Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL


January 13, 2014

Late run downs Comets at Shootout

EFFINGHAM — Stew-Stras played its second game in about 15 hours on Saturday, against Mt. Pulaski at the St. Anthony Shootout, but Comets head coach Shane Smith didn’t make that an excuse.

Both of the Comets’ games — Friday against St. Elmo/Brownstown and Saturday — were losses. Mt. Pulaski beat Stew-Stras 58-53 on Saturday.

Stew-Stras found itself in a position to win the game with a 46-43 lead in the middle of the fourth quarter, but Mt. Pulaski went on an 11-0 run to take a 54-46 lead.

Jason Fry made a 3-pointer with 1:31 remaining to bring Stew-Stras within three points, 54-51.

Mt. Pulaski made two of its next four free throws and Stew-Stras was still in the game after a layup by Bryse Bugger with 23 seconds left.

But there was too much to catch up to, as Mt. Pulaski capitalized on two ensuing free throws to make it 58-53 to win the game.

“We just threw the ball to the other team and traveled way too many times in the second half,” Smith said. “Mt. Pulaski did a good job capitalizing on the mistakes we had and we had a lot in the second half.”

Fry and Brandon Helmuth led Stew-Stras to 27-24 halftime lead. Helmuth scored 24 points in the game, while Fry scored 18. No other Comets player scored more than five points.

The pair led Stew-Stras to a 20-point second quarter. Fry scored 10 points in the quarter, while Helmuth made three 3-pointers for nine points.

“We distributed the ball and found shooters who were hot,” Smith said.

Jordan Luczaj scored nine points in the third quarter for Mt. Pulaski to take a 39-35 lead into the final quarter. He scored a team-high 19 points.

Brady Thomas added 10 points for Mt. Pulaski. Michael Lowery scored nine.

After an 11-point first quarter, when it led Stew-Stras, Mt. Pulaski scored 13 in the second, 15 in the third and 19 in the fourth.

Eight players scored for Mt. Pulaski, compared to only five for Stew-Stras.

An offensive rebound on a late free throw attempt was evident of how Stew-Stras lost the game, Smith said.

Brett Huff missed the second of two free throws with 33 seconds left, ahead 55-51, and Mt. Pulaski got the offensive rebound to get back to the free throw line.

There, Luczaj made one-of-two from the line to lift Mt. Pulaski to a 56-51 lead.

“We’ve had several games we’ve lost on the exact same play,” Smith said. “It’s frustrating on both ends.”

Stew-Stras will host South Central at 6:15 p.m. Tuesday.

Alex McNamee can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 123, or alex.mcnamee@effinghamdailynews.com.

Stew-Stras     7 20 8 18     53

Mt. Pulaski     11 13 15 19     58

Stew-Stras: Jones 3, Rincker 3, Helmuth 24, Bugger 5, Fry 18

Mt. Pulaski: Collier 6, Thomas 10, Huff 3, Luczaj 19, Amidon 4, Lowery 9, Stewart 2, Leinweber 5


Text Only
  • czachorskimug.jpg Czachorski: Extra innings intrigue unmatched

    Obscenely long baseball games are my kryptonite. Once I get sucked in, it’s impossible for me to stop watching until it’s over. It doesn’t matter if it’s the Cubs, the Cardinals, the Astros or the Mariners — if it’s on TV and it’s going into the twelfth inning or later, you can bet I’m finding a way to tune in.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-29NewtonOrientmain.JPG Newton's season ends in 14-4 loss

     Newton Post 20 almost pulled another comeback off against the Orient Miners, cutting a 5-1 deficit to 5-4 midway through Monday night’s game.
    But Newton’s Junior Legion Fifth Division tournament run came to an end, as Orient rattled off nine runs in the sixth inning and clinched a spot in the state tournament with a 14-4 win.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • 7-28NewtonSundaygame2.JPG Comeback win keeps Post 20 alive in 10-7 win

    Newton Post 120 didn’t let a 4-1 deficit get to them against Highland Post 439, using a patient approach in the face of an elimination game.
    Three bases-loaded walks in the bottom of the third tied the game at 4-4, and with the bases loaded down 5-4 in the fourth, Tim Weber broke the game open with a two-run double and an error.
    By the time the dust settled, Newton led 10-5 heading to the sixth inning and would hold on to a 10-7 win to keep its season alive.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-28NewtonSundaygame1.JPG Salem deals Newton first divisional loss

    Mitch Bierman started off Newton Post 20’s game against Salem Post 128 with a bang Sunday afternoon, hitting a leadoff triple and scoring on the next batter.
    Post 20’s offense didn’t follow his lead from there, as Newton had just three more hits and no runs, and falling in a Junior Legion Fifth Division winner’s bracket game to Salem 12-1 in seven innings.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_0725.JPG Newton Post 20 bests Belleville Post 58 in opener 6-1
    After a 9-3 loss to Breese Post 252 Gray Monday night, Newton Post 20 coach John Grunloh predicted the five-day break until the Junior Legion Fifth Division tournament would be good for his players, especially his pitchers. 
    Mitch Jansen proved his coach right, spinning a gem in Newton's opener Saturday afternoon as Post 20 made short work of Belleville Post 58 6-1. 

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • daughertyfootball.jpg Hearts to prep with Mattoon 7-on-7

    Two weeks ago, Effingham was supposed to start shaking off the rust with a 7-on-7 football tournament in Mattoon. Naturally, it rained and was canceled.
    So Saturday, the Flaming Hearts will head up to Mattoon and play their first 7-on-7 event of the season, taking part in an 10- team field with Mattoon, Rochester, Robinson, Marshall, Cahokia and Pleasant Plains from Illinois, with Terre Haute North and Northview coming from Indiana. Rochester is bringing two squads.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mammoser3.jpg Newton Post 20 plays Belleville Saturday

    With the District 23 tournament behind them, Newton Post 20 now knows its fate for the Fifth Division Junior Legion tournament this weekend in Bethalto.
    Newton will play Belleville Post 58 at 2:45 p.m. Saturday afternoon in Bethalto, in the third game of six on the day.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bateman.jpg Effingham's season comes to a close with 11-1 loss to Salem

    A 1-0 lead for Effingham Post 120 rapidly evaporated, and the post’s Junior Legion season came to an end with a 11-1 loss in five innings to Salem Post 128 Tuesday night.
    The game was for the final spot of District 23 in the divisional tournament, with Newton Post 20 and Breese Post 252 Gray punching their tickets by winning their district divisions.

    July 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Bierman.jpg Newton Post 20 falls short against Breese Gray 9-3

    While the District 23 title ultimately exceeded Newton Post 20’s grasp, their season will continue in Bethalto.
    Newton took on Breese Post 252 Gray for the Junior Legion District 23 title as the two division winners, but Breese’s bats proved too much for Newton in an 9-3 loss for Post 20.
    “The innings where they put some runs on us, we gave them some extra outs,” said Newton coach John Grunloh. “You’ve got to make the plays when you play better teams.”

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Barnes3.jpg Barnes' one-hitter boosts Post 120; Effingham beats Dieterich 1-0

    Ryan Barnes hasn’t seen a lot of time with Effingham Post 120’s junior legion team this season, but he showed up in a big way Monday night in a 1-0 win over Dieterich Post 628.
    The win kept Effingham’s season alive one more day in the Junior Legion District 23 tournament, as the post will face Salem Post 128 at 5:30 p.m. today for the district’s final spot in the divisional round. Salem Post 128 downed Mt. Vernon Post 141 1-0 in the West Division loser’s bracket, setting up the final with Effingham today.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

AP Video

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.