ST. JOSEPH, Mo. – Plattsmouth athletes honored one of the most respected coaches in northwest Missouri on Saturday with their appearance in a new basketball tournament.
Members of the PHS boys basketball team traveled to Bishop LeBlond High School in St. Joseph, Mo., for the inaugural Steve Vertin Classic. Savannah (Mo.) stopped the Blue Devils 55-37 in one of four games during the day.
Steve Vertin taught and coached for 43 years at schools in Missouri, Nebraska and Kansas. He served as an assistant boys basketball coach at Grand Island Northwest and was head boys basketball coach at both Aurora and Adams Central. He was head boys basketball coach at Bishop LeBlond from 1999-2015.
Vertin was inducted into the Missouri Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2016. He passed away in May 2017 at the age of 69 after a battle with multiple myeloma blood cancer.
Coaches in the St. Joseph area decided to begin a new basketball tournament to honor Vertin and the impact he made in the community. They invited Missouri schools Mound City, Savannah, St. Joseph Central and Bishop LeBlond and Nebraska schools Falls City, Falls City Sacred Heart, Plattsmouth and Boys Town to the event.
All of the day’s games were Nebraska versus Missouri matchups. Steve Vertin Classic organizers donated all proceeds to the Vertin family in their fight against muscular dystrophy. Three of Vertin’s grandsons are battling the medical condition.
Savannah and Plattsmouth competed in the event’s second game. SHS forced the Blue Devils to go into catchup mode in the opening minutes of the matchup. Savannah went ahead 17-3 after one quarter and maintained that gap the rest of the way.
“We struggled on both ends in the first quarter and that caused us to chase the whole game,” PHS head coach Kevin Tilson said.
Tucker Anderson produced 16 points, two rebounds and one assist for Plattsmouth. Andrew Rathman collected three points, five rebounds and three assists, and Stockton Graham posted five points, two assists and one rebound. Hayden Stromsodt chipped in six points, two rebounds, two blocks, two steals and two assists.
Hunter Adkins contributed three points, four rebounds and one assist. Brandt Colbert collected three points and two rebounds and Chandler Cole had one point, one board and one steal. Ryan Oatman hauled in one rebound and Dakota Minshall provided defensive work.
Plattsmouth 3 7 17 10 – 37
Savannah 17 7 20 11 – 55
Cole 0-1 1-2 1, Graham 2-4 0-2 5, Anderson 3-7 8-9 16, Rathman 1-5 1-2 3, Adkins 1-2 0-0 3, Stromsodt 2-8 2-2 6, Colbert 1-5 0-0 3, Oatman 0-0 0-0 0, Minshall 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 10-32 12-17 37.
Steve Vertin Classic Results
Game 1: Mound City 68, Falls City Sacred Heart 56
Game 2: Savannah 55, Plattsmouth 37
Game 3: St. Joseph Central 38, Boys Town 35
Game 4: Bishop LeBlond 36, Falls City 33