OTTAWA — The burgeoning post-Thanksgiving rivalry between the Ottawa Pirates and Metamora Redbirds on the hardwood resumed Saturday evening, yet again with a first-place plaque at stake. And as usual, the contest wasn't decided until the final eight minutes of play.
In the end, though, the lanky Redbirds and standout junior Collin Dietz were a little bit too much for the Pirates to handle.
Dietz, Metamora's NCAA Division I prospect, was able to get out into transition several times and score at will during the second half — outpointing Ottawa by himself after the break and leading the 'Birds to a 50-42 win in the championship game of the 13th annual Dean Riley "Shootin' the Rock" Thanksgiving Tournament here at Kingman Gym.
Metamora has won the event six times in the last seven years. Ottawa hasn't claimed the crown in a decade.
"I thought we gave a championship effort tonight; they're just a little bit better," Pirates coach Mark Cooper said. "I mean, that's a good, long basketball team (six of the eight Redbirds that played stood 6-3 or taller), and, you know, we hung in there. We just weren't good enough to get it done tonight."
"Those (Ottawa) kids, they're awfully well-coached every year; it's always a battle," Redbirds coach Danny Grieves said, "so we knew that it was going to come down to the fourth quarter, and that's what happened."
Metamora (3-1), which built a 13-3 advantage behind a trio of 3-pointers from 6-foot-8-inch Thomas Hall, led 16-9 after the opening quarter. The Pirates got going in the right direction during the second stanza, outscoring the Redbirds 18-10 — half of that production courtesy of Myles Tucker (13 points) — to hold a one-point edge, 27-26, at the intermission.
"I thought we had a good bounce to us," Cooper said of the Pirates in the second quarter. "We were playing downhill. That's the way this group has to play if we're going to be successful."
Dietz (23 points) began his takeover by scoring the initial six points out of the locker room. Meanwhile, the Pirates could muster just one field goal make and four points during the third period. Despite that, they trailed by only five (36-31) through three.
However, the 6-5 Dietz went to work at the outset of the fourth quarter, quickly putting the first six points on the board to extend Metamora's margin to 11 points, 42-31. He later added a couple more takes to the hoop to put things out of reach.
Defense was the difference, though.
"We said at halftime, the defense is going to have to win it for us, and that's what happened," Grieves said. "(Tucker) had 12 (points) at the half ... and he had one point the second half. I thought our defense did a nice job of taking Ottawa out of what they do. ... We wanted their leading scorer not to get his points, (and Wyatt Hill) ended up with 15, but we held him to two field goals (made) for the first three quarters."
"I thought their length at the rim bothered a few of our shots, and they had a couple key blocks that led to some run-outs at the other end. I just thought maybe their overall size wore us down," Cooper said. "When we did get to the rim in the second half, we weren't able to finish due to their length and rim protection."
With a lone returning player having significant varsity minutes, the tournament and facing a program the caliber of Metamora was all about "growth" for the inexperienced Pirates, which finished 2-2.
"I think it's good for Ottawa and Metamora when we're able to meet in these games on Saturday night (the schools have squared off in the title tilt three times in the last five years)," Cooper said. "They've always been highly-competitive (the average point differential has been 5.7), and if you want to grow as a basketball team these are the kind of games you want to be in.
"We played in four tight basketball games, and those are the types of games that allow growth."
At Kingman Gym, Ottawa
Metamora 50, Ottawa 42
(Key: FG FT-FTA TP)
METAMORA (50) — Havens 3 5-6 11, Damery 0 0-1 0, Hall 4 0-0 12, Dietz 11 1-2 23, Bachman 0 1-2 1, Mann 0 0-0 0, Mason 1 1-2 3, Nelan 0 0-0 0. Totals 19 8-13 50.
OTTAWA (42) — Owens 1 0-0 2, Tucker 5 2-6 13, Hill 5 3-3 15, K. Brent 1 0-0 2, Evola 1 0-0 2, R. Brent 1 0-0 2, Dougherty 0 0-0 0, Carson 1 0-0 2, Gould 1 2-2 4. Totals 16 7-11 42.
Metamora (3-1) 16 10 10 14 — 50
Ottawa (2-2) 9 18 4 11 — 42
3-point goals — Metamora 4 (Hall 4); Ottawa 3 (Hill 2, Tucker 1). Rebounds — Metamora 34; Ottawa 20. Turnovers — Metamora 12; Ottawa 4. Total fouls (none fouled out) — Metamora 9; Ottawa 16.
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OTTAWA — At the close of the first quarter of their Dean Riley "Shootin' the Rock" Tournament fifth-place game against the Marengo Indians, the Streator Bulldogs were shooting 46.7 percent from the field with zero turnovers and held a one-point lead.
At halftime, Streator's boys were shooting 36.7 percent for the game, had only three giveaways and maintained a two-point advantage.
Things, by and large, were going well for the SHS offense ... and then the second half happened.
The Bulldogs shot 8.3 percent (2-of-24) from the field in the third and fourth quarters, didn't manage a second-half field goal until 3 minutes, 7 seconds had ticked away in the fourth quarter and despite their defense keeping them in it saw the game slowly spiral out of reach point by point here at Kingman Gym in a 39-29 loss to the Indians.
"I just don't think we made any shots the second half. They did a good job defensively, but when you don't make any shots — two in the second half — that's what's going to happen," said Bulldogs coach Beau Doty.
