Hockey gets back into the win column

It looks as if the O’Fallon Panther ice hockey team have put their late season woes behind them with a much needed 5-2 victory last week over Bethalto.

A three goal second period combined with a first period tally gave the Panthers all they needed to shut down the Eagles. Captain Hayden Ourada found the back of the net in the first period with help from Jack Wallace and Boeck.

Panther’s Aaron Turner, Ethan Ourada, and Ryan Boeck all scored in the second period. The Eagles cut the score in half, 4-2, early in the third but, an insurance goal from Boeck. Junior Ryan Boeck had four points in the game with two goals and two assists.

O’Fallon goaltender Kristin Smith had another solid showing between the pipes. Smith had a .923 save percentage and stopped 22 of 24 shots.

The team win finish off the regular season schedule in Granite City against Freeburg/Waterloo late on Thursday night.

Girls basketball rolls past Alton, East St. Louis, and Salem

Marta Durk weaves through multiple defenders in last Thursday's game against East St. Louis (O'Fallon Weekly Photo by Nick Miller)

Marta Durk weaves through multiple defenders in last Thursday’s game against East St. Louis (O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Nick Miller)

The O’Fallon Lady Panther basketball team continued their strong play in 2017 with a pair of wins last week against Alton and East St. Louis as well as a win in the Highland Tournament on Monday.

O’Fallon faced off against Salem in their opening match up of the tournament in Highland. After getting the lead in the first quarter the Lady Panthers were relentless in their effort, defeating Salem by a final score of 68-32.

Although the game was a lopsided affair for OTHS, a number of turnovers early in the first and third quarter gave head coach Ryan Massey plenty to focus on before the next round of the tournament.

“We had the lead from the start but we started off slow,” said Massey. “By no means are we playing flawless basketball and there are plenty of things for us to clean up.”

Before their win over Salem the Lady Panthers defeated both Alton and East St Louis in conference match ups earlier in the week.

Senior Marta Durk dominated the basket with a season high 28 points in the 75-40 win over the Alton Redbirds. The offense did not stop there for Durk as she posted another big night against East St Louis with 23 points.

Divine Lane and Jayla Stubblefield also provided offensive sparks for O’Fallon. The duo combined for 18 points against Alton and 23 against East St Louis.

The Lady Panthers defeated the Flyers 63-43 and improved their South Western Conference record to 8-2. With the win O’Fallon moves into second place in the conference behind Edwardsville.

As the season reaches its final stretch, coach Massey looks to use this week’s tournament in Highland as a tool to prepare for the postseason.

“It kind of tells us where we were at for the finals weeks of the season. We get to see some different faces of competition and styles of play. I’m proud of how the girls have played so far and this tournament provides us with a list of things to fine tune going into the end of the season.”

Panther hockey stumbles late in season with back to back losses

Panthers Hockey logoO’FALLON – The O’Fallon Panthers ice hockey team will need to kick start their offense in order to get back on track after suffering back to back losses last week.

After being shut out 3-0 by Edwardsville last Monday, the Panthers hoped to bounce back against Columbia the following day. O’Fallon managed to put one past Columbia goaltender Chase Taake but were defeated 4-1.

Columbia built a lead early in the game, scoring three times in the opening period. Hayden Ourada scored the only Panther goal in the second period on assists from Graham Sudduth and Chris Duncan. Ourada’s goal is the only O’Fallon tally in their last three games, having been outscored 14-1.

Hayden Ourada and his younger brother Ethan Ourada continue to generate the attack for the Panthers. Ethan, a sophomore, leads the team with 28 points (16 G, 12 A). With his goal against Columbia, Hayden is right behind his brother with 27 points (14 G, 13 A).

Goaltender Kristin Smith stopped 23 of 27 shots against Columbia. The 4-1 defeat marks Smith’s first loss of the season.

The Panthers now have a 12-6 record and are currently in fourth place in the Mississippi Valley Club Hockey Association 2A division.  Edwardsville remains atop the MVCHA standings with 28 points while Freeburg/Waterloo and Columbia both remain ahead of O’Fallon with 25 points.

O’Fallon will face off against Collinsville on Monday, January 23, in their second to last game of the regular season. The JV Panthers will play back to games this weekend against Bethalto on Saturday and Highland on Sunday.

