Suns rise to occasion in second half as Fry’s treys provide needed boost in Quincy Shootout victory


Southeastern's Danny Stephens, right, gets inside rebounding position against Elsberry's Kyle Turnbull during Saturday's game in the Quincy Shootout at Blue Devil Gym.

QUINCY — Caleb Johnson listened to what others were saying.

The Elsberry boys basketball coach wasn’t going to allow Southeastern all-stater Danny Stephens to alone beat the Indians.

“I talked to coaches around the area and they said if you can contain him and make others beat you then you have a chance,” Johnson said. 

Mason Fry proved to be one of those others.

The Suns junior forward buried back-to-back 3-pointers from the left corner in the third quarter of Saturday’s game in the Quincy Shootout at Blue Devil Gym. It swung the momentum in Southeastern’s favor and allowed it to capture its second victory in less than 14 hours with a 41-35 triumph.

“You’ve got to put them in sometimes,” Fry said of his open looks.

Making shots and getting Stephens more involved offensively changed the game.

Elsberry limited Stephens to three points in the first half as the Suns struggled to generate momentum following an early wake-up call after Friday night’s West Central Conference victory against Western. The Suns scored just five points in the first half and trailed 16-14 at halftime.

“Hopefully, it was just the early morning affecting us,” Stephens said.

Stephens became more involved in the attack in the second despite the constant double- and triple-teaming he faced. He finished with a game-high 18 points.

“He went and got buckets,” Johnson said.

It’s what the Suns needed.

“If the kids aren’t making easy plays, we have to get the ball to Danny,” Southeastern coach Brett Ufkes said. “We ran some set plays, and he had a couple nice plays. He made some plays in our press offense and on his own because he’s awesome at basketball.

“Defensively, he made them take tough shots in the middle of our zone. The kids did a good job of flying around Danny and making them take tough contested shots.”

The Indians, who got 11 points from Kaden Kinsler, made just three field goals in the third quarter when the Suns went ahead 27-23. The backbreakers in that stretch were Fry’s treys.

“They were big,” Johnson said. “They were really big.”

Crucial is an equally apt description.

“In the first half, Mason was a little timid out there,” Stephens said. “In the second half, he just let those two go and they went in. Good for him.”

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