"(Marengo) tried to press for tempo today, they didn't try to trap us too hard, and I thought early we were getting good shots ... but I thought our shooters also passed up some open shots. In a game where you're not shooting the ball well and it's a possession game, when you get open looks you've got to take them and you've got to make them. I don't think we had the appropriate sense of urgency at times. ... We had our chances, we just didn't make enough shots.
"We've had some ups and downs in this tournament, and I think today was a step back, as we'd been trending in an upward direction."
Streator (1-3) was definitely trending upward at the start of things Saturday. SHS followed up its initial win of the season the previous day with a solid opening quarter against Marengo (2-2), one which saw the 'Dogs rally behind efficient offensive play to take a 15-14 lead on a Joey Byers stall-and-take layup at the buzzer.
The Bulldogs weren't quite as crisp in the second stanza, but by quarter's end led 24-22 with all five starters in the scorebook — center Wes Jolly with nine points, three guards/small forwards John Benckendorf and Noah Mascal with seven and four points, respectively, and both Byers and fellow guard Mitch Vickers with two points.
Then, be it adjustments by both defenses or just plain cooling off during the intermission, the entire game changed in the second half. Both teams struggled to score, with Marengo managing seven third-quarter points and Streator getting only one free throw from Jolly. When Mascal cut to the basket for a lay-in with 4:53 remaining — Streator's first field goal of the second half — the Bulldogs were behind only 31-27, but even that four-point hole looked like a deep chasm the way they were shooting.
"(Streator) made their adjustments defensively, and we took a little bit too long to adjust back offensively to get ourselves going," Marengo coach Nate Wright said. "But the key to that was us on the defensive end doing our job.
"The first half No. 33 (Jolly) killed us with his touch around the rim ... so we adjusted there and kept him going the opposite direction, and obviously Streator struggled shooting in the second half and we controlled the boards."
In a low-scoring game, Marengo senior Matt Fischer's 12 points and Jolly's 10 points led the way. Benckendorf added seven rebounds to his seven points, with Mascal finishing with six points and nine rebounds as Streator was outshot 30.4-24.1 percent and outrebounded 40-31.
At Kingman Gym, Ottawa
Marengo 39, Streator 29
(Key: FG-FGA FT-FTA TP)
STREATOR (29) — Vickers 2-16 0-2 4, Byers 1-9 0-0 2, Benckendorf 3-8 0-1 7, N. Mascal 3-10 0-0 6, Jolly 4-8 2-4 10, Telford 0-2 0-0 0, Groesbeck 0-0 0-0 0, Cantrell 0-0 0-0 0, G. Mascal 0-1 0-0 0, Diaz 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 13-54 2-7 29.
MARENGO (39) — Bohart 2-7 0-1 5, Fischer 4-5 1-2 12, Kirchner 2-8 0-0 6, Schirmer 4-10 1-3 9, Rodriguez 2-7 0-0 4, Bertrand 0-5 2-2 2, LaSota 0-1 1-2 1, Shambo 0-1 0-1 0, Wascher 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 14-46 5-11 39.
Streator (1-3) 15 9 1 4 — 29
Marengo (2-2) 14 8 7 10 — 39
3-point goals - Streator 1-17 (Benckendorf 1-5, Telford 0-1, G. Mascal 0-1, Byers 0-2, Vickers 0-3, N. Mascal 0-5); Marengo 6-16 (Fischer 3-4, Kirchner 2-6, Bohart 1-3, Bertand 0-1, Wascher 0-2). Rebounds - Streator 31 (N. Mascal 9, Benckendorf 7); Marengo 40 (Schirmer 12, Bohart 8). Assists - Streator 8 (Vickers 2, Byers 2, Benckendorf 2, N. Mascal 2); Marengo 9 (Bohart 3). Steals - Streator 8 (Vickers 2, Byers 2); Marengo 2 (two players with 1). Blocked shots - Streator 0; Marengo 5 (Rodriguez 3). Turnovers - Streator 8; Marengo 12. Total fouls (none fouled out) - Streator 16; Marengo 13
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SENECA — Midway through the opening quarter of the championship game of the 18th annual Seneca Thanksgiving Turkey Tournament here on Saturday night, the Newark Norsemen trailed Illiana Christian 10-4 on the scoreboard and a staggering 10-1 in rebounds on the stat sheet.
Visibly frustrated, Newark coach Rick Tollefson used a timeout to address his club. "I told them in that time out, if we don't start rebounding the basketball this is going to be a 25-point game ... We're goin' to get smoked," he said.
Newark, despite being outrebounded 52-28 in the contest and shooting just 25 percent from the field through three quarters, was able to hang close to the Vikings. It then use a trey from Brett Myre and back-to-back drives from Jacob Slivka to grab the lead and eventually capture its second consecutive championship with a 56-51 victory.
"Wow, what a game," said Tollefson. "Illiana Christian isn't real tall, but they are long and they can leap. It just seemed like we were just standing around and not putting bodies on them. We stepped up as the game went along, but we couldn't hit a layup or a 3 for the longest time. I'm very happy with the win. IC is a good team, but sometimes you just have to gut it out."
Newark (3-1) trailed 14-6 after one frame, 24-22 at the intermission, 38-34 after three and even 46-42 with 2 minutes, 36 seconds left to play. Slivka scored two of his 11 points on a layup and after a Vikings turnover, Myre buried a long triple from the right wing to put his club up 47-46 with two minutes left.
"We didn't shoot or rebound well and I don't even know if we made a 3-pointer in the first half," said Myre, who finished with eight points and was named to the all-tournament team. "I've been struggling with my shot, but I was able to knock that one down. I knew the score and situation, but we needed to get the lead."