Panthers break in Metro Rec Plex with annual alumni game

Players from the current Panthers team and teams past take a group photo on the Metro Rec Plex ice at the alumni game (Submitted Photo)

Players from the current Panthers team and teams past take a group photo on the Metro Rec Plex ice at the alumni game (Submitted Photo)

O’FALLON – Familiar faces were a plenty at this year’s annual O’Fallon Ice Hockey Club alumni game.

The game features Panther players from years past as they face off against the current varsity team. For the second year straight the varsity Panther team defeated the alumni by a single goal.

Last Friday’s thrilling 9-8 finish marks just the second time since the events inception that the current roster has managed to best the alumni.

However the game was a “first” of a different kind for the Panthers, who got a chance to break in the ice at the brand new Mckendree Metro Rec Plex in O’Fallon.

“It was the first game played in the new McKendree Metro Rec Plex. The players were excited and it was great to see the turnout with the alumni,” said Panther head coach Patrick Roy.

The new state of the art facility will be the home ice for both the O’Fallon and Belleville high school club teams.

The alumni roster was filled with returning players from a variety of graduating classes. Panthers ranging from 1996 all the way to as recent as 2016 were included on the team.

Aside from being a good opportunity for older players to brush the dust off of their equipment, the game was also a chance for the team to help give back to the community. Donations of canned good for the local food pantry, as well as monetary donations for a family in need were received throughout the night. The team is continuing to accept donations during upcoming games.

O’Fallon has a busy week ahead with back to back matches against Edwardsville and Columbia.

Lady Panthers topple Granite City

basketballThe Lady Panther basketball team got back into the win column on Monday night with a 63-47 win over the Granite City Warriors.

O’Fallon took an early 23-10 led in the first quarter and never looked back. OTHS outscored Granite City in all but the fourth quarter and held on for a sizeable victory.

Senior Caitlin Kayser spearheaded the Panther offense with 13 points. Trailing right behind Kayser was fellow Senior Marta Durk with 12 points, and junior Jayla Stubblefield with 10 points.

The free throw line played an integral role in O’Fallon’s attack against the Warriors. The Lady Panthers were a perfect 14-14, while the Warriors shot 70 percent from the free throw line.

Their win over Granite City was a good bounce back for O’Fallon, who lost to Edwardsville last week in a close finish.

Durk led the Lady Panthers with 19 points however the OTHS team was unable to overcome a first quarter deficit and were defeated by Edwardsville 62-52. O’Fallon trailed early after allowing the Tigers to score 25 points while only posting eight in the opening quarter.

Despite the unfavorable result, the Lady Panthers continued to show plenty of positives in their game. After getting off to a slow start O’Fallon managed to play Edwardsville close in every quarter and outscored them 17-7 in the fourth. Caitlin Kayser and Eboni Acoff combined for 19 points while the junior trio of Chamberlain, Keller, and Stubblefield put together a 16 point night.

With their win over the Warriors the Lady Panthers boost their overall record to 10-5. During the week O’Fallon will host a pair of Southwestern Conference matchups against Alton and East St Louis. On Saturday the team will travel to Highland to face off against Salem at Highland in the 31st Highland Tournament. Last year the Lady Panthers were defeated at Highland by Triad in the quarterfinal round.

OTHS Boys Volleyball

Boys Volleyball falter early to Belleville West in Sectionals

Panthers defeat Althoff to win second straight Regional title.

OTHS Boys Volleyball

The Panthers celebrate their regional title win over the Althoff Crusaders.
(O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Nathan Poignee)

It’s never easy to beat an opponent that knows you well. That was just the case for the O’Fallon Panther volleyball team who were defeated last Friday by Belleville West in the Edwardsville IHSA Sectional tournament.

During the 2016 season the Panthers and the Maroons faced off three times. In those three meetings, prior to the Sectional, the Panthers got the better of the Maroons. Often times the matches between the two SWC powerhouses required three games to be decided. On Friday however, the match only required two games. This time the Maroons finally got the better of the Panthers when it mattered most.

But that is not to say the O’Fallon High team did not play well or battle hard. Both games in the set were decided by two points at a score of 27-25.

