By Jordan Burton (For OzarksSportsZone.com)
Playing three games in three days is never an easy task, especially in a format like the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions.
Glendale dropped its third and final game of the 2018 event, an 86-68 loss to Christ the King in the seventh-place game.
And now, it’s time for the Falcons – ranked No. 10 in Class 5 – to prepare for bigger goals.
“We’re back to real life now,” said Glendale coach Brian McTague. “We’ll practice on Monday and get ready for Lebanon on Tuesday and that’s a trap game. They’ve got a great player and they’ve been playing well lately. Hopefully we can get refocused and come out of this game knowing that we have a chance to do big things moving forward and focus on the big picture.”
Big was actually the theme of Glendale’s loss to Christ The King as well, with a pair of near 7-footers Kofi Cockburn and Moussa Cisse dominating the paint. Cockburn, a top-40 recruit according to Rivals, finished with 22 points and seven rebounds on just 11 shots. Cisse – who blocked 19 shots in his three games in Springfield – finished with 12 points, 15 rebounds and three blocks.
Glendale was outrebounded 42-20 and never overcame the frontline of Christ the King. The Royals outscored Glendale 46-16 in points in the paint.
“I thought Dylan Metivier did a great job over the last three days of battling giants in the paint,” said McTague. “You can’t matchup with him (Kofi) you just get in there, fight and do the best that you can. Dylan did that. In the second half we tried to pressure them a little bit and that left the middle of the floor wide open and made life easier for him inside.”
The Falcons had one of their worst shooting performances of the season from 3-point range, shooting a collective 15-for-42. Monty Johal led the way with 24 points, pacing three total Glendale players in double figures. Jordan Walton added 15 points and Jaxon Davis chipped in 11 points.
Christ the King outscored Glendale 10-2 in fast break points.
“There’s no question we were tired, and our legs were gone,” said McTague. “We didn’t shoot it well in the second half and it’s hard to play on a college court three days in a row. Our kids gave us three good days and we played three top-50 teams and in two of them we were right there with three minutes to go. Hopefully this will benefit us down the road. I was proud of the way we competed. We came in and we fought and had it within six with three or four minutes to play. We had a chance but just couldn’t get over the hump.”
Glendale will play Lebanon on Tuesday in Ozark Conference play, but in what was the program’s first Bass Pro Tournament of Champions appearance since 2012, the Falcons made memories that they – nor fans – will soon be forgetting.
And, at a time when many coaches believe the tournament is especially hard on local teams, McTague wouldn’t be opposed to the challenge annually.
“It’s awesome to be able to play these kinds of people in front of a crowd like this; it’s what you wish you could do every night,” said McTague. “We’d be happy to be able to come here as many times as possible and it would never get old. As a Southwest Missouri native I know how big of a deal it is and it’s a special thing to be a part of it.
“They’re not going to remember every game 20 years from now, but they’ll remember playing Wasatch and having a chance to win and being on SportsCenter’s top 10. It’s just a neat thing that most kids don’t get to experience, and it’ll be memories that our kids will have for the rest of their lives.”