Illiana Christian (3-1) regained the lead at 48-47 on a Andrew Smits lay-in at 1:49, but Conner Swanson answered with a twisting layup just 26 seconds later and the tournament's most valuable player, senior Dylan Patrick, made good on seven-of-eight free throws in the final minute, including both ends of a trio of one-and-bonus chances, to secure the Norsemen triumph.
"It is obliviously a great honor, but it is nothing I could have accomplished without the help of my teammates, for sure," said Patrick, who netted a game-high 24 points on 6-of-19 shooting to finish with 104 points in the tournament, adding six steals in the finale. "Coach Tollefson always talks about doing the little things like getting deflections, hands in passing lanes and looking for steals. Tonight the offensive end was a struggle for me, so I was just trying to use defensive effort to create offense and get to the foul line."
The Vikings were paced by Smits' 16 points, while Colin Flipse added 10 points and Josh Harris snared a game-best 20 rebounds, 10 of them on each end.
"Josh Harris was huge rebounding the ball for us tonight. We just need to give him some help with that, but I can't fault our effort," said IC coach Grant Sikkema, his team falling to Newark in the title game last year as well. "We want to play fast, but we have to play under control and that is something we are not very good at yet, but we'll get better. We missed too many puppies as well.
"(Patrick) is a tough player and just caused us so many issues, but when we tried to account for him, one of their other players stepped up with a huge play or shot. When the lights are bright, great players step into it and he did that tonight."
At Seneca Thanksgiving Turkey Tourney
Newark 56, Illiana Christian 51
(Key: FG-FGA FT-FTA TP)
NEWARK (56) -- Patrick 6-19 12-14 24, Jacobson 2-14 1-2 5, Myre 3-7 0-0 8, Swanson 1-5 1-2 3, Brown 2-5 1-3 5, Slivka 5-10 0-0 11, Pepino 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 19-61 15-21 56.
ILLIANA CHRISTIAN (51) -- Flipse 4-17 1-2 10, Smit 1-5 0-0 2, Smits 7-13 0-0 16, Chandler 1-6 5-6 7, Harris 3-10 0-0 6, Eenigenburg 3-4 0-0 6, Roundtree 0-0 0-0 0, DeJong 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 20-58 6-8 51.
Newark (3-1) 6 16 12 22 — 56
Illiana Christian (3-1) 14 10 14 13 — 51
3-point goals — Newark 3-18 (Patrick 0-1, Jacobson 0-6, Myre 2-6, Brown 0-1, Slivka 1-4); Illiana Christian 3-19 (Flipse 1-11, Smit 0-1, Smits 2-5, Chandler 0-2). Rebounds — Newark 28 (Patrick 6, Jacobson 5); Illiana Christian 52 (Harris 20, Smit 8, Flipse 7). Assists — Newark 7 (Patrick 2, Jacobson 2); Illiana Christian 11 (Flipse 7). Steals — Newark 18 (Patrick 6, Swanson 4); Illiana Christian 7 (Flipse 3). Blocks — Newark 2 (Jacobson 1, Slivka 1); Illiana Christian 4 (Harris 3). Turnovers — Newark 15, Illiana Christian 27. Total fouls (fouled out) — Newark 13 (none); Illiana Christian 19 (Smit).
2017 Seneca Thanksgiving Turkey All-Tournament Team
Link to article: Click here
After losing a tough battle against the Comets of Reed Custer the night before, Rick Tollefson and his Norsemen squad wanted to take out their frustrations on the Vikings of Illiana Christian in the repeat Championship matchup from the 2016-17 season. In that game, Newark was victorious in their first appearance at the Seneca Thanksgiving tournament, beating the Vikings 55-45. Now, in their second year, the Norsemen were going to be put to the test.
The game was a seesaw battle, with the Norsemen coming out very cold on the offensive side of the court. Newark only managed to score 6 total points in the first quarter, with Dylan Patrick (Sr) scoring four of them. The Vikings more than doubled the Norsemen to take an early game lead, 14-6.
The Norsemen dug in and fought their way back, grabbing a decent amount of offensive rebounds throughout the half, scoring 16 total points in the second quarter, ending the half with 22 versus Illiana's 24. "I thought that we had a lot to work on after the first half, especially with our layups, but Coach T. encouraged us to keep taking it to the hole," commented Patrick who was averaging 26.7 points prior to tonight's championship game.
As the third quarter got under way, it was more of the same as the Vikings and Norsemen just exchanged baskets back and forth. Occasionally, the Vikings would take a six point lead and the Norsemen would fight their way back to pull within two. The Vikings eventually pulled ahead eight when the Norsemen, with a significant amount of grit, fought their way back. With a score of 36-28 and about a minute left in third, Jacob Slivka (Jr) finally connected on a long three pointer from the corner. Then, with the clock ticking down to zero, Corey Jacobson (Jr) skipped the ball to the other corner where he found junior sharp shooter, Brett Myer, with a tiny bit of daylight. Myre caught the ball and fired as the buzzer sounded. "BAM," shouted the broadcast booth, as the ball saw nothing but net. Myre's shot pulled the Norsemen within four at the end of three quarters (38-34). When asked about that big three that really caused a momentum shift, Myre said, "I finally broke my cold streak with [that] three at the end of the third quarter..."