“It is hard to beat a team time and time again. They begin to get familiar with what we have tendencies to do and they used it. West made fewer errors and they were picking up everything we were putting over the net,” said O’Fallon varsity head coach Katelyn Hagarty.

Earlier in the week the Panthers defeated the Althoff Crusaders for their second Regional Title in a row. Much like in their match against West, both the Panthers and the Crusaders were very familiar with each other.

“We came out and played really well against Althoff,” said Hagarty. “Our passing allowed our offense to make a play every single rally.”

Although their season ended shorter than they had hoped, the Panthers had quite an impressive year. In over two months of play the O’Fallon squad bolstered an impressive overall record of 26-9-3. Not only did they with their Regional Tournament but, they also finished in first place in the Southwestern Conference.

“Being the Southwestern Conference champions is exciting. It’s not just given to us, they really had to go out and earn it. This was a very fun group to be around and I’m very proud of who they are.  I know that all of the graduating seniors are going to go on and be something,” said Hagarty.

OTHS Boys Tennis

OTHS Tennis wins fourth straight Sectional Title

OTHS Boys Tennis

The OTHS boys’ tennis team took 1st place at the Triad Sectional Tournament. (submitted photo)

Six members of the OTHS boys’ tennis team will advance to state after the Panthers captured first place in the Triad Sectional tournament last weekend.

The win should come as no surprise to O’Fallon or its fans. Including this year, OTHS has won four straight sectional titles. Last year the team rallied back from a third place finish in the conference tournament to win the sectional. This year was no different for the Panthers, who just two weekends ago finished in third place at the conference tournament before winning the Triad Sectional.

O’Fallon benefited from strong performances all throughout their deep and talented roster. Three-time doubles sectional champions Shree Patel and two-time singles sectional champion Dominic Macaluso helped set the tempo for the Panthers. Patel teamed up with fellow senior Riley Muren for his third sectional title. Each of Patel’s doubles championships have been with different partners. Macaluso, a sophomore, continued his dominance as the OTHS number one singles player with his second singles championship win in the sectional.

Panther doubles duo Prem Patel and Quincy Dollison also had a dynamite weekend at the Sectional Tournament and earned themselves a second place finish in the doubles bracket. Freshman Niko Papachrisanthou finished third place in singles and earned the chance to compete in his first state tournament this season.

To win the sectional the O’Fallon squad outplaced Triad, Collinsville, Greenville, Highland, Flora, Granite City, and Hillsboro. The IHSA State tournament will take place in Arlington Heights and play will begin on Thursday.

OTHS Girls Soccer

Lady Panthers prepare for soccer postseason

OTHS Girls Soccer

Senior Jen Craddick fends of a Nerinx Hall player in last week’s loss.
(O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Nathan Poignee)

A season of injuries and learning experiences have left the Panthers girls’ soccer team with a tough opponent to kick off the regional tournament this week.

The Lady Panthers are set to face off against the number one seed Collinsville Kahoks in the first round of the IHSA Regional tournament in Collinsville on Wednesday.

In order to overcome the Kahoks, coach Dippel says his team will need to come out of the gate strong and minimize their mistakes early in the game.

“We need to come out ready to play,” said Dippel. “There have been games we don’t come out ready and end up having to fight back. If we can withstand their pressure and get a few opportunities in the offensive end, it will be key for us to start.”

Playing from behind is exactly what the met Panthers had to do when they faced off against Collinsville earlier this season.  Back in March when the two teams met, the Kahoks put in three goals in the first half in an eventual 5-2 loss for the Lady Panthers.

OTHS Girls Soccer

Sophomore Alyssa McMinn races to the ball.
(O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Nathan Poignee)

A few bumps in the road were to be expected for O’Fallon, whose roster contains a young core of underclassmen.  Part of that young core is current goal leader for the Panthers, Sam Stutsman.  In her sophomore season, Stutsman has a team leading ten goals. Two of her goals this season were against Collinsville in the 5-2 loss.

To prepare for their biggest test this season, coach Dippel and the Panthers are sticking to their usual game plan.

“It will be a tough matchup for us.  Collinsville is a good team and a field of good, quick players. We will play the same overall game. At this point in the playoffs we don’t want to change too much. “

Although they won’t be making any massive changes to their playbook in preparation for the first round of the regional tournament, the Panthers are practicing penalty kicks in case they are required.

