If fans entered the gym of the Shelbyville Rams Tuesday evening, Nov. 26 hoping to see a classic in terms of offensive and defensive execution, they left disappointed. However, if they hoped to see a heart-pounding dramatic second half, their expectations were met as the Rams prevailed 77-74 in overtime.
Hillsboro junior Jace Tuetken made the first of two free throws to forge a 74-74 tie with 8.2 seconds to play in overtime; then, though the winning three-point shot by Ram junior forward Jason Beaudry went through the net with no time on the clock, it was clearly out of his hands before the buzzer. The shot came after a scramble near the key at the Toppers' defensive end, and it was Beaudry's only points of the contest.
That shot mirrored Topper sophomore Drake Vogel's banked three pointer that sent the game to overtime. Nic Ondrey and friends made that shot meaningful by scoring 17 of his team-high 26 in the second half as Hillsboro overcame a 37-28 halftime deficit; Ondrey's penetrating drives to the basket were particularly effective in the fourth quarter when he scored nine.
Vogel also added nine then as the Toppers outscored Shelbyville 21-15 over the final period. Vogel finished with 23.
The high point producer for the game was Ram guard Kade Kull, whose five three-pointers (his forte is a step-back three that's very hard to defend) served as a base for a 38 point performance. Equally important for the Rams, though, was slight freshman forward Wyatt Nothause who scored key baskets on four offensive rebounds and then contributed three of four free throws after his team fell behind early in overtime. He totalled 15 points, most at crucial times.
The Toppers have much to work on before opening play in Carlyle against Okawville if one looks at the statistics. As a team they were 10 of 21 from the free throw line, and they committed 18 turnovers (20 by another count); Shelbyville had 15. Though the field goal percentages (53%-26 of 49) inside the arc would be acceptable in most games, early on the Toppers missed too many five footers -- perhaps first game adrenaline was the problem. They also had only seven assists as a team(four by Tuetken, three by Vogel). Vogel was three of five from behind the arc, but his mates were only one of five; the overall shooting percentage was 51% (30 of 59).
The only word for the junior varsity game was bizarre. As always at Shelbyville, the junior varsity quarters were six minutes, but because of a lack of players (the Rams only have one senior, six juniors, two sophomores, and two freshmen on the roster), the second half was a running clock ten minutes. (Shelbyville has cancelled their freshman and freshman/sophomore schedules.)
Though the format made for a confusing but exciting finish, the Rams prevailed 31-29 after jumping to a 19-7 first quarter lead. Ian Malloy and Blaze Helton led Hillsboro scorers with eight each.
November 26 at Shelbyville
Hillsboro 13 15 17 21 8 74
Shelbyville 13 24 14 15 11 77
Hillsboro (74) - Nic Ondrey 26, Drake Vogel 23, Jace Tuetken 9, Gavin Matoush 7, Dylan McCammack 6, Brock Bellaver 5. Totals: 30-59 10-21 74.
Shelbyville (77) - Kade Kull 38, Wyatt Nothause 15, Payton Bryant 8, Leo Logue 7, Ethan Clark 6, Jason Beaudry 3.
Three-point field goals: Hillsboro 4 - Vogel 3, Bellaver 1; Shelbyville 9 - Kull 5, Clark 2, Logue 1, Beaudry 1.
Records: Hillsboro (0-1); Shelbyville (1-0).
Junior Varsity Line Score
Hillsboro JV 7 8 14 29
Shelbyville JV 19 4 9 32
Hillsboro JV (29) - Malloy 8, Holton 8, Downen 3, Smail 2, Meier 2, Connor 2, Christian 2, Duff 0, Lentz 0.
Shelbyville JV (32) - Beyers 12, Bryant 8, Beaudry 5, Nothause 4, Hadley 2, Matlock 1, McDonald 0, Clark 0.
Three-point field goals: Hillsboro JV 1 (Tim Downen); Shelbyville 3 (Max Beyers 2, Jason Beaudry 1)
Records: Hillsboro JV (0-1); Shelbyville JV (1-0).
