Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

December 18, 2013

Indians win to open St. Elmo tourney

Hornets, Cougars fall in openers

Alex McNamee
Effingham Daily News

ST. ELMO — Griffin Jackman made a 3-pointer in every quarter except the last, but it was his first-quarter basket that carried the most momentum.

Altamont (4-0) lost its early lead to Cowden-Herrick (2-7), who came back to tie the game 10-10, but Jackman sank his first of three 3-pointers in the game to give them a 13-10 lead.

The Indians’ lead extended to 18-10 by the end of the quarter and the Indians were off and running on an 81-48 drubbing of the Hornets.

“Griffin comes in and knows that when he’s open he’s supposed to shoot it,” Altamont head coach John Niebrugge said. “He has that confidence and ability.”

Jackman, who scored 12 points in the game, was one of four players in double figures by the end of the game. Justin McGinnis led the Indians with 14 points.

Cowden-Herrick’s Colton Burrus led all scorers with 19 points.

Altamont took a 37-21 lead into halftime and turned up the pressure in the second half. They scored 10 unanswered points in the first two minutes of the third quarter, leading 47-21.

“They just come at you with a lot of intensity,” Cowden-Herrick head coach Marc Bain said. “Altamont is a little older, a little stronger and faster (than us).”

The Indians outscored the Hornets 63-38 after the first quarter during which Cowden-Herrick dictated the tempo, which is something Niebrugge said his team needed to get back.

“They controlled the pace,” Niebrugge said. “They spread us out. We just had to put pressure on them to make it a 90-foot game.”

Garrett Ziegler and Klaiton Wolff each added 13 points for the top-seeded Indians, who advance to play fourth-seeded Okaw Valley at 7:45 p.m. Thursday.

Okaw Valley vs. South Central

South Central unraveled in the third quarter against Okaw Valley, in part due to its own mistakes

The Cougars overcame two first-half deficits to trail 24-22 at halftime, but Okaw Valley outscored them 23-2 in the third quarter. The turnovers added up.

Okaw Valley (3-6) pushed the lead to 29-22 with 6:09 left in the third quarter as the Cougars looked sloppy bringing the ball up the court against the full-court pressure. A pass went straight through the hands of Evan Langley. Brett Harmeier overdribbled and ended up losing his handle on the ball.

During one stretch, South Central turned the ball over on eight consecutive possessions, leading the Timberwolves to a 42-22 lead late in the quarter.

A fastbreak layup by Kerrigan Hemken with five seconds left was the Cougars only score of the quarter.

“We didn’t react to what they ran,” South Central head coach Rick Simmons said. “No movement. Just stood around. We tried making passes that we shouldn’t have to make, if people were moving around.”

Okaw Valley’s defense started getting in passing lanes, coming up with steals and easy layups at the other end of the court. Head coach Tony Sparks said it was a new-look defense.

“They were getting through our press pretty easy (in the first half),” Sparks said. “We showed them a different look and then sat back in our 3-2 zone and dared them to shoot.”

A pair of early third-quarter shots rimmed out for the Cougars, which started the downhill slide.

The Cougars finished the second quarter with eight of the last 11 points, but a different team showed up in the second half. Simmons said he liked his team in the first half.

“We were scoring even when we were out of our offense – still finding a way to score,” Simmons said. “They were adjusting to the situation and making the most of it.”

Harmeier finished with 11 points for the Cougars. Okaw Valley’s Peyton Hagerman finished with 24 points, the most any player scored on the first night of the St. Elmo Holiday Tournament. Devon Still added 19 for the Timberwolves.

South Central (0-5) moves into the consolation bracket of the tournament to play eighth-seeded Cowden-Herrick at 6:15 p.m. Thursday.

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

Okaw Valley     12 12 23 13     60

South Central     12 10 2 16     40

Okaw Valley: Hagerman 24, Still 19, Sroka 6, Jeffers 3, Fruchtl 3, Dieschulski 2, Walker 2, Martin 1

South Central: Harmeier 11, Riley 8, Ross 6, Powless 6, Henken 5, Langley 4

Altamont          18 19 26 18     81

Cowden-Herrick     10 11 18 9     48

Cowden-Herrick: Blackerby 2, Sphar 7, Sandiford 4, Lorton 3, Burrus 19, Nohren 2, Barnes 5, Evans 6

Altamont: Jackman 12, McGinnis 14, Ziegler 13, Borders 6, Goeckner 4, Armstrong 7, Seidel 6, Jahraus 6, Wolff 13