“We don’t want to go into it and not have practiced penalty kicks if it comes to that,” said Dippel.

OTHS Boys Tennis

Panthers Tennis finishes third in SWC Tournament

OTHS Boys Tennis

Panther tennis at Southwestern Conference Tournament (Submitted Photo)

The O’Fallon Panther boys’ tennis team fell just short of second place last week in the Southwestern Conference Tournament.

Although they beat Belleville West in their conference match earlier in the season, the Maroons got their revenge on O’Fallon and finished just one point ahead of the Panthers at the SWC tournament. West finished in second place with 56 points while the Panthers were right behind with 55. Edwardsville continued to dominate the conference as they have all season long and finished in first place with 70 points.

Several Panthers made it to the final round of play at the SWC tournament.  Senior Prem Patel (No.  5 singles), sophomore Quincy Dollison (No. 6 singles), and freshman Niko Papachrisanthou (No. 4 singles) all earned second place finishes.  Dominic Macaluso and Riley Muren both finished in third place at number one and two singles. Shree Patel picked up a win over Alton and earned a fourth place finish in the number three singles bracket.

In doubles action Muren and Shree Patel defeated Alton to earn fourth in the number one bracket. Macaluso and Papachrisanthou as well as Prem Patel and Dollison both finished in third.

This week the Panthers will compete in the IHSA Sectional tournament on Friday and Saturday.

If last year’s results are any indication for this year’s, the Panthers are in for another strong showing at this weekend’s tournament. In 2015 the Panthers finished in third place at the SWC tournament and took first at the Sectional.

A full list of team results from the Southwestern Conference tournament are listed below:

1.   Edwardsville                70

2.  Belleville West            56

3.  O’Fallon                        55

4.  Belleville East              53

5.  Alton                             35

6. Granite City                  27

7. Collinsville                     19

8. East St. Louis                 9

OTHS Boys Volleyball

Panther Volleyball takes second place at OTHS invite

OTHS Boys Volleyball

Dorries and Hovick leap for a block (O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Nathan Poignee)

They did not make it easy on themselves, but the varsity Panther volleyball team battled through adversity all weekend to earn a second place finish in the OTHS invitational.

The host Panthers (23-7-3) faced off against the Sandburg Eagles in Saturday’s championship match. O’Fallon played the Eagles close but, were unable to get the upper hand in either game before eventually losing 25-20, 25-19.

O’Fallon’s path to the championship match was filled with plenty of close calls along the way. During Friday’s pool play the Panthers defeated both Seckman and Oakville. Against Oakville, the Panthers lost the opening game 27-26. After being within inches of taking game one, OTHS took control and defeated Oakville by a score of 25-14, 15-9.

OTHS Boys Volleyball

Meidel blasts a spike past Belleville West (O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Nathan Poignee)

The Southwestern Conference leading Panthers also went the distance in their matches against both Belleville West and Althoff. Much like in their game against Oakville, the Panthers dropped game one against the Belleville West Maroons. Despite playing from behind, O’Fallon High kept their composure in the final two games and won each by four points.

Although varsity Panther head coach Katelyn Hagarty would have prefered less stress-inducing wins, she was pleased with her team’s resiliency throughout the tournament.

“I’m proud of the way they played,” said Hagarty. “Absolutely we could have won a few of our matches in two games but being able to come back after losing or being down says a lot about our team. I thought we played pretty well against Sandburg. All-around, our defense and our offense, played well and it makes it hard for other teams to beat us.”

OTHS Boys Volleyball

Mike Hovick and Gabe Norsigian were named to the All-Tournament Team
(Submitted Photo)

Panthers Mike Hovick and Gabe Norsigian were both named to the OTHS Invitational “All-Tournament Team”.

This week the team will travel to East St. Louis on Tuesday and Granite City on Wednesday.

While the O’Fallon Panther team is rolling through the conference and had a strong showing in their tournament, coach Hagarty and her team won’t be letting their foot off of the pedal anytime soon.

“I saw a lot of good things overall but there are plenty of things we can still improve on. We want to finish the season off strong and really eliminate errors.” said Hagarty.

