Vikings News · VASJ BOYS BASKETBALL – Vikings’ rally comes up short in loss in 5th-place game at Neosho


VASJ’s post-holiday trip to Missouri was a success in terms of improvement as a team even if did not result in a winning record for the Vikings.

St. Joseph Lafayette held off a second-half charge from VASJ for a 63-59 victory for fifth place in the Boys Gold Bracket of the 2019 Neosho Holiday Classic at the Neosho High School Gymnasium on Dec. 28.

The Vikings went 1-2 at the tournament.

The Irish led by as much as 16 in the first half until VASJ began chipping away at the lead. The Vikings took their first lead on a layup by Jaden Hameed with 3 minutes left in the third quarter.

Tied at 41 late the third quarter, the Irish (5-4) scored eight straight points between the third and fourth quarters capped by a dunk by 6-foot-5 senior Kolten Griffin.

Junior guard Zach Langley scored 17 for Lafayette.

VASJ (5-5) was led by Hameed’s 22 points on 8 of 22 shooting. Hameed scored his 1,000th career point on a pullup jumper in the first half.

Junior guard Jonah Waag added 20 points on 8 of 11 shooting.

“Another slow start diminished our chances. This is the worst job I’ve ever done as a coach of getting my team ready to play,” VASJ coach Babe Kwasniak said.

“I can’t thank the people of Neosho enough for what is a first-class event.   You just can’t put on a better show or tournament than they do. The Neosho Holiday Classic is EVERYTHING that is right about high school sports.

“We got better this week, and can’t wait to get home and see just how much.”

Hameed reached the 1,000-point milestone quicker than any player Kwasniak has coached.

ST. JOSEPH LAFAYETTE (63) — Miles Henderson 2 2-2 6, Derrick May 1 0-0 2, Kolten Griffin 6 4-4 16, Zach Langley 8 0-0 17, Brayden Luikart 3 0-0 6, Jamar James 2 0-1 4, Jayden Little 0 2-2 2, Samuel Ryan 0 0-0 0, T.J. Alexander 1 2-4 4, Try’Shon Page 1 2-2 4, Kaden Miller 0 2-2 2. Totals.

VILLA-ANGELA ST. JOSEPH (59) — Jaden Hameed 8 3-3 22, Anthony Ivey 2 0-0 4, Sean Johnson 1 0-0 3, Kevin Eiseman 1 0-0 3, Jonah Waag 8 2-4 20, Noah Clarke 0 0-0 0, B.K. Kwasniak 2 0-0 5, Devin Mills 1 0-0 2, Terrell Harvell 0 0-0 0. Totals 23 5-7 59.

St. Joseph Lafayette  21       10       12       20       —        63

Villa-Angela St. Joseph, Cleveland   9          12       20       18       —        59

3-point goals—Langley, Hameed 3, Johnson, Eiseman, Waag 2, Kwasniak. Total fouls—St. Joseph Lafayette 9, Villa-Angela St. Joseph 14. Fouled out—None.