The #4 seeded California Pintos faced #7 seeded Versailles in the consolation game of the California 79th Annual Basketball Tournament Friday night, where they captured a 61-49 win from the Tigers.
"This game wasn't about Versailles," California Coach Blair Scanlon said. "It was about us coming together as a group to get the win. We finally played a complete game. The kids showed heart and character. Everybody played great - a team effort. This was the most gratifying win."
Versailles led 12-10 after the first quarter, however, California had pulled ahead 32-26 by the half. The Pintos turned up the heat in the third quarter to outscore the Tigers 17-9 for a 49-35 lead going into the final frame. The Tigers outscored the Pintos 14-12, but the damage was already done as California came away with the win, 61-49.
Jaden Barr, who was named to the All-Tournament team, led California with 18 points and three assists, followed by Austin Gump with 16 points and three assists, and Curtis Lehman with 12 points and six rebounds. Chase Ramsdell chipped in with eight points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals.
The Pintos hit 12 of 16 free throws.
"It was a good game that kind of got us over the hump," Scanlon said. "Ever since the Grain Valley game before break we haven't played really good basketball. The injuries with Dylan Albertson a and Jerry Lutz didn't help. This game our body language was so much better and we had a really good flow."
Versailles was led by Ryan Surface with 16 points. Surface was also named to the All-Tournament team.
Fatima's Patrick Schnieders was named the MVP of the tourney. Others named to the All-Tournament team are: Fatima's Chad Stegeman, Mexico's Jake Anderson and Jake Miller, Boonville's Tyler Peterson, Fulton's Dalton Horstmeier, Southern Boone's Nick Carlos and Frankie Griesbach, and Fatima's Chad Stegeman.
Other action in the tourney Saturday included: Fatima, the #3 seed, defeated top-seeded Southern Boone 75-52 for the championship; and #2 seeded Mexico defeated #5 seeded Boonville 48-33 for third place.
Previously, the Pintos suffered a 71-44 loss to Boonville in the opening round of the tourney Jan. 8.
The Pirates started off with a 22-5 lead in the first quarter, then led 35-11 at the half. The Pintos turned up the heat in the second half by scoring 15 points in the third quarter and 18 in the fourth, however, Boonville was just one step ahead with 17 points in the third and 19 in the fourth to hold onto the lead and ultimately take the win.
"We didn't play very well and Boonville played exceptionally well," Scanlon said. "I will say in the second half we had much better energy and played them more even."
Barr led California with 16 points, while Ramsdell scored eight and Jason Wolverton added six points.
Boonville was led by Damario Walker with 18 points. Jay Barnhart and Tyler Peterson followed with 14 points each.
The Pintos (6-6) will face the Tigers again when they play at Versailles Friday, Jan. 18, beginning with the JV game at 6 p.m.