By TOMMY REZAC
St. Joseph Post
STANBERRY - There's no place like home. Even in these pandemic times, with limited crowds.
Playing on their home floor, No. 5 seed Stanberry (5-5) got off to a 10-2 start and never looked back in a 49-30 win over No. 4 seed Albany (3-4) on Monday night in the opening round of the Stanberry Invite, giving the Bulldogs their third straight win.
Junior Austin Schwebach got into a groove early with six first quarter points and ended up with a game-high 17.
"We came out pretty strong in the first quarter," Schwebach said. "At halftime, coach (Nick Groomer) gave us a pretty good pep talk and we came out fired up."
Up 33-21, Stanberry opened the fourth quarter on an 8-0 run to take their biggest lead of the night.
"I thought we played a good team and played well," Groomer said. "We got some energy (in the fourth quarter). It's kind of hard to do with a dead gym. They have to motivate themselves, and we've been working on that."
Tyler Schwebach contributed 11 points, while Collin Sager had eight and Landon Marticke six on a pair of made three-pointers.
The Bulldogs will now face No. 1 seed Mound City (9-0) on Thursday in the semifinal at 6 p.m. No. 8 seed King City is unable to play Tuesday night.
The Panthers, ranked No. 2 in the latest Class 1 poll, beat Stanberry on Dec. 21, 79-42. It was the Bulldogs' largest losing margin of the season, but they were without two starters in that matchup, including Austin Schwebach.
With Stanberry nearly at full strength once again, Groomer is hopeful that his team can have a better showing against one of the best teams in the region.
"Right now, we just need to rest," Groomer said. "We did lose one guy to injury last week, so right now, we're just trying to get in shape and what comes Thursday comes Thursday."
Stanberry 49 - 12, 9, 12, 16
Albany 30 - 4, 8, 9, 9
Stanberry scorers - Austin Schwebach - 17, Tyler Schwebach - 11, Collin Sager - 8, Landon Marticke - 6, Colby McQuinn - 3, Gavin Cameron 2.
Albany scorers - Tryce Floyd - 9, Kaeden Hutchinson - 7, Kemper Cline - 5, Timmy Poppa - 3, Cade Newman - 2, Jordan Poppa - 2, Brett Williams 2.
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