Once again appearances were deceiving for Hillsboro boys varsity basketball fans, at least for this one. When Okawville took the floor, the starters were two small guards (both Jackson Harre and Lucas Frederking seemed a couple inches shorter than their roster heights of 5'8" and 5'10" respectively); a 6'0" small forward, a slender 6'7" power forward, and a 6'8" big man, Jackson Heckert, who was not only tall but a space eater - think NFL offensive tackle size. Too, the aggregate were juniors, except for Heckert, who is a senior.
For a quarter it was a close game, as I had expected; I should have known better. After all, Okawville has a stellar basketball reputation. A taller Federking, Noah, was all-tournament for three years and holds three tournament records, and Hillsboro ultimately didn't match up well defensively, certainly not consistently underneath where Hackert's strength allowed him to move defenders down the lane. As the game developed, the Rockets' superior depth also helped them.
Four of the Rocket starters reached double figures and their bench outscored the Topper bench 16-0. Too, their defense, alternating between a 2-3 zone and a man, held Hillsboro's leading scorers to nine (Nic Ondrey) and six (Drake Vogel) points; Gavin Matoush led Hillsboro with 10, but eight were in the first quarter - the good quarter for Hillsboro.
The four Okawville players in double figures were Frederking (13), Meyer (13), Heckert (10), and Harre (10); reserve Caleb Unverfehrt was close with eight. None were spectacular; but for quarter two and three, the team play was. Hillsboro led 10-8 at the first break, but the Rockets were ahead by 13 at halftime before scoring the first seven points of the second half -- in 70 seconds. That momentum carried them to a 57-27 lead after three quarters and triggered a continuous clock for the last quarter.
Now 0-2 on the young season, Hillsboro returns to Kaskaskian Classic play in Carlyle this Tuesday, Dec. 3, to face another Southern Illinois traditional powerhouse, Woodlawn. The Cardinals won their opener against Carlyle 48-32 on Saturday. Tip-off time is 7:30; Flora plays Pinckneyville at 6 p.m. that evening.
November 30 at Carlyle
Hillsboro 10 8 9 7 34
Okawville 8 23 26 5 62
Hillsboro (34) - Gavin Matoush 10, Nic Ondrey 9, Drake Vogel 6, Brock Bellaver 5, Jace Tuetken 4. Totals: 13-38 6-13 34.
Okawville (62) - Mason Meyer 13, Lucas Frederking 13, Jackson Heckert 10, Jackson Harre 10, Caleb Unverfehrt 8, Ethan Kolweir 3, Ethan Riechmann 3, Daniel Jensen 2.
Three-point field goals: Hillsboro 2 - Vogel 1, Bellaver 1; Okawville 8 - Frederking 3, Unverfehrt 2, Reichmann 1, Kolweir 1, Meyer 1.
Records: Hillsboro (0-2); Okawville (2-0).
Carlyle Kaskaskian Classic
Boys Basketball Tournament
Pool A: Flora, Freeburg, Greenville, Pinckneyville
Pool B: Carlyle, Hillsboro, Okawville, Woodlawn
Saturday, November 30
• Pinckneyville 70, Greenville 42
• Woodlawn 49, Carlyle 32
• Okawville 62, Hillsboro 34
• Freeburg 46, Flora 32
Tuesday, December 3
6 p.m. - Flora vs. Pinckneyville
7:30 p.m. - Hillsboro vs. Woodlawn
Wednesday, December 4
6 p.m. - Greenville vs. Freeburg
7:30 p.m. - Carlyle vs. Okawville
Thursday, December 5
6 p.m. - Pinckneyville vs. Freeburg
7:30 p.m. - Woodlawn vs. Okawville
Friday, December 6
6 p.m. - Flora vs. Greenville
7:30 p.m. - Hillsboro vs. Carlyle
Saturday, December 7
3 p.m. - Seventh Place Game
4:30 p.m. - Fifth Place Game
6 p.m. - Third Place Game
7:30 p.m. - Championship Game