O’FALLON, Missouri — The Muriel Williams Battle High School boys basketball team lost five of its last six games going into Tuesday’s Class 5, District 4 playoff.
But behind the hot hands of sophomore Daviante Ostrander and senior Parley Jenkins, the Spartans managed to buck their recent losing trend, grabbing a 72-55 win over Troy Buchanan High School to earn a spot in the district finals.
The Spartans (8-15) will face Wentzville-Timberland, a team Battle has beaten already this season, at 7 p.m. on Friday
“I knew we were gonna play well, but not that well,” coach John Burns said.
Battle trailed 2-0 to start the game, but Ostrander, who finished with a game-high 20 points, responded with a pull-up 3-pointer. The Spartans never again trailed and held a 9-point lead at halftime.
It ballooned into a 16-point margin in the third and fourth quarters, thanks in part to 15 second-half points from Jenkins.
Battle had never scored more than 70 points before Tuesday.
Junior forward Jadaunte’ Sutton added 17 points and 12 rebounds. His high-low connection with Ostrander flummoxed Troy Buchanan High School all night.
“The way the offense is set up, we know where each other are all the time,” Sutton said of Ostrander.
In the third quarter, Ostrander nabbed a pair of steals on back-to-back possessions and scored in transition on both. Battle never let go of that momentum.
“Everyone looks at his (Ostrander’s) offense, but his defense is so good,” Burns said. “That’s a guy that knows how to win.”
Supervising editor is Christian Clark.