By PAUL HINES
MT. VERNON —
The Rams have a quick turnaround after their biggest win of the season.
Mt. Vernon knocked off rival Centralia on Friday night in front of a raucous home crowd at Changnon gym. Now the Rams’ focus turns to a Tuesday night home matchup with Mascoutah.
“I think we’ll have a nice crowd Tuesday night, but it’s not going to be as big as it was Friday,” Mt. Vernon coach Scott Gamber said. “It’s not going to be nearly as loud.
“Now our guys have got to really get motivated themselves. They’ve got to come out and play with a ton of energy.”
The physical contest Friday night left a couple of the Rams key players nursing injuries through the weekend. Both Trevor Flota and Braden Fitzjerrells missed practice Saturday with ailments.
Flota is suffering from a knee injury, and Fitzjerrells was hobbled after taking a knee to his thigh. Both injuries happened late in Friday’s game. Gamber said he was optimistic about Fitzjerrell’s return for Mascoutah, but Flota is questionable.
“I’m pretty confident Braden is going to be back this week. I think it’s a little bit more iffy on Trevor,” Gamber said.
Michael Feezer brought an explosive roar from the home crowd with his steal and dunk in the first half against the Orphans. Feezer appeared to come down awkwardly and bang his face on the court after the bucket. Gamber said the senior didn’t suffer an injury on the play and is healthy for Tuesday’s game.
“He took a spill, but he practiced Saturday,” Gamber said.
Mascoutah enters the midweek game with a 2-2 record and hasn’t played since the Centralia Thanksgiving Tournament. The Indians exited the tournament with wins against Jerseyville and Mahomet-Seymour. They lost to Belleville East and Centralia.
“I was really impressed with Mascoutah in the game I watched them play,” Gamber said. “They shoot it pretty well. They take care of it all right, and they have a ton of size.”
Mascoutah’s Marshall Moore, who is 6-5, was named to the all-tournament team. Moore is a swingman who plays primarily on the perimeter.
The matchup with the Indians is sandwiched between a pair of critical conference games. After the win against Centralia on Friday, the Rams travel to Belleville Althoff on Friday.
Tuesday’s game starts with the junior varsity matchup at 6:15 p.m.