As the final stanza got under way, the Vikings ended up extending their lead to eight a few different times. With 3:33 showing on the clock, Myre drove through the heart of the defense to finish a nice left-handed layup to pull within four again. After a good stop by the Norsemen, Slivka, who ended up with 11 points on the night, had a nifty move driving on the right side of the lane, doing a fake pass to the outside and putting in a layup to close the gap to two points. Coming down on the defensive end, Patrick sprinted into the lane to intercept a pass from the Vikings to secure another one of his five steals in the game. The Newark team wasn't able to capitalize on the steal and Vikings came right back and scored on a tremendous drive by one of their All-Tournament players. In the play though, the Viking was injured, but play continued as the ball was quickly inbounded to Connor Swanson (Jr) and he threw a Dwyane Wade style pass to a running Slikva who took one dribble and scored on the right side, again, pulling the Norsemen within two. After play continued from the injury timeout, the Vikings simply threw the ball out of bounds to give the rock right back to the Newark Norsemen, who were wearing their away black uniforms. With just over two minutes left in the game, Jacobson drove into the lane, threw the ball to the top of the key to Patrick, who quickly tossed it over to Myre. Myre, who was named to the All-Tournament team, fired from about 22' out and hit absolutely nothing but the bottom of the net to give the Norsemen a one point lead (47-46).
Illiana came out of a timeout and took the ball right to the hoop to score and take the lead right back (48-47). As Newark brought the ball back, Swanson drove down the lane and spun the ball on the left side of the net for a quick layup, again capturing the lead (49-48). As the Vikings took the ball out, with 1:20 left in the game, Patrick anticipated the in-bounds pass and snagged it in the air. He took it to the rim and was fouled shooting two. Patrick hit the first, but missed the second, to finally take a two-point lead that wouldn't be relinquished the rest of the evening. In the ensuing play, Slivka and Patrick double-teamed the Viking point guard and forced a jump ball that had the arrow pointing in the direction of the Norsemen.
With 46.1 seconds on the clock, the Norsemen were celebrating a two-point lead as the Vikings took to the charity stripe for a second time. However, the whistle blew and soon to be named Tournament MVP, Dylan Patrick, was asked to leave the game due to a scratch on his chin. With a little blood coming from the scratch, he wasn't allowed to be on the court. According to the official rules, Patrick had to leave the game and be substituted for unless Tollefson burned a timeout. After the made free-throw by the Vikings, to pull them within one (50-49), Coach did just that...he called a timeout to give another minute for his All Star.
That is when the senior took over and nailed his next six free throws down the stretch. The Norsemen maintained the lead and won the championship against the Vikings of Illiana Christian for the second year in a row, this time with a score of 56-51.
Patrick ended with a game high 24 points, 12 of 14 from the free throw line, 6 rebounds, 5 steals, and 4 assists. Slivka was the only other player in double digits, scoring 11 points, snagging 5 boards, swatting away 2 shots, stealing a pair, and throwing one dime. Myre finished with 8 points, 4 boards, and 2 steals.
Newark is now 3-1 for the season and will take on Leland/Earlville in Leland next Friday night for their first conference matchup.
Game Stats for Newark vs Illiana Christian: Click here
Season Stats for Newark (3-1): Click here
In a game that was not going to have an affect on who was going to play in the Championship event on Saturday night, the Comets shot out of the gate to take an early lead. That lead included several fouls on a few key Norsemen players that would end up haunting them at the end of the game.
After one quarter, the fast paced team of Reed Custer wasn't able to hold their lead, as Newark kept chipping away to end up with a 24-21 lead.
The second quarter was more of the same, with Reed Custer pressing every play and forcing Newark to make several uncharacteristic decisions. Newark continued adding to their foul tallies too, causing two of the seven players to spend more time on the bench then JV Head Coach, Jon Avery, wanted. As the halftime horn sounded, Newark enjoyed a five point lead (48-43).
Newark, notorious for coming out of the locker room for strong third quarters, wasn't able to bring it out this evening. Newark was outscored 14-5 in the third, allowing the Comets to take a four point lead heading into the final stanza.
That is when senior, Dylan Patrick, took over the game, leading the way to a game-best 30 points. However, midway through that last quarter, Connor Swanson (Jr) picked up his fifth foul. Then, Corey Jacobson (Jr), Jacob Slivka (Jr), and Patrick all picked up their fourth foul.
With a three point lead (73-70) and 1:27 left on the clock, the Norsemen, who were in the double-bonus, put the ball once again into the Captain's hands. As Dylan drove the ball over the timeline, picked up by three players from Reed Custer, the opposite side referee blew his whistle and called a player control foul on the senior. It was Dylan's fifth foul and he would have to watch the rest of the game from the bench with Swanson. You might want to make the call yourself: Click here
After a few fouls, and five points later, the Norsemen trailed 75-73 with 14.4 seconds on the clock. After two times of bringing the ball in bounds, the Newark team moved the ball around the arc to find Corey Jacobson open in the left corner. Jacobson let the ball fly as the clock dwindled down. The shot was long and many thought that was the game, but Slivka somehow grabbed the ball with one hand to gain the offensive rebound, and put the ball right back up as the buzzer sounded. As he was shooting the shot, he was fouled by a Reed Custer player.
With 0.0 showing on the scoreboard, Jacob Slivka stood at his charity stripe all by himself. All eyes on the junior, with one side of the gym hoping and praying, including a pair of grandparents, and the other side hoping against luck. Slivka took a couple of natural dribbles, and like a veteran varsity player would do, he sunk the first bucket (75-74 in favor of Reed Custer). As the referee tossed the ball to Jacob the second time, you could hear a pin drop at Seneca High School. In the broadcast booth, all three of us (Tom Ness, Matt Toftoy, and myself) were as nervous as could be. Slivka dribble twice, shot the ball up...and it rimmed out. One side celebrated, the other side gasped. The two seniors for Newark immediately ran out to the junior and picked him up to offer up encouragement.
