Blue Jays Drop Hard-Fought Game To Gorloks

Picture by Stephen Campbell
Picture by Stephen Campbell

Fulton, MO 1/14/2023-  The Westminster College men's basketball team took on the Webster University Gorloks in a Saturday afternoon SLIAC showdown. The game would be hotly contested all afternoon with 11 ties and 8 lead changes. Both teams had their largest leads of the game come in the second half. In the end, the Gorloks go on to win the game 80-74. They remain undefeated in the SLIAC and improve to 4-0, they are 6-8 on the season overall. The Blue Jays lose their third straight conference game and fell to 1-3 in the SLIAC and 2-13 on the year.

The lead was traded back and forth for the first eight minutes of the game. The Blue Jays would then take control of the game on a layup by Kaden Eirhart (Altamont, IL / Altamont), a steal by Lee Verslues (Westphalia, MO / Fatima) that led to an assist to Tre Kempker (Eugene, MO/Eugene) to give Westminster a 17-13 lead. The Gorloks would call timeout and then hit back-to-back three-pointers to tie the game for the sixth time at 19-19. A little bit later in the first half the Jays would go on a 7-0 run that was capped off by a Kempker and one. He would make the free throw to make it 26-21 with five minutes left in the first half. The Gorloks would go on a run of their own to end the half and went into halftime trailing 33-30.

Westminster's Makygh Galbreath (Fulton, MO/ Fulton) got the second half started by scoring a bucket and getting the lead back up to five. The Gorloks got to the free throw line early to cut into the Blue Jays' lead, they would tie the game up 37-37 after making three free throws and two baskets in the opening moments. Ben Eberlin (Hardin, IL/ Calhoun) scored in the paint to give the lead back to Westminster. Jaxon Althaus (Oak Grove, MO/Oak Grove) drilled three on the next possession. Eberlin would score back-to-back baskets on an offensive rebound putback and off an assist from Kempker. The next time down the court, Althaus would give the Blue Jays their largest lead of the game after hitting another three-pointer to make it 49-42 with 14 minutes left to play. A few moments later Webster would score eight unanswered points and hit back-to-back three-pointers to take the lead back to 52-51. Verslues would make a layup to get the lead back and then would find Caleb Maassen (Linn, MO/Linn) to put the Jays up 55-52. The Gorloks would continue to stay hot from behind the three-point arc once again making back-to-back threes to get the lead back at 58-55 with 8:50 left. They would trade baskets for the next few possessions. The Blue Jays scored on two consecutive offensive rebound putbacks by Coby Williams (Versailles, Mo. / Morgan County R-2) and Maassen to tie the game back up 62-62. Webster responded by hitting another three and scoring a layup to go back up five points with 5 minutes left to play. They would pull away and get their largest lead of the game, 77-67 with 55 seconds remaining. They would go on to win the game 80-74.

The Blue Jays were led by Kempker who had 18 points and 5 rebounds, he would go 4-6 from the free-throw line. Althaus had 16 points and 6 rebounds. He would make 4 of the Jays' 5 made threes in the game. Eberlin had 12 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 blocks in the game.

The Blue Jays will be back in action on Wednesday, January 18th when they take on Greenville University. That game will tip off at 7:30 PM in the Historic Gym.