Braden Fitzjerrells led the Rams with 18 points, and Shakari Hawkins added 14.
The game was close throughout until the final few minutes when Teutopolis racked up easy buckets on its end while the Rams fired up a host of misses on their side.
Teutopolis' Cody Will burned the Rams early from the outside. He hit a trio of threes in the opening quarter and finished the game with 21 points to lead all scorers.
“(We) did a very poor job on (Will) in the first half, and then I thought we let their guards get around us way too easy,” Gamber said. “It should not be that easy to get around us. We have to do a lot better job there.”
The Wooden Shoes paired Will's shooting ability with the strength of Brett Mette on the inside. Mette bulled his way to 11 points and eight rebounds.
Behind Will's hot shooting start, Teutopolis built a 12-8 edge going into the second quarter.
That's when Hawkins started dominating offensively. The Rams forward repeatedly slashed his way through the Wooden Shoes defense for baskets. Hawkins scored 10 in the quarter, and the helped the Rams seize a brief lead before trailing 26-25 at the half.
Mt. Vernon regained the lead again in the third quarter when Fitzjerrells lined up a 3-pointer and dripped it in. The basket gave Mt. Vernon a 32-30 lead. Fitzjerrells followed with a layup to give Mt. Vernon a 34-30 lead.
Mt. Vernon held a slim margin in the opening portion of the final quarter. Another Fitzjerrells score made the margin 42-39 midway through the fourth.
But Mt. Vernon wouldn't tally another point for the final 4:42.
Teutopolis drove to the basket for several layups and increased its growing margin at the foul line.
Mt. Vernon finished with 20 turnovers.
“We've given our kids freedom this year that we haven't given them in a long time, and we're not going to give them that freedom much longer,” Gamber said. “After this tournament is over, we may have to get back to Mt. Vernon basketball where we're working it every possession for a good shot.”