In the end, the Norsemen committed 31 turnovers.
Newark will play the winner of Seneca vs Illiana Christian tomorrow at 7:30 PM for the Championship game. This is Newark's second appearance in the championship game in as many years. Newark has only been in this tournament two years.
The Newark JV team will also play for the championship tomorrow afternoon at 4:30 PM in Seneca. They will be playing Illiana Christian. You can watch today's JV semifinal game here.
OTTAWA — Streator Bulldogs head coach Beau Doty and his staff emphasized ball reversal and rebounding heading into their matchup against the Yorkville Foxes on Friday afternoon.
Executing those phases of the game well — in particular during the initial 16 minutes of action — resulted in a reversal of outcome for Streator from its previous two contests.
The Bulldogs converted 59.4 percent of their shots from the floor (19 of 32 — 11 of those makes assisted), which included going 7-for-11 from 3-point range, and were plus-15 on the boards as they beat Yorkville 58-39 in their Pool B finale of the Dean Riley "Shootin' the Rock" Thanksgiving Tournament at Kingman Gym.
"I thought everyone really stepped up," said 6-foot-4, 210-pound Streator senior center Wes Jolly, who posted a double-double, scoring 14 points and grabbing 12 rebounds (four offensive). "We were able to keep the heat on them and not let up.
"We were able to flow into what worked for us (offensively) and what we're used to and take the shots we need that would allow us to get ahead and stay ahead."
Streator led 16-11 after one quarter of play and built a 20-point halftime advantage (35-15) behind 10 points from Jolly, along with eight and seven, respectively, by Mitch Vickers and Hunter Telford. In that first half, the Bulldogs went 13-of-18 from the field (72.2 percent) — 5-for-6 from long distance — and held a plus-15 margin in rebounds (20-5).
"It was good," said Doty of the 'Dogs' offensive execution. "You know, we tried to emphasize getting the ball reversed; I thought we were playing way too one-sided the first two games. And (Yorkville coach) Mike (Dunn) does a great job putting pressure on the ball and trying to keep you on one side of the floor, and I thought for the most part we did a good job (against that). And we were able to make some shots today, too, and I think part of it was our shot selection was better. We got some rhythm 3s.
"One of our (other) points of emphasis was pounding the glass on both ends. You know, we had the size advantage to begin with, and it helped when (6-3 Javell) Moore (Yorkville's biggest player) got two fouls. Wes was really aggressive early (Jolly had a pair of stickbacks a little more than three minutes in). He looked like the Wes that ... can be dominant inside."
The Foxes outpointed Streator 24-23 after the break, although John Benckendorf (12 points on four 3-pointers) knocked down a couple of 3s during the third period and Joey Byers (six assists) hit 7-of-8 free throws in the final quarter for the Bulldogs.
Noah Mascal (10 points) also scored in double figures for Streator.
"I was pleased to see us bounce back (from the opening two losses earlier in the week); it was nice to see our kids regroup," Doty said. "Hopefully, we can use this and continue to build off it."
"Streator outplayed, outworked, outcoached everything that we did today," Dunn said. "They hit shots, and, you know, I mean, we missed a lot of bunnies (the Foxes missed 34 of their 47 field-goal attempts); we've got to make our layups and free throws (11 of 22) ... (but), I mean, give them all the credit; they played very well."
Lightning-quick guard Christian Payne had a game-high 15 points and four steals for Yorkville (1-2).
The Bulldogs (1-2) will face Marengo today at 2:30 p.m. in the tourney's fifth-place game.
At Kingman Gym, Ottawa
Streator 58, Yorkville 39
(Key: FG-FGA FT-FTA TP)
YORKVILLE (39) -- Polowy 0-2 2-4 2, Glass 0-3 1-2 1, Moore 3-5 2-4 8, Corrigan 2-4 0-0 5, Payne 5-17 4-9 15, Eberhart 0-1 0-0 0, Habada 0-3 0-0 0, Klaas 2-7 2-3 6, Reichert 0-2 0-0 0, Ramos 0-0 0-0 0, Heriaud 1-3 0-0 2, Assell 0-0 0-0 0, Slavin 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 13-47 11-22 39.
STREATOR (58) -- Vickers 2-6 2-2 8, Byers 0-1 7-10 7, Benckendorf 4-8 0-0 12, N. Mascal 5-5 0-1 10, Jolly 5-7 4-5 14, Colter 0-0 0-0 0, Cantrell 0-2 0-0 0, Diaz 0-0 0-0 0, Groesbeck 0-0 0-0 0, Telford 3-3 0-0 7, Jordan 0-0 0-0 0, Ramon 0-0 0-0 0, G. Mascal 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 19-32 13-18 58.
Yorkville (1-2) 11 4 9 15 — 39
Streator (1-2) 16 19 8 15 — 58
3-point goals — Yorkville 2-15 (Corrigan 1-3, Payne 1-4, Glass 0-1, Eberhart 0-1, Habada 0-2, Klaas 0-2, Reichert 0-2); Streator 7-11 (Benckendorf 4-5, Vickers 2-3, Telford 1-1, Cantrell 0-2). Rebounds — Yorkville 19 (Payne 4); Streator 34 (Jolly 12). Assists — Yorkville 7 (Payne 2); Streator 11 (Byers 6). Steals — Yorkville 12 (Polowy 4, Payne 4); Streator 4 (Benckendorf 2). Blocked shots — Yorkville 1 (Glass 1); Streator 2 (Vickers 1, Jolly 1). Turnovers — Yorkville 9; Streator 19. Total fouls (fouled out) — Yorkville 21 (Polowy); Streator 17.
