with 15 points and 6 rebounds. He grabbed offensive boards to score second chance points, and he sank a three pointer in the closing moments of the third quarter, in the midst of a Chaminade 7-0 run. There were no monster jams for Reed, but he used his low post vision to get the ball in the basket.

Damien Mayo dribbled the ball up past half court, isolated himself just behind the three-point line and a little bit to the left, dribbled right then swept back left, cleared the lane, then took flight.

Dylan Branson saw Lamontay Daugherty’s man beat him off the dribble, slid into help, and then jumped into the air to the block the shot.

The two guards met in the air, and Mayo won the matchup. Body-to-body, Mayo dunked the ball on top of Branson and slammed it into the basket. This moment shifted the momentum all the way into the Red Devils favor. Chaminade’s parent section, who played the role of the Red Army, went into a frenzy after the sophomore sensation dunked on top of the former Red Devil.

It was a team effort. It took team defense. It took team rebounding. But the intensity that the Red Devils came out of the locker room after halftime with propelled them to advancing to the final four, and one last chance for Luke Kasubke & company to capture a state title.

Next Game: Friday March 20th 7:50, vs Staley High School at Missouri State University.

*special conditions will be in place for the final four

Be on the lookout for spectator conditions for the next gam