OTHS Boys Volleyball

The Panthers took second place at the OTHS Invitational (Submitted Photo)

Bradley Thomas fights through a Mustang defender

Panther Lacrosse heats up in second half to defeat Marquette

Bradley Thomas fights through a Mustang defender

Bradley Thomas fights through a Mustang defender (O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Nathan Poignee)

The O’Fallon boys’ lacrosse team made smart and quick adjustments Thursday night for a dominant 18-8 win over the Marquette Mustangs.

The first half of play was loaded with back-and-forth scoring by both teams. O’Fallon (10-2) struck early in the opening quarter with goals from seniors Mike Foytlin and Harrison Berry. Marquette answered back quickly with a pair of goals of their own. The two teams continued to rifle off points until Marquette broke away for a two goal lead to start the second quarter.

Marquette senior, Matthew Hummel, proved to be a menace for the Panther defense early on. Hummel worked his way down low and netted himself a hat trick early in the game.

After a time out in the second quarter, the Panthers regrouped and picked up their pace. Foytlin and Harrison both struck again for their second goals of the night and senior Shane McIntyre got on the board for a 7-6 Panther lead.  The Panthers struck three more times in the third quarter and pulled ahead 10-6 at the half. O’Fallon senior Caleb Neff scored his second of the game on an outstanding finish off a flurry of tic-tac-toe passes. Foyltin completed a hat trick with just eight seconds left in the second quarter.

Shane McIntyre battles on the ground for the face-off

Shane McIntyre battles on the ground for the face-off (O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Nathan Poignee)

The second half was all Panthers to say the least.

With some quick adjustments the O’Fallon team dominated the field and added eight goals to their half time lead while only allowing one.

Varsity head coach Jim McIntyre credits the second half turn around to his team’s ability to adapt on their own.

“Normally we give the team a lot of pre-game pointers. Things to be prepared for, to guard against and to exploit. For this game we purposefully didn’t do that. We could have, but the coaching staff wanted the team to recognize their opponent’s strengths and weakness on their own.  It was most impressive to see the team deal with it themselves and handle the adversity. They made all the adjustments on their own, not the coaches,” said McIntyre.

Most notably the Panther attackers efficiently found a way to generate offensive opportunities down low.

“The offense figured out where they could exploit and understood that Marquette was not finding an answer for Foytlin and Berry. We continued to generate offense from behind the net and took over the game,” said McIntyre.

Mike Foytlin lauches a pass from behind Marquettes net

Mike Foytlin lauches a pass from behind Marquettes net (O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Nathan Poignee)

By defeating the Marquette Mustangs the Panthers improve their overall record to 10-2. With just two games left in the regular season, McIntyre and the Panthers are gearing up for post-season play. The remaining two games this season will however be anything but easy.

Next Monday the Panthers will host St. Louis University High School and on Wednesday they wrap the regular season up with Parkway West.

OTHS Boys Volleyball

Boys volleyball takes fifth in Lafayette Invite

OTHS Boys Volleyball

Senior Matt Warren in last week’s game against Edwardsville. The Panthers defeated the Tigers 26-24, 22-25, 25-19 at home. (O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Becca Jones-Scales)

The OTHS boys’ volleyball team got a little taste of what is to come in the post-season last weekend in the Lafayette Invitational tournament.

O’Fallon went 3-1-1 and placed fifth out of sixteen teams at the tournament, losing only to St Louis University High School in a close two game set. It was the second time that SLUH got the better of the Panthers this season. Just one week earlier the Panthers suffered a 14-25, 15-25 loss to SLUH but, this time the match had a much closer score line of 21-25, 18-25.

“We didn’t play very well the first time we played so it was nice to go out there and show that we could compete with them. Even though we did not win we played much better and that was all I could ask from them,” said varsity head coach Katelyn Haggarty.

Before losing to SLUH the Panther squad split, 24-26, 25-19 with a tough Marquette team and used the momentum from their opening two matches to defea O’Fallon Christian, De Smet, and Francis Howell. St. Louis University High went on to be defeated by host Lafayette in the championship match.

Overall Coach Hagarty was pleased with her team’s composure against a loaded group of competitors.

“They wanted to do well. Playing against good competition can make you play better and that’s what the team did,” said Hagarty. “Our defense was phenomenal and we showed that we are a complete team.”