Link to article: Click here
OTTAWA — Two pull-it-together, scrap-out-a-win, come-from-behind victories Friday have the Ottawa Pirates right where they want to be on the final day of their own Dean Riley "Shootin' the Rock" Tournament:
Playing for the championship.
Behind a 60-58 win over Marengo earlier in the day and a 58-54 stunner Friday night over seemingly championship game-bound Oak Forest, the Ottawa Pirates punched their ticket to tonight's 5:30 p.m.title game against also 2-1 Metamora. Both teams lost their first games of the tournament Monday only to come back, win their next two and advance to the title game via the head-to-head tiebreaker.
"There's no doubt we're a work in progress," said OHS coach Mark Cooper with a chuckle, "but we're a better team now than when the week started. As much as you try to simulate things in practice, true growth takes place in a game atmosphere.
"Today we had to battle back and execute a little better down the stretch, and consequently we put ourselves in a good position Saturday. .. It was two good wins for us today."
Ottawa 58, Oak Forest 54
The Bengals came in unbeaten and seemed to be in control — albeit not complete control — for most of the night. The Pirates didn't take their first lead until Kendall Brent scored on a putback with 1:25 remaining to make it 52-51, then took the lead for good two dozen seconds later when he scored again, giving OHS a 54-52 advantage with a minute and a second remaining.
Ottawa then sank 4-of-6 free throws down the stretch to build a six-point lead and score the victory.
Rebounding — which had plagued the Pirates for most of the first three quarters — was the key to Ottawa's stretch run, and by game's end the hosts outrebounded the Bengals 34-33 in addition to winning the turnover battle.
"Rebounding's been an issue for three games, and we can't keep surviving unless we rebound the ball better," said Cooper. "We got by a couple games today. ... We got some contested rebounds late, and once again we didn't turn the ball over very much.
"Hey, if you're going to be on the negative side of the rebounding numbers, you'd better make sure you don't turn the ball over. We've been able to do that."
Kendall Brent, especially, was a beast on the boards late, scoring seven of his 12 points over the game's final 85 seconds in addition to pulling down nine rebounds for the night. Andrew Evola, too, had a key fourth-quarter putback on his way to seven points and a game-best 12 rebounds.
Myles Tucker scored 12 points, Wyatt Hill scored nine, Noah Gould put in eight points, and Joey Owens pitched in six points in Ottawa's second come-from-behind win of the day.
Jayson Kent with 16 points off the bench and Trevor Hausherr with 12 points led the Bengals, who will play for third today against Dixon.
"I felt like at a certain point the Ottawa guys just decided they were going to go at it and be more aggressive," Oak Forest coach Matt Manzke said, "and quite frankly I thought our guys backed down from that challenge. ... We had some opportunities (earlier in the game) that we needed to make a big shot or come up with a defensive play, but Ottawa hung around.
"I felt like every time we had a chance to make a stop or a shot and really put it to them, Ottawa stepped up."
Ottawa 60, Marengo 58
In the day's first tournament game, the host Pirates came out slow and were outscored 16-4 in the initial period, but poured in 25 second-quarter points to climb back into it.
The Indians held a three-point lead in the final dozen seconds before Tucker drained a game-tying 3 with 11 ticks to play and the game-winning layup just ahead of the buzzer to give Ottawa the win and keep the hosts' championship dream alive.
Tucker finished with 11 points, with Hill leading the Pirates in scoring (13 points) and assists (five). Gould also added 11 points, with Kendall Brent scoring 10, Evola finishing with eight and Russell Brent adding five.
Blaine Borhart and Aidan Kirchner scored 16 points apiece to lead the Indians, who outrebounded OHS 45-31 but lost.
At Kingman Gym, Ottawa
Ottawa 58, Oak Forest 54
(Key: FG-FGA FT-FTA TP)
OAK FOREST (54) — Liggins 2-10 0-1 4, Avilia 3-7 2-4 9, Balinao 3-10 0-0 6, Hausherr 5-8 3-6 13, Silha 1-2 0-0 2, Torres 2-2 0-0 4, Dukelow 0-0 0-0 0, Kent 7-9 0-1 16. Totals 23-48 5-12 54.
OTTAWA (58) — Tucker 4-9 3-5 12, Hill 2-13 3-4 9, Evola 1-8 5-6 7, Carson 1-2 0-0 2, Gould 2-8 3-4 8, K. Brent 4-9 4-6 12, R. Brent 1-2 0-0 2, Owens 3-6 0-0 6, Dougherty 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-57 18-25 58.
Oak Forest (2-1) 13 18 15 8 — 54
Ottawa (2-1) 8 15 17 18 — 58
3-point goals - OF 3-13 (Kent 2-3, Avilia 1-1, Hausherr 0-1, Liggins 0-3, Balinao 0-5); Ottawa 4-15 (Hill 2-6, Gould 1-2, Tucker 1-6, Evola 0-1). Rebounds - OF 33 (Avilia 10, Balinao 7); Ottawa 34 (Evola 12, K. Brent 9). Assists - OF 10 (four players with 2); Ottawa 9 (R. Brent 3, Owens 2). Steals - OF 4 (Hausherr 3); Ottawa 8 (Owens 3). Blocked shots - OF 2 (Hausherr 1, Balinao 1); Ottawa 2 (Tucker 1, Owens 1). Turnovers - OF 18; Ottawa 7. Total fouls (fouled out) - OF 25 (Avilia, Kent); Ottawa 14 (none).
