Senior's return helps Flyers to 2-0 start at Victoria Classic (w/video, gallery)
Dec. 28, 2013 at 6:28 a.m.
St. Joseph's ability to overcome a deficit has greatly improved from last season.
The Flyers trailed Victoria East by 11 points with 3:52 left in the fourth quarter, by seven with 1:13 remaining and by six with 1:04 to go in an opening-round game of the 2013 Victoria Classic.
But St. Joseph rallied to send the game into overtime before outscoring the Titans 10-2 in the extra period to claim a 64-56 win Saturday at the Victoria Events Center.
The Flyers went 2-0 to start the tournament by taking a 52-50 win over Houston CHSM on Adam Konarik's putback at the final buzzer.
"The difference is having Luke Wenske on the floor," said St. Joseph coach Abraham Garcia. "With that, everyone else is a little older. Having Luke Wenske on the floor gives us an extra ball handler - someone who can knock down free throws and take care of the ball and really help us out and do all the little things."
Wenske missed most of last season with a back injury but has come back this season, and the Flyers' improvement has been evident.
"We've got a lot more experience, and we're a lot better," Wenske said. "Last year, we had a lot of guys coming up from JV. This year, we have more experience, and we're playing better as a team."
Wenske scored eight of his game-high 25 points against East in the first quarter, including two of his five 3-point baskets.
The Titans began to apply more defensive pressure, but Wenske was able to adjust and scored in every quarter, including six points in the fourth quarter and five in overtime.
"I know I can drive to the basket, and I have a lot of ways that I can score," said Wenske, who was 8 of 10 from the free throw line. "It's important to help my teammates score, but I know whenever I'm open I can hit those 3s, and I can take it to the basket if I need to."
Garcia would like to see Wenske find different ways to score as teams apply more pressure on him beyond the 3-point line.
"He likes to sit out there and shoot the ball, and I'm really kind of harping on him to really be aggressive and attack the basket," Garcia said. "Coming off that injury, taking hits and doing things like that is still something I don't really want him to do. But he has to be aggressive, and he's doing that more and more."
Wenkse attempts to do whatever he can to help the Flyers succeed. He scored four points in the win over CHSM but contributed with rebounds, assists and his ability to handle the ball under pressure.
"A lot of times teams will put their best defender out on me at the 3-point line and not let me even get the ball sometimes," Wenske said. "That's when my teammates score, and I try to help them get better."
Yoakum 65, Victoria West 63 2 OT
T.J. Hights scored under the basket to lift Yoakum to a 65-63 win in the second overtime.
West rallied to tie the game at 54 at the end of regulation, and the first overtime ended with the teams tied at 59.
Chase Hermes had 19 points, Hights had 18, and Joe Mireles scored 14 to lead the Bulldogs.
Ruben Trevino scored 23 points, and Eddie Farrow had 11 to pace the Warriors.
St. Joseph 64, Victoria East 56 OT
Victoria East had a six-point lead with 1:04 left in the fourth quarter but turned the ball over three times under its basket, and St. Joseph converted each time to send the game into overtime tied at 54.
We missed layups, and down the stretch we just couldn't get the ball down the court," said East coach John Grammer. "We didn't keep our composure."
St. Joseph outscored East 10-2 in the extra period, including six points from the free throw line, to win 64-56.
"I just tell them to dig in, dig in," said St. Joseph coach Abraham Garcia. "We can get some turnovers, and we can do some things, and the kids really bought into it and believed that we can win, and we succeeded at it."
Luke Wenske scored 25 points, and Cody Janak had 11 to pace the Flyers.
Datryan Evans scored 15 points, and Trevon Ramey had 11 for the Titans.
Navasota 45, Austin Hyde Park 43
Lamarquis Jefferson scored 15 points to lead the defending tournament champion Rattlers to a 45-43 win. Ernie Fowler led Hyde Park with 18 points.
Houston CHSM 68, C.C. King 51
C.J. Jones scored 25 points and CHSM cruised to a 68-51 win. Jamie Montes scored 12 points to top the Mustangs.
Austin Hyde Park 61, Yoakum 45
Eric Fowler scored 19 points, and Kyle Barton added 14 as Hyde Park took control in the fourth quarter and won 61-45.
T.J. Hights and Joe Mireles each scored 13 points, and Chase Hermes had 12 for the Bulldogs (9-8).
St. Joseph 52, Houston CHSM 50
Adam Konarik made a putback shot at the final buzzer to give St. Joseph a 52-60 win over Houston CHSM.
Konarik's follow of a missed 3-point shot by Luke Wenske allowed the Flyers (8-9) to start the tournament 2-0.
CHSM's Jesse Hill had tied the game with a 3-pointer with 7 seconds remaining.
Konarik scored 16 points, Cody Janak had 15 and Barclay Proctor had 10 for St. Joseph.
C.J. Jones scored 18 points, and Anthony Palmer had 14 for the Crimson Knights.
Victoria West 54, Navasota 45
Chris Erskine made four of Victoria West's eight 3-pointers, to lead the Warriors to a 54-45 win over defending tournament champion Navasota.
Ruben Trevino had two 3-pointers and Isaac Simmons and Mason Reed each had one for West (11-8), which went 1-1 to open the tournament.
Jabril Hunter scored 16 points for the Rattlers, who suffered their first loss in their two appearances in the tournament.