Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL


December 21, 2013

Windsor wins the Hatchet

Blue Devils down rival Comets 49-47

WINDSOR — There's not much Windsor senior Alex Allen can do to surprise his coach Silas Pogue anymore.

That includes making the clutchest play of the game, which he did late in Friday's 49-47 win over Stew-Stras.

With Hayden Cole at the line down 44-43, Cole missed his second free throw that could tie the game. But there was Allen, scooping up the rebound and putting the layup back in with 1:35 to go.

The basket put the Blue Devils up 45-44, and they'd never trail again as they won the Hatchet Game for the first time since 2010.

"I want to say I'm surprised he got it, but it's pretty routine of him to do something like that," Pogue said. "He usually leads us in rebounds."

Stew-Stras coach Shane Smith agreed that the play changed the game for good, saying the Comets knew they needed to get the defensive board and couldn't.

"We lost our lead because we didn't defensive rebound," Smith said. "We worked on it all week, talked about the fact that we miss these defensive rebounds under the basket on free throws."

After Windsor led 27-20 at the half, the Comets came out firing, rattling off a 17-2 run that saw them take a brief 33-29 lead before Windsor tied the game at 33-33 entering the fourth.

The Comets kept coming, pushing their lead to five points twice, leading 44-39 with 3:35 to go.

They would have offensive issues of their own from there as Windsor tightened up. The change in defense was credited to Pogue's assistants, Adam Shoaff and Jake McIlwain.

"I would say that our man-to-man defense is a lot better than sometimes I give it credit for," Pogue said. "I give up on our man too quickly.

"Our assistants talked me back into it, and if they hadn't, we'd be stuck in some junky defense we couldn't box out of."

Allen converted a three-point play to bring the Blue Devils within two, and put them up after the missed Cole free throw. Tristan Warner scored the last four points of the game.

Stew-Stras had a chance to tie it in the game's final moments. The Comets beat the Blue Devil press, but Smith called timeout moments before Jason Fry pulled up for three.

Of course, it went in and didn't count.

"I kind of muffled some things up on timeouts," Smith said. "It is what it is. You don't call them, the ball flies out of bounds."

Warner had 19 points to top the Blue Devils, and Allen added 17 points while coming up big down the stretch.

Brandon Helmuth had 14 points for the Comets, Fry had 11 and Bryse Bugger scored 10 of his own.

The Comets fall to 1-5 and 0-2 in the NTC. They play in Arthur-Lovington at 4:30 p.m. Monday at the Tri-County tournament.

Windsor (1-4, 1-1) plays after them at 6 p.m. against Westville, fresh off their Hatchet win.

"It feels good. The kids deserve all the credit," Pogue said.

Stew-Stras     11     9     13     11     47

Windsor     15     12     6     16     49

Stew-Stras: Jones 5, Ballinger 2, Rincker 5, Helmuth 14, Bugger 10, Fry 11

Windsor: Haddock 2, Hutchinson 2, Allen 17, Cole 5, Warner 19, Ard 4


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