LOCUST GROVE —
The Adair Warriors went 15-of-18 from the free throw line and used a hostile second quarter to trump the Chouteau Wildcats 50-43 Saturday in the consolation finals of the Bank of Locust Grove Invitational Tournament.
Adair senior forward Jordan Fleming led all scorers with 21 points.
Jason Couch led Chouteau with 10 points.
Chouteau, who actually outscored the Warriors 26-19 in the second half, visited the foul line only once in the game.
“We got beat by 7 and they shot 18 free throws, so there’s the difference,” said Chouteau Head Coach Travis Wheeler.
The fueled emotions of the second quarter over-shadowed a close game between the county rivals.
Adair senior point guard Brady Bradbury scored seven of his 18 points in the opening quarter, spurring the Warriors to a 17-14 lead at the end of the first.
Bradbury continued his hot shooting, draining a trey to open the second and push the Adair lead to six.
Chouteau answered back a few possessions later, when Couch drained a three. The basket was the only points scored in the quarter for the Wildcats.
Then the fireworks came.
After several questionable foul calls, Wheeler had seen enough, and with 1:24 to go in the half called a timeout to talk to the refs. After the timeout was over the ref issued a technical foul on Wheeler, sending Bradbury to the line.
“I’m gonna stand up for my kids, and if I think they’re being wronged then I am gonna stand up for them,” Wheeler said. “I think the kids kinda got caught up in it in the second quarter, but they played a good second half.”
Adair went 7-of-8 from the charity stripe in the second quarter.
By halftime Adair had built a 31-17 lead. Chouteau chipped away at the lead in the second half, before losing by 7.
“That second quarter was what got us,” said Wheeler. “We were right there with them in the first and outscored them in the third and fourth. It just wasn’t our night. I told our kids that we all hate losing, but you have to take something from it and use it for the next game. That’s one thing we have to get better at, not giving them a choice and sending us to the free throw line”.
Adair 17 14 10 9 50
Chouteau 17 3 12 14 43
Adair: Fleming 21,
Bradbury 18, Martin 8,
Eastin 2, Cannady 1.
Chouteau: Carter 12,
Couch 10, Aslip 8,
Shive 7, Brannon 6.