Rehmert’s Dutchmen work overtime

Will Johnson
Sports Editor

BELLE — Dropping a pair of tough games to Newburg and Cuba earlier in the week, Todd Rehmert’s Owensville Dutchmen looked to finish a stretch of four games in five days on a positive note.

Facing the host Belle Tigers in the fifth-place game of the Third Annual Belle Boys Basketball Tournament, OHS had just come off defeating Wright City 64-62 only 16 hours prior to their third game at Belle.

Needing overtime yet again, a Cason Gray 3-point play with :03 left in overtime helped the Dutchmen leave Maries County with fifth-place medals following a 79-76 victory.

Sparked by four points from Zaid Epstein, Owensville opened the game on a 10-4 run against Belle.

Playing the rest of the first eight minutes to a 9-9 draw, the Dutchmen led the Tigers on their home floor 19-13 after one quarter.

Seeing their lead cut to five on two occasions in the second quarter, the Dutchmen put together a 9-2 run pushing their lead into double digits at 35-24 with 2:54 until halftime.

Seeing Belle double up Owensville 6-3 the rest of the half, the Dutchmen saw their halftime lead shrunk to single digits by a score of 38-30.

Behind three 3-point shots from Trevor Abernathy in the first half, he led OHS in scoring with 11 first-half points.

Those 3-pointers helped the Dutchmen junior tie the tournament record for most 3-point shots made in a tournament with nine joining South Callaway’s Treysen Gray and the 2017 duo of Missouri Military Academy’s Bayern-Erdine Oldckbayar and Wright County Home School’s Ben Martin.

In the third quarter, Owensville would build their lead up to seven points on two occasions only to see the host Tigers cut it as close as one at 47-46 on a Colten Robinson bucket at the 1:24 mark of the quarter.

Ending the quarter on a 7-2 run sparked by four points from Austin Terry, Owensville entered the final eight minutes from Belle High School with a 54-48 lead.

Leading from the opening tip-off to the end of the third quarter, Rehmert’s Dutchmen were going for a wire-to-wire victory.

Starting the fourth quarter on a 6-2 run capped by an Abernathy basket at the 5:50 mark of the final period, OHS saw their lead go into double digits for the first time with a 60-50 advantage.

That was when Belle began to make their latest move.

Started by a Brett Butler bucket and capped by a circus-like 3-point play from Lane Feeler, Belle scored 15 of the next 17 points to take a 65-62 lead with 2:00 remaining.

Stewart scored two of his five points 10 seconds later pushing the Tiger advantage to 67-62.

From that point, the Dutchmen got baskets from Abernathy, Epstein and Daxton Mehrhoff to knot the game at 68-68 with :56 left before eventually winding up in a four-minute overtime session.

This game marked just the second contest in the three-year history of the Belle Tournament to go into overtime joining Missouri Military Academy and Bourbon who needed two overtimes to see the Colonels post an 83-73 victory over the Warhawks.

In overtime, Gray started the scoring 15 ticks in putting Owensville in front 70-68.

Another Butler bucket knotted the game back up at 70-70 before Gray scored again with 2:22 left in the extra session.

Four points from Epstein tied the game at 74-74 and gave Owensville a 76-74 lead before Gray broke a 76-76 tie with an old-fashioned 3-point play ultimately giving the Dutchmen a hard-fought win.

Accounting for seven of OHS’ 11 points in overtime, Gray led all scorers with a game-high 23 points.

Abernathy also landed in double digits with 14 points followed by a dozen from Epstein.

Mehrhoff and Terry both added 11 points making it five Dutchmen in double figures.

Owensville’s Friday victory quickly erased the memories of their two losses in pool play by scores of 57-56 to eventual tournament-runner up Newburg and 48-39 to Cuba’s Wildcats who fell to MMA in the third-place game.

Having the entire week off, Owensville will return to action on Monday, Jan. 28 with a short trek west on Highway 28 to once again face a Belle Tiger basketball team that will have revenge on their minds.

Monday’s four-game slate will begin at 4:30 p.m., with the JV girls followed by the JV boys and both varsity contests.