At Kingman Gym, Ottawa
Ottawa 60, Marengo 58
(Key: FG-FGA FT-FTA TP)
OTTAWA (60) — Tucker 4-10 2-4 11, Hill 5-15 0-0 13, Evola 4-9 0-0 8, K. Brent 4-8 1-1 10, Gould 4-9 1-1 11, R. Brent 2-3 0-0 5, Carson 1-3 0-0 2, Owens 0-1 0-0 0, Dougherty 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 24-58 4-6 60.
MARENGO (58) — Borhart 7-13 1-6 16, Kirchner 5-11 3-4 16, Schirmer 3-5 3-5 10, Bertrand 3-4 0-0 6, Rodriguez 2-4 0-1 4, Fischer 1-9 2-2 4, Shambo 1-5 0-0 2, Wascher 0-2 0-0 0, LaSota 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 22-54 9-18 58.
Ottawa (1-1) 4 25 11 20 — 60
Marengo (1-1) 16 16 12 14 — 58
3-point goals - Ottawa 8-24 (Hill 3-8, Gould 2-7, K. Brent 1-1, R. Brent 1-1, Tucker 1-5, Evola 0-2); Marengo 5-20 (Kirchner 3-9, Borhart 1-1, Schirmer 1-1, Shambo 0-2, Fisher 0-7). Rebounds - Ottawa 31 (K. Brent 7, Gould 6); Marengo 45 (Rodriguez 11, Schirmer 9, Bertrand 8). Assists - Ottawa 17 (Hill 5, R. Brent 5, K. Brent 4); Marengo 10 (Borhart 4). Steals - Ottawa 10 (Hill 4); Marengo 5 (Schirmer 3). Blocked shots - Ottawa 1 (Gould 1); Marengo 1 (Schirmer 1). Turnovers - Ottawa 11; Marengo 13. Total fouls (fouled out) - Ottawa 17 (K. Brent); Marengo 13 (none).
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As the six o'clock hour was approaching, the Seneca gym began to fill up with Norsemen fans. After the ball was tossed up, the Norsemen started up right where they left off. Full-court pressure, jumping every pass, and firing away on the offensive end.
When the first eight minutes were completed, the Norsemen had a 13 point lead. Several steals, layups, and long bombs from downtown had the Newark team up 33-22 at halftime.
Coach Rick Tollefson must have had quite a conversation in the locker room as the Norsemen took their game to another level altogether, allowing only 14 total points in the second half.
"We played tough tonight," commented Tollefson. "This is going to be an interesting year." Tollefson's boys were able to score 36 more points in the game to get them a second victory, 69-36.
Dylan Patrick (Sr) had another great night, earning the SportClips Player of the Game for the second evening in a row. Patrick had 20 points, 8 steals, 4 assists, and 4 rebounds. Corey Jacobson (Jr) dropped 16 points in the game. He grabbed 8 boards, 3 steals, 2 assists, and deflected the ball 9 different times for the winning team. Brett Myre continued his shooting ways by hitting a pair of long balls and several free throws, to score 11 points this evening. Connor Swanson (Jr) and Beau Brown (Jr) both had 10 points. Swanson had 5 boards, 4 steals, and an assist. Brown, who earned the Central Limestone Rock Solid Player of the Game, had a double-double by grabbing 10 boards with 8 of them coming on the offensive end. Brown snagged 3 steals and tossed 2 dimes for good measure.
The Newark Norsemen are now 2-0 and will take on Reed Custer on Friday night at 6:00 PM for the final game of pool play.
Newark Opens With a Huge Victory
As the 2016-17 season concluded and some future hall-of-famers ended their careers, not many people knew what to expect for the 2017-18 season. So, the Norsemen went to work in the off-season, with senior captain, Dylan Patrick, leading the way.
When they took the court in Seneca in their opening game of the year against the Trojans of Mendota, the Norsemen couldn't buy a bucket. In fact, their shooting percentage was barely above 15% after the first quarter. However, they kept shooting and they kept banging the boards on both ends, especially on the offensive end.
The Norsemen, after missing their first 15 three-point attempts, starting coming alive when junior Brett Myre caught on fire and the "BAMs" were being shouted from the rooftop at Seneca High School. After hitting two quick ones from downtown, Patrick saw an opportunity to get the junior open. He drove the ball right into the defense on the right side, turned, and got Myre wide open. Brett, who has grown nine inches during his high school career, caught the ball and fired from about 23' out...nothing but the bottom on the net! "I told him that if he shoots like that all year, we are going to be very tough to beat," Patrick commented. "Teams will need to defend us from beyond the arc, and then we can drive the hole."
Newark only had 8 points in the first quarter, but added 24 points in the second to take a 32-19 lead into the halftime locker room. The Norsemen through up an astounding 47 field goal attempts in the first half.
The second half was all Newark as the Norsemen added to their lead to end up with 72 points in the game vs Mendota's 43.
