Neoga senior Trevor Roy found himself routinely double-teamed in the Indians’ contest against Olney Saturday at the 8th Annual St. Anthony Shootout. His teammates weren’t and they made them pay as the Indians beat the Tigers 59-53.
Neoga varsity head coach Andrew Snow described the win as “resilient, toughness”.
“We went into the fourth quarter up two or down two, regardless, there was a thirteen point gap we created,” Snow said. “We told them to survive the first half against a well coached Olney team. Give yourself a chance in the second half.”
Neoga opened the contest with a three from senior guard Chase Banning putting the Indians ahead 3-0. Olney responded with a 6-0 run by sophomore guard/forward Chase Travis who would lead all scorers with 26.
The Indians would cut the deficit to one by a bucket from guard Adam Fearday. The junior would make the score 6-5, with 2:47 left in the first quarter, on a putback from a missed shot by Roy.
Neoga senior guard Trenton Moore would put the Indians ahead with a bucket at the buzzer as the Indians would regain the lead, 12-11, heading into the second quarter.
Travis would continue his hot hand with seven points in the second quarter providing much of the offense for the Tigers as they would trade buckets throughout the frame eventually taking a 23-21 halftime lead.
Neoga sophomore guard Paci McClure would keep the Indians within striking distance of Olney buoyed by two three pointers.
“He’s been good for us all year. He’s averaging 15 a game, a consistent three-point shooter, and usually a good free throw shooter. Tonight, he kind of struggled tonight but he was probably tired. He’s been huge for us.”
With three minutes left in the third, Roy would sink a bucket to give the Indians a 31-30 lead. McClure would extend the lead to 33-30, and lead the Indians with 8 points in the third quarter.
Olney would storm back on a 6-0 behind sophomore guard Drew Blanks two points, and junior guard Braden Flanagan back-to-back buckets and take a 36-30 lead with 1:07 remaining.
Roy would see the doubleteam disappear with the play of Moore and McClure, and made a bucket with 12 seconds left in the third quarter with Neoga trailing by one, 36-35, heading into the fourth quarter.
McClure would hit his last and most important three-pointer of the game opening the fourth quarter scoring bringing the Indians back to 38-36 lead before the flood gates would open for Neoga.
Roy’s patience would pay off as the 6’2” guard would contribute 8 points of Neoga’s 12-0 run giving them a 52-39 lead.
“That’s what I told Trevor. Just pick your spots. He had so many good kickouts to Paci and Chase. He still got his average while making smart decisions,” Snow said. “They gave up good shots to get great ones and that’s all you can ask for.”
Neoga’s Moore would foul commit his fifth foul on Travis with 17 seconds left. Travis would sink both free throws but McClure would seal the win with one of his own seconds later giving the Indians an emotional 59-53 win.
“They played smart and together,” said Snow. “We have two sophomores starting with our seniors and they’ve stepped up huge. They’ve handled the ball really well for us and gotten us in our offense.”
Snow said they wanted to make smart decisions and not force anything against Olney.
“We saw there late with the turnovers what they’re capable of,” he said. “We handled their pressure well.”
Olney, who move to 8-8 with a Tuesday contest against Fairfield, were led by Chase Travis with 26 points, Braden Flanagan with 13, and two others with single digits.
Neoga, who move to 12-4 and will host St. Anthony Tuesday, was led by McClure with 19, Roy with 16, Moore with 13 and two others with single digits.