Different Coach, Same Result: Lutheran North Boys Class 3 Finish Third Again

By Jim Wieners

After Lutheran North Boys Basketball took Third Place in Class Three State one year ago Brent Rueter left as Crusaders head coach to take a similar position at McCluer, after Erwin Claggett took the head coaching job at St. Louis University High.

So LHSN sought a replacement for Rueter and Anthony Hall filled the opening. After a slow start the Crusaders finished strong and made a return to the Missouri State High School Activities Association Class Three Tournament two weeks ago. And, for the second year in a row Lutheran North ended up with a Third-Place finish for the second year in a row.

Lutheran North had their hopes for a third state title since 2002 when they lost a 69-43 State Semifinal game March 7 at Mizzou Arena to College Prep At Madison, a first-year St. Louis Public school (not a charter school as was mentioned two weeks ago). Most of the players transferred to College Prep at Madison from Imagine College Prep Charter, which closed after the 2011-12 school year. Also coming Imagine to College Prep is head coach Tony Irons, who played on the 2002 Class 2A state championship team at Lutheran North and is the son of former Vashon legendary coach, Floyd Irons.

Lutheran North returned to Mizzou Arena March 8 and rebounded from the Semifinal loss to eventual Class Three State Champion College Prep At Madison with a 74-47 rout over Fatima in the Third-Place game. The Crusaders finished 2012-13 with a 20-12 record.

In the State Semifinal Lutheran North led twice during the first 3:36 of the first quarter but College Prep took over and led 15-9 after one quarter. The Crusaders cut the Bears lead at halftime to 27-24 after the Crusaders outscored the Bears 15-12 in the second quarter but College Prep dominated the second half by outscoring LHSN 42-19.

The next day Lutheran North, in rebounding from the loss, dominated against Fatima as the Crusaders led from start to finish. Anthony Virdure, who missed the first four games of the season due to an injury while playing football, scored 18 points against College Prep At Madison and 25 against Fatima.

McCLUER NORTH CLASS FIVE TITLE RUN ENDS IN QUARTERFINALS — McCluer North hopes for a Class Five Boys State Title three-peat ended March 9 at Robert Hyland Performance Arena, Lindenwood University, St. Charles, with a 49-44 Quarterfinal loss to St. John Vianney, which took fourth in state. McCluer North (14-13), won the Sectional March 6 at the Mark Twain Building, University of Missouri-St. Louis, 71-66 over Fort Zumwalt North. Rashad Lindsey led the Stars with 27 points against Fort Zumwalt North and 16 points against Vianney.

“It was bittersweet but I’m still, overall, happy,” said McCluer North head coach Randy Reed.


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