With just over seven minutes remaining in the game, the Newark Norsemen had a nine point lead on the Royals of Hinckley Big-Rock. It did not get any closer than that as senior captain Dylan Patrick and returning varsity junior Corey Jacobson took over the contest. Jacobson scored a team-high 10 points in the fourth quarter off a handful of assists by Patrick. In the end, the Norsemen defeated the Royals by 22 points in their second conference match of the season (79-57).
In a game that had over 40 fouls combined, the pace never got going for the Runnin' Norsemen, as they should once again be called. Foul trouble for both teams saw two Newark players (Patrick and Beau Brown (Jr)) foul out. In all, there were 37 free throws shot (21 by HBR).
Patrick was named SportClips Player of the Game once again, getting a double-double. Even though he fouled out, he ended the game with 22 points (47%, 1-1 from downtown and 5-5 from the charity stripe), 10 assists, 4 rebounds (3 offensive), and 3 steals. The Central Limestone Rock Solid Player of the Game went to Jacobson who ended up with 20 points on 58% shooting while grabbing 8 boards throughout the contest. He also had 5 steals, 3 assists, and a block shot for good measure! Jacob Slivka (Jr) was the only other player in double digits this night, scoring 10 points. Slivka also had 4 steals and 2 dimes.
As a team, the boys shot 48.4% from the field (30-62) while connecting on only 6 of their shots from beyond the arc (3-20). Another game of nearly 20 steals (18 tonight) was the difference in helping the Norsemen stay undefeated for the conference in 2017-18.
The Newark Norsemen will take a break until next Friday night against LaMoille/Ohio at Newark. The boys' varsity team will play following the girls' varsity team at 6:00 PM. If you are a follower of the boys' and girls' junior-varsity teams, they will play in LaMoille for a doubleheader on Thursday night (girls will play first).
Stats for game vs HBR: Click here
Conference cumulative stats: Click here
Season cumulative stats: Click here
Special Notes of Interest
There is no place like home...there is no place like home. I didn't see red, shiny shoes on any of the players, but the Newark Norsemen found their way back to the friendly confines of Newark Community High School. In front of the classic overcrowded gymnasium, the fast-paced ballers put up another 70+ game (4th time this year). The 5-1 Norsemen are averaging 73.8 points in each contest, and were able to win tonight against a strong and fast Plano Reaper team, 74-58.
As a team, the Norsemen continued their hot shooting from their Leland/Earlville game last Friday, and shot 29 of 54 (54%). Also, the Newark squad once again kept up their forced turnovers on their opponents, by forcing them with 30+ throughout the season.
Newark was leading at halftime 40-24 after a stifling second quarter by the Newark defense, holding the Reapers to only six points. Coming out of the locker room, the team wearing white outpaced the the purple 16-12. When the buzzer sounded, the Norsemen fans went to their feet as their team grabbed their fifth victory for the year out of six attempts.
Newark had outstanding performances by several ballplayers, including the SportClips Player of the Game, Corey Jacobson. The junior ended with 23 points on 9 of 14 shooting (4/8 from downtown), while grabbing 9 rebounds, snagging 3 steals, and swatting away 2 shots on the defensive side. Senior Dylan Patrick, who was celebrating his 18th birthday, scored 22 points on 50% shooting. Patrick tossed 9 assists and had 3 boards and 3 steals. The senior also named the Little 10 Boys Basketball Player of the Month for November by MySportsWire.com. Jacob Slivka (Jr) also had double-digits, scoring 10 points, 3 rebounds, 3 steals, 2 assists, and run-down block. Connor Swanson (Jr) was named Central Limestone Player of the Game for his tremendous efforts. Swanson had 9 points on 4 of 5 shooting, ripped down 7 rebounds with 5 of them coming on the offensive end of the court, had 4 deflections, 2 steals, and a block of his own.
Newark Boys' Basketball Upcoming Schedule - PLEASE REVIEW IF YOU FOLLOW THEIR GAMES
Link to game stats: Click here
Link to updated season stats: Click here
Link to varsity game: Click here
As the game got under way at Leland High School Friday night, the rain immediately started to fall, as Brett Myre (Jr) drained two long range threes and Corey Jacobson (Jr) dropped one of his own from downtown. From that point on, the Norsemen dominated the entire evening, winning all four quarters by large margins.
Newark went 38 for 68 (56%) in the game, draining 11 shots from beyond the arc. The Norsemen were two points shy of reaching the century mark, scoring 25 in the first quarter, 20 in the second, 31 huge markers in the third, and added 22 points from the bench in the fourth (98 total points). Meanwhile, the Panthers of Leland/Earlville were only able to muster 44 total points for their first conference loss of the season.
Dylan Patrick (Sr) led the way again in scoring by putting in 19 points (14 in the 3rd quarter), while tossing 7 assists, and grabbing 4 boards. Myre added 15 points, added a third three to his stat, plus snagged a couple of steals in the conference matchup. Jacobson added 14 of his own, hitting 4 of 5 from deep. He also had 4 rebounds and 3 assists. Beau Brown (Central Limestone Rock Solid Player of the Game) came up big by scoring 13 points, pulling down 8 rebounds (4 offensive), 6 deflections, 5 steals, and 2 assists. Jacob Slivka (Jr) rounded out the double-digit scorers on the night, putting in 11 points on 5 of 6 shooting. Slivka had 5 boards, 3 dimes, and 2 steals in the evening. Rhys Pepino (Sr) had a very nice night as he skyed for 6 rebounds, dished out 5 assists, stole the ball 3 times, and even deflected the rock 3 other times.
Newark will play Plano High School at home on Tuesday night.
Stats for this game: Click here
Cumulative Season Stats: Click here
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.
Link to article: Click here
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
Link to article: Click here
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.
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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