Springfield, MO (Ozarks Sports Zone) -- Austin Ruder finished his high school career the way he started it.
Knocking down threes.
The Missouri State signee hit six treys to lead the Area over the City 92-87 in Saturday evening’s 36th Annual Lions All-Star Classic. The money raised in Saturday’s games goes to benefit the Missouri Lions Eye Research Foundation. The Lions ultimate goal is to elimination all preventable blindness.
“We’re just out here for a great cause and to put on a show, so it’s a really relaxed environment; it’s a lot of fun to play in,” said Ruder.
Ruder had the Area’s first six points on a pair of contested threes.
The City, behind Erik Durham’s 8 first quarter points, would storm back to take the lead 23-19 at the end of the quarter.
The two sides would battle back and forth until the Area took a 40-37 lead into the break.
The third quarter belonged to the City, who opened up a 63-56 lead near the end of the quarter before Ruder again got going, helping to close out the game for the Area squad.
The 6-foot-2 combo guard netted 18 points in the game’s final 12 minutes, including four threes. He would finish with a game-high 24 points.
“I never step on the court to lose,” said Ruder. “It’s always good for the Area to beat the City, especially with some of the smaller city guys.”
In the decisive fourth quarter the Area team hit six threes, including a pair from Evangel Baseball signee Caleb Kauffman (Weaubleau) and one from Billings guard Austin Essick.
Roy Hardy Jr. tried to keep the City in it, pouring in 11 of his team-high 18 in the final quarter, but the Area had too much firepower.
“You know that these kids on both teams were going to play hard when it got down to crunch time, and that Billy and I were going to coach hard,” said Area coach Mike Wilson. “You want everybody to have a good time and to get to play, but ultimately you want to win. “
With the win, the Area opens up a 20-16 all-time lead in the series.
Area – Essick 10, Bowling 10, Link 8, Schaffer 7, Simpson 4, Norman 8, Ruder 24, Krisik 7, Fletcher 8, Kauffman 13.
City – Carmichael 3, Hardy Jr. 18, Whittaker 16, Petry 7, Bussell 7, Ward 9, Durham 15, Green 2, Reichert 8.
Area girls topple City girls
In the first contest of the evening the Area girls routed the City girls 80-37.
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