Both senior Mike Hovick and junior Libero Ryan Nelson were instrumental in the Panther’s play over the weekend.

OTHS Boys Volleyball

Panthers Justin Hovick and Gabe Norsigian jump to block.
(O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Nathan Poignee)

Earlier in the week the Panther’s collected an important conference win over the Edwardsville Tigers. The win not only helped O’Fallon’s conference standing but, also provided an extra boost in confidence before the Lafayette Invitational.  O’Fallon defeated the Tigers, 26-24, 22-25, 25-19 and are currently on top of the Southwestern Conference.

Of course, that could very well change this week as the Panthers are set to face off with rival SWC powerhouse Belleville West. So far this season West’s only conference loss was to O’Fallon and the two teams are sure to both be bringing their A game.

This weekend the Panthers will be bringing tournament play to home their home court in the OTHS Invitational. The invite will include a strong mix of local and non-local teams.  The SWC will be well represented with Belleville East, Belleville West, and Edwardsville. Non-conference teams competing in the Panther Dome this weekend are Althoff, Sandburg, Oakville, Francis Howell, Seckman, Duchesne, and Chesterton High School from Indiana.

The tournament will kick off on Friday evening with pool play and will continue into bracket play on Saturday. O’Fallon’s pool this year includes Seckman and Oakville.

“There a lot of really good teams and it will be good to see how some of the other conference teams do,” said Hagarty. “With the regional tournament just a week away this weekend could provide us with a big momentum boost. We have some new competition we have not seen before. I’m excited for it.”

OTHS Boys Tennis

Panthers overcome shortened roster for 4th place finish at Lancer Invitational

OTHS Boys Tennis

The O’Fallon Panthers had to step up and play well at the Belleville East Lancer Invitational..
(Submitted Photo)

Illness took its toll on the Panther tennis team this weekend but, despite missing some of its top members the team managed to place fourth at the Belleville East Invitational.

Both Riley Muren and Shree Patel were absent from the courts at East this weekend due to illness. Patel and Muren play together as the Panther’s number one double pairing and fill the two and three slots in singles. Although the Panthers were without some of their top talent, the team still managed to have a good weekend on the courts and finished in fourth place at the sixteen team invite.

“The boys played really well and stepped up,” said head coach Erin Thoman.

O’Fallon sophomore Dominic Macaluso aced his way through the singles bracket to take first place in the tournament. Macaluso defeated Carbondale junior Alex Lescoulie in three sets in the championship final. After winning the opening set 6-4, Macaluso faltered in the second set 4-6. In the third and final set, Macaluso elevated his game to finish off Lescoulie 6-2.

Also having a strong finish in the Lancer Invitational was Panther sophomore Quincy Dollison in the number five singles bracket. Dollison rolled past Alton and Normal Community, dropping only two games in the first two rounds of the tournament. In the semi-final round, Dollison defeated Belleville East’s Carter Baidus in a heated three set match. Early on Dollison struggled against Baidus, losing the opening set 1-6 but rallied back to win set two 6-1 and set three 10-8. In the championship match Dollison lost 6-0, 7-6 to Belleville West senior Sam Calhoun.

Collectively the shortened Panther roster totaled 29 points in their fourth place finish. Belleville West took home the title in first while Carbondale finished second and Peoria Richwoods ended in third. OTHS finished six points ahead of Belleville East.

This weekend O’Fallon will travel to compete in Champaign on Friday and Saturday.

OTHS Boys Tennis

A nearly perfect week for Panther Tennis

OTHS Boys Tennis

Panther tennis celebrates their first place finish in OTHS Quad (Submitted Photo)

It was a clean sweep last week for the O’Fallon Panther tennis team.

Over the weekend the Panthers hosted and competed in the annual O’Fallon Quad meet. This year’s competition included Mascoutah, Greenville and Champaign Central.

In the first two rounds the varsity Panthers were dominant, not dropping a single match against Greenville or Champaign Central. In the final and championship deciding round, OTHS defeated Mascoutah in a close 3-2 finish.

Freshman Panther Niko Papachrisanthou defeated Mascoutah’ Robert Whitener 6-2, 6-4 in the number two singles position.