Dylan Patrick was named the SportsClip Player of the Game as he dropped 30 points in the night, hitting 2 from 3 downtown, grabbing 5 offensive boards, tossing 4 dimes, stripping 3 steals, and jumping over the 600 points in a career mark. Brett Myre and Corey Jacobson (Jr) each added 13 points. Myre had 2 blocks, while Jacobson snagged 7 boards and had 3 assists. Jacob Slivka (Jr) was named the Central Limestone Rock Solid Player of the Game for his tremendous efforts on defense, having 5 rebounds (4 offensive), 5 deflections, and 3 steals.
The Norsemen will take on the Hall Red Devils on Wednesday night at 6:00 PM. You can watch the game live on MySportsWire.
Can great run of success continue for Norsemen?
Going into last season, most of the Newark High School basketball faithful thought the loss of 1,000-point scorers Jack Clausel and Evan Schomer due to graduation might keep the Norsemen from being competitive as the year wound down into the playoffs.
Nothing could've been further from the truth, as NHS posted its second-best postseason finish in school history after capturing fourth-place at the IHSA Class 1A state finals, behind only the Norsemen's state championship benchmark that was achieved in 2011. Newark completed 2016-17 with an overall record of 28-6 and a perfect 8-0 mark in the Little Ten Conference.
Now the question is: Can the Norsemen succeed again with some fine returning talent but more major pieces lost to graduation?
Gone is four-year starter and future NHS Hall of Fame point guard Will Clausel, who ended up fifth on the Norsemen's all-time scoring list with 1,630 points. Last year he averaged 15.4 points per game along with 5.1 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 2.4 steals per contest. Cam Myre (13.8 ppg, 5.1 rpg) and Steve McGrath (10.0 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 3.7 apg, 2.5 spg) also moved onto college, while the only two starters that return this year for veteran coach Rick Tollefson (12th year, 251-89) are senior guard Dylan Patrick and junior forward Beau Brown.
"It was a very fun year last season getting fourth place at state, winning the Seneca Thanksgiving Tournament and finishing second at the Plano Christmas Classic," Tollefson said. "This year we're losing a lot of everything with those three players that all contributed big. We lost a lot of scoring and height with Cam and Willy (Clausel), and obviously Steve did everything for us.
"We're going to have to get kids to step into those big shoes if we're going to be successful again."
First and foremost is the 6-foot, 2-inch Patrick, who will take over at point guard for Will Clausel. He averaged 11.9 points last season, 4.0 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 2.2 steals per contest while also shooting a stealthy 79 percent (101 of 128) from the free-throw line.
"I feel like I'm ready to step into those big footsteps, and I feel pretty good about what we accomplished last year," Patrick said. "I think we can keep pushing that level to be even better if we continue practicing hard and play mentally tough."
Brown (6-3) also was a huge contributor as a sophomore starter last year, registering 7.9 points per game and 3.1 rebounds per contest. Along with Patrick, he moves into a primary role for the Norsemen.
"Last year was pretty special with Dylan and the seniors really helping me along playing as a sophomore," Brown said. "I'm really hoping I can step up my play this year and contribute much more than I did last season. I think it can be a very good year for us."
Joining Patrick and Brown in this season's starting lineup will be last year's sixth-man, junior guard Corey Jacobson (6-0, 4.2 ppg), junior guard Connor Swanson (5-10) and junior guard Jacob Slivka (6-0).
Forward Rhys Pepino (6-0) is the only other senior on the Newark roster besides Patrick and should see the floor along with junior guard Brett Myre (6-0) and junior guard Kevin Samion (6-0). Sophomores Jacob Chapman (5-9), Alex Tollefson (5-10) and Zak Akre (6-0) might also play into the youthful mix of talent.
"Dylan definitely has been our leader since the summer," Tollefson said. "He's a terrifically strong player, heady and understands the game very well. We'll look to him for a lot of things with Beau, Corey and a deep, up-tempo group that can get after some people.
"Hopefully, we'll be pretty good again."
No. Player Ht. Yr.
0 Rhys Pepino 6-0 Sr.
1 Jacob Slivka 6-0 Jr.
2 Dylan Patrick 6-2 Sr.
4 Corey Jacobson 6-0 Jr.
5 Brett Myre 6-0 Jr.
10 Zak Akre 6-0 So.
11 Connor Swanson 5-10 Jr.
13 Jacob Chapman 5-9 So.
15 Nate Christian 5-11 So.
20 Alex Tollefson 5-10 So.
21 Garrett Dillon 5-11 Jr.
23 Kevin Samion 6-0 Jr.
25 Beau Brown 6-3 Jr.
33 Dru Brown 6-0 Jr.
11/20-25 at Seneca Turkey Tourney TBA*
12/1 at Leland-Earlville 7 p.m.
12/5 PLANO 5:30 p.m.
12/8 at Hinckley-Big Rock 6 p.m.
12/9 at Annawan 6:30 p.m.
12/15 LAMOILLE-OHIO 7:30 p.m.
12/26-30 at Plano Classic TBD
1/5 at Serena 5:30 p.m.
1/9 at Seneca 7 p.m.
1/12 KIRKLAND HIAWATHA 5:30 p.m.
1/16 INDIAN CREEK 5:30 p.m.
1/23 at Dwight 7 p.m.
1/26 at Paw Paw 7 p.m.
1/27 at Beecher Shootout TBD
1/29-2/2 at Little Ten Tourney TBD
2/6 at Marquette 7 p.m.
2/10 at Indian Creek TBA
2/13 MOOSEHEART 7 p.m.
2/16 SOMONAUK 7 p.m.
Phil Chapman is an avid basketball fan that has served as the voice of the Newark Norsemen over the last three seasons. Phil will be broadcasting the games at the Plano Christmas Classic