Pirates pick up two more wins, grab No. 1 seed in district playoffs

Michael L. Misfeldt

Kyler Reece squares up for the three-point shot with the home crowd behind him. This win for the pirates marked their fifth straight. (Photos by Ethan Gray)

Asher Rust maneuvers around the defense on his way to the difficult bucket. The Pirates would take home the victory against the Comets, finishing 76-37.

Brady Nicholson, left, receives his record-breaking game ball from his father Jeremy Nicholson, right, in a recognition ceremony held shortly before the senior night game. The junior Nicholson recently broke the Ash Grove boys basketball career scoring record of 2,179 points—a high water mark set by his father. (Photo by Ethan Gray)

Ash Grove seeded first in Class 2, District 12 tournament which will be played at Joplin
The Ash Grove High School boys’ basketball team played two games last week, winning both of them over Stockton and Marionville.
The Pirates traveled to Stockton on Friday, Feb. 9, and came home with a five-point victory, 54-49.
Stockton led 10-4 after the first quarter, but Ash Grove battled back and outscored the Tigers, 20-15 to go into the half, trailing, 25-24. A 17-point third quarter helped push to push the Stockton lead to 42-34 heading into the final quarter of play. In the fourth quarter, the Pirates turned up the defensive intensity and held the Tigers to just seven points, while hitting for 20 points to take the game, 54-49.
Brady Nicholson led Ash Grove with 28 points and Bryce Davis added 10 points in the win.
“We didn’t shoot the ball very well in this one, but our guys battled tough and found a way to pull out a victory,” said head coach Grant Williamson. “This win also clinched a conference title which is a great accomplishment for our guys.”
On Tuesday, Feb. 6, the Pirates hosted Marionville and won the game by 39 points, 76-37.
Ash Grove jumped out to a 21-10 first quarter lead which increased to 41-25 by halftime. In the third quarter, the Pirates racked up 23 points and saw their lead jump to 64-26. Ash Grove outscored Marionville 11-1 in the final quarter of play to seal the win over the Comets.
Asher Rust led Ash Grove with 22 points, Davis added 15 points and Kyler Reece and Nicholson both ended the game with 14 points each.
“Our guys really locked in on the defensive end and executed with toughness,” said Williamson. “It was a great way for our seniors to go out in front of the home crowd.”
The Pirates are now 16-7 on the season and were scheduled to travel to Pleasant Hope on Monday before ending the regular season at Buffalo tomorrow night.
Ash Grove will enter the Class 2, District 12 tournament as the top seed, followed by: Miller, College Heights Christian, Liberal, Jasper, Verona and Thomas Jefferson Independent. The tournament will begin on Feb. 20 and will be played in Joplin.


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