In doubles action O’Fallon won two of three matches against Mascoutah.  The junior pairing of Adam Spihlman and Blake Heimann breezed by the competition in the number three match with a 6-1, 6-0 win while the  number two duo of sophomore Quincy Dollison and freshman Drake Schreiber’s match came down to a tiebreaker. After losing the first set 4-6, Dollison and Schreiber found their groove with a 6-1 win the second set and a 10-5 victory in the deciding tie-breaker.

Before winning the O’Fallon Quad over the weekend, the Panthers won the Triad Quad on Thursday and defeated Collinsville in a conference match on Wednesday.  Much like their win at home on Saturday, O’Fallon nearly swept the competition in both of their tests earlier in the week.

On Wednesday OTHS blanked the Collinsville Kahoks 9-0 in a Southwestern Conference showdown. Across the nine games played in the match, O’Fallon managed to only lose five games.

Following Wednesday’s shutout, the O’Fallon tennis squad traveled to Troy to compete in the Triad Quad against Althoff, Centralia, and Triad. In similar fashion to Wednesday’s match, the Panthers out-placed the competition with ease. Against both Althoff and Centralia the Panthers did not drop a match and only dropped one in the second round against Triad.

This week the Panthers will square off at home against the Belleville East Lancers on Tuesday in a much anticipated SWC meeting. On Friday and Saturday the varsity team will travel to Belleville to compete in the Lancer Invitational, and on Monday the team will travel back to Belleville to compete against the Belleville West Maroons.

OTHS Boys Baseball

Panthers shut out Eureka at Busch Stadium

OTHS Boys Baseball

The O’Fallon Panthers pose for a team picture after facing the Eureka Wildcats at Busch Stadium.
(O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Becca Jones-Scales)

Every baseball fan dreams of digging their cleats into the dirt at a Major League Baseball stadium. Over the weekend the Panther baseball team got to live out that dream at Busch Stadium.

Following Sunday’s 4-3 win by the Cardinals over the Cincinnati Reds, the Panthers of O’Fallon Township High School took to the field in a non-conference game with the Eureka Wildcats.

The Panthers got the scoring started quickly in the top of the first inning. With two outs in the first, senior Bradley Harrison brought home junior Christian Koechner on a ground ball. Koechner was pinch running for senior Dillon Weiss who was hit by a pitch earlier in the inning.

After being silenced by Wildcat pitching in the second and third innings the Panthers got on the board again in the fourth inning. Senior Camden Bauer scored for OTHS on a ground out to third base by junior Chase Hackstadt.  Bauer’s run was enough insurance to seal the game for O’Fallon who went on to defeat the Wildcats 2-0 in seven innings.

OTHS Boys Baseball

Junior Christian Koechner sets off for first base at Busch Stadium. (O’Fallon Weekly Photos by Becca Jones-Scales)

Junior Max Schaefer went the distance on the mound for O’Fallon in the seven inning affair. Schaefer gave up just four hits, walked one batter, and recorded four strike outs in the non-conference win at Busch.

Although he was more than happy his team won in the special game, O’Fallon head coach Jason Portz was not concerned too much about winning or losing.

“Winning the baseball game was very secondary to the experience. Our kids just really enjoyed the experience all around. Getting to watch a full Cardinal game and then play is a full day event and we really played well,” said Portz.

The Panther team dressed 47 players for the game including members of the freshman, and junior varsity roster.

Prior to winning under the lights at Busch Stadium on Sunday the Panther team added three wins to their record during the week. Included in the three wins was a big conference wins over the Edwardsville Tigers and Granite City Warriors.

OTHS Boys Baseball

BELOW: Senior Bradley Snyder picks a Eureka player off at first base. (O’Fallon Weekly Photos by Becca Jones-Scales)

O’Fallon’s bats really came to life last week and scored 23 runs in the two games combined. Against Edwardsville freshman Josh Gibson had a big game at the plate. Gibson went two for two with three RBI’s against the Tigers. Also having big games for O’Fallon were Weiss and Bauer who combined for four hits and four runs.

Harrison had a stellar performance on the bump for the Panthers. In six innings pitched Harrison allowed just two runs and five hits while striking out eight.

“Our guys didn’t let the hype of the game get into their performance at all,” said Portz. “It really showed a lot of our team cohesiveness and how well they can play together.”