Friday, February 17th | 7:30 PM | Br. John Wills Sports Activities Center | Louisville, KY
Saint Xavier Tigers (17-11) vs. Butler Bears (16-10)
Friday, December 9th
Varsity Game – 7:30 PM
JV Game – 6:00 PM
Freshman Game – 4:30 PM
Br. John Wills Sports Activities Center
St. X will take on the Butler Bears in their final game of the regular season. The Tigers will look to keep their five game winning streak alive and take some momentum into post season play.
Senior guard Paul Oberst says that since it’s the last game of the season, the Tigers will focus more on themselves heading into this game.
“Doing what we do best – moving the ball, being solid defensively, and rebounding,” will be the keys for the game Oberst said.
The past five games the Tigers have been doing all three of those things at a high level, which is probably why they have been playing so well as of late. If they continue to do those tonight, then Coach Klein and Co. will be heading into the postseason looking very strong.
Since it’s the last game of the season, it will be Senior Night, so come out and support your seven Tiger Basketball seniors and get rowdy!
Wednesday, January 11th | 8:15 PM | Valley High School | Louisville, KY
Saint Xavier Tigers (10-5) vs. Trinity Shamrocks (15-1)
Wednesday, January 11th
Louisville Invitational Tournament First Round
Valley High School
The 15th seeded Tiger Basketball team will take on the 2nd seeded Trinity Shamrocks in the second round of the Louisville Invitational Tournament. The Tigers are coming off a 12 point victory against an athletic Moore team who led in the first half after Pierce Kiesler and James Taylor both struggled with foul trouble.
It has been five days since these two teams last played, and Tigers definitely feel as if they have a lot to take out of the last game. However, the last two games, the Tigers have gotten in foul trouble which puts them in a tricky position. Trinity was in the bonus in the middle of the third quarter, and shot 20 free throws alone in the fourth quarter.
Last game, the Tigers had difficulty guarding Trinity’s “6th starter” Jay Scrubb, who hit 12 of 13 of those free throws in the fourth quarter. Scrubb who comes off the bench, is the Shamrocks leading scorer, and it showed with his 25 point game against the Tigers. To win this one, they’ll need to put special emphasis on limiting Scrubb tonight.
Along, with stopping Scrubb, I think the priority for the Tigers should be to just keep attacking the paint, because that is by far when they play their best. The Tigers swung the momentum in the third quarter to keep the game close by keeping the Rocks on their heels. If they can keep attacking and get some kick outs tagged with consistent three-point shooting, this is a lot more dangerous team, especially now that sophomore Sam Boarman has proved that he can be a reliable deep threat.
All in all, it has only been five days since these two teams last played, but I believe the Tigers know what the keys to beating Trinity is, it’s just a matter of executing it. I know especially that senior Paul Oberst will be itching at the chance to get back at the Shamrocks; he and the rest of the Tiger Basketball team will be coming to play tonight.
The Tiger Basketball program is coming off of a historic season, one that fell just short of reaching the Sweet 16 at Rupp Arena. It was also a season where point guard Connor McKim single-handedly rejuvenated the program and brought a flair that gave hope to the whole community of St.X. With McKim lost to graduation, Coach Kevin Klein will have some work to do with a team that is mostly inexperienced, but excited to fill the shoes that last year’s team left.
AT A GLANCE
Head Coach: Kevin Klein
2015-2016 Record: 22-10
PG Connor McKim
SG William Olsen
SF Billy Basham
At the center position, junior Pierce Kiesler returns to the 2016-2017 Tiger Basketball team as the leading scorer and rebounder. He is a bruiser and more of your back-to-the-basket kind of player and like last year he will get most of his points on second chance opportunities. Kiesler did show some ability to hit some mid-range shots on occasion, but ultimately is bread and butter is going to be wearing people down in the post.
Tyler Barnes looks to vie for more playing time at Power Forward this year. Standing at 6’8″, the lanky senior has been generating some college interest from some Ivy League schools. He played in a limited role last year, often providing a spark off the bench. Barnes is a hustler and has the ability to spread the floor. What sets him apart though is his awareness to fill passing lanes and get steals.
Evan Walker is the other returning starter from last year’s squad along with Kiesler. As a sophomore, Walker was a good rebounder and overall consistent player. At times, he would seemed a little tentative to shoot with other scoring options on the floor, but he definitely has the talent to become the Tigers’ leading scorer this year. At 6’4″, he is smaller than Barnes, which may see him play more at small forward, but his ability to body up bigger guys gives him the ability to rotate between the 3 and 4.
With Connor McKim gone, the point guard position is a wide open race. In preseason action, the duties have been relegated to freshman James Taylor. Taylor has been the starting cornerback for the freshman Football Team and helped lead them to a 10-0 record. Just now getting into basketball mode, Taylor has a knack for scoring off of jumpers, has terrific vision, and is a great ball handler. Also fighting for time will be junior Cameron McDonogh. McDonogh has more experience in Coach Klein’s system which will help his cause. He plays similar to Taylor, and an extra two years in Coach Klein’s system will help his cause.
At shooting guard, senior Paul Oberst looks to lead the charge. He looks to be one of the better all-around players for the Tigers this year. He is a gritty defender and can get to the basket with relative ease. Look for Oberst to take the leadership role for the team as well this year. Jack Koch on the other hand looks to come in off the bench as the team’s best shooter. He is the smallest member of an abnormally tall team for the Tigers this year, but definitely has the sweetest stroke.
To round out the backcourt, senior Chase Westenhofer is going to be the one to watch to make acrobatic plays all year. By far the most athletic player on the team, look for him make his mark felt in transition and if you’re in his way, you might find yourself on a poster.
The team played well against top-ranked Bowling Green in a scrimmage this preseason, however, with so many new players getting minutes, the 2016-2017 squad still has some work to do. Overall the team is excited and hungry to back up last years historic season, and ultimately have the potential to take a shot at Rupp.