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Falls Short At Sandwich
Reapers Split Season Series With Indians
By Bill Lidinsky
It was 75 days to the date since the Plano High School varsity boys’ basketball team lost to their arch rival Sandwich Indians. Back on Nov. 26 at the Sandwich Thanksgiving Tournament, the Reapers dropped a 88-77 contest to the Indians.
Since then Plano has responded well with a 63-57 win over Sandwich during the consolation championship at the Reaper Christmas Classic on Dec. 30 along with a 79-59 Interstate Eight Conference blowout at home on Jan.17.
So the Reapers were riding high going into Friday night’s season finale versus the Indians on the road.
Unfortunately for Plano, game four against Sandwich would revert to the happenings of game one as the Reapers dropped a 65-54 decision to the Indians last Friday Feb. 10 thus splitting the 2005-06 season matchup against their closest rival.
“Sandwich came out well and played great from the beginning. We wanted to come out and jump on them early. But we fell behind and weren’t able to have enough in the tank down the stretch to counter their strong play,” said Plano head coach Nate Spriggs.
The Indians scored the first eight points of the ballgame behind junior Lance Futrell’s two three-point buckets to take an 8-0 lead.
Sandwich would hold a 17-7 advantage after one quarter of play.
Things wouldn’t get any better for the Reapers in the second period as the Indians tallied the last nine points in the first half to take a 35-18 lead into the locker room at the intermission.
“It was Futrell’s night early and his performance kind of put us in a hole. We struggled offensively and we just couldn’t shoot a high enough percentage to keep us in the game in the first half,” Spriggs said.
Futrell tallied 10 first quarter points and junior Robert Munson added five second period scores as Sandwich was dominant both offensively and also on the boards.
“We didn’t do a good enough job boxing out and they completely dominated us rebounding which really hurt us,” said Plano senior Will Brown. “We came out really flat and we could never catch up from there.”
Plano outscored Sandwich 17-10 in the third quarter behind nine points by Reaper senior Alex Jensen. But the Indians held tough down the stretch. Sandwich junior Nate Roach notch 12 of his team high 16 points in the final period as the Indians went on to an 11 point victory.
“We came out with intensity in the second half but we were down by so much we just couldn’t find a way to catch up,” Brown said.
Brown finished with 10 points while Jensen led all scorers with 22 points. But the Reapers were out-rebounded 38-29 and that proved to be the difference in the ball game.
“We dug ourselves a hole early. It’s been our tendency all year to come out flat. We turn it up at crunch time but sometimes it’s too late to catch back up,” Jensen said.
And in this case it was, as the Reapers fell to 11-15 overall and 5-8 in the Interstate Eight Conference.
Plano has only one home game left after this past week with a Feb. 17 Senior Night contest against Reed-Custer. Ultimately the Reapers hope to rebound strongly to capture a victory going into IHSA Regional play at Somonauk on Feb. 21.
“Reed-Custer is a very good team and I’d like to send the seniors out with a win in their last four ball games,” said Spriggs.
44, Coal City 38
Sandwich 65, Plano 54
Seneca 69, Lisle 43
Wilmington 46, Dwight 44
Sandwich 65, Plano 54
At Sandwich, the Indians upped their Interstate Eight Conference mark to 7-6 with an 11-point win over the Reapers.
Sandwich led 17-7 after one quarter and built a 35-18 halftime advantage.
Nate Roach led the Indians (12-13, 7-6) with 16 points, to go along with 15 from Lance Futrell. Robert Munson added 12, while Travis VanPelt had 10 points.
Alex Jensen scored 22 points to pace Plano (12-14, 5-8). Will Brown added 10.
PLANO (54) -- Agomo 3 0-3 6, Bott 1 0-0 2, Green 2 0-0 6, Jensen 10 0-0 22, Nelson 3 0-0 7, Campisi 0 0-0 0, Loux 0 0-0 0, Brown 5 0-0 10, Smith 0 0-0 0. Totals 24 0-3 54.
SANDWICH (65) -- Buttels 2 0-3 4, Futrell 6 0-0 15, Meyer 3 2-2 8, Weismiller 0 0-0 0, Roach 3 10-11 16, Munson 5 2-6 12. totals 23 14-22 65. Plano (11-15, 5-8) 7 11 17 19 -- 54
Sandwich (12-13, 7-6) 17 18 10 20 -- 65
3-point baskets -- Plano 6 (Green 2, Jensen 2, Bott, Nelson), Sandwich 5 (Futrell 3, VanPelt 2).
Somonauk 73, Indian Creek 63
At Somonauk, the Bobcats improved to 5-2 in LTC action with a 10-point victory over the Timberwolves.
Somonauk led 15-13 after one quarter and 33-25 at the half. In the second half, the Bobcats outscored Indian Creek 40-38.
Wes Enoch led a balanced Somonauk (8-15, 5-2) with 15 points. Michael Heiden added 12, followed by 11 from Scott Powers. Nick Duffield and Matt Hochstatter each scored 10 points.
Jacob Swanson paced the Timberwolves with 16 points. Sellers added 12, followed by 11 from Yeggie and 10 from Chris Tidwell.
INDIAN CREEK (63) -- Swanson 4 5-6 16, Mitchell 0 0-1 0, Tidwell 3 3-6 10, Leeney 1 4-6 6, Schnoor 1 2-4 4, Yaggie 5 0-3 11, Sellers 6 0-2 12, W. Poterek 2 0-0 4, K. Poterek 0 0-0 0. Totals 22 14-28 63.
SOMONAUK (73) -- Smith 1 0-0 2, Adrian 1 0-0 2, Holcomb 0 0-0 0, Geisholt 3 2-2 9, Powers 4 3-4 11, Enoch 5 5-9 15, Duffield 3 4-4 10, Hochstatter 4 2-4 10, Champion 0 0-0 0, Heiden 6 0-2 12, Zeko 0 0-0 0, Kauffman 0 0-0 0. Totals 27 16-25 73. Indian Creek 13 12 15 23 -- 63
Somonauk (8-15, 5-2) 15 18 16 24 -- 73
3-point baskets -- Indian Creek 5 (Swanson 3, Tidwell, Yaggie), Somonauk 1 (Geisholt).
SANDWICH — Never underestimate the home-court advantage.
At least that was the case in the four meetings between Plano and Sandwich this season.
The Indians defended their home court with a 65-54 win on Friday, earning a season split with their Route 34 rival in the process.
As was the case in their previous three meetings, the home team was victorious. Sandwich won the first meeting of the year at their own Thanksgiving Tournament, while Plano took the last two meetings — one at the Plano Christmas Classic and the other an Interstate Eight Conference game played three weeks ago.
"Each time, the team that's won had a quick start," said Sandwich coach Chris Johnson about the season series. "We got the lead right away at our place, and, at their place, they got the lead right away."
Indeed, Sandwich (12-12, 7-6) got out of the gate quickly on Friday, scoring the first eight points.
Lance Futrell buried consecutive 3-pointers and Mike Meyer added a rebound put-back in the first two minutes.
Will Brown and Alex Jensen then scored for Plano, but another 8-0 run put the Indians in front 16-4 with two minutes left in the opening quarter. The Reapers hung around in the second quarter, cutting the lead to seven on two occasions.
But Jensen picked up his third foul midway through the period and Sandwich finished with a 13-3 run to take a 35-18 lead at the half.
Robert Munson sparked the run with five points and three offensive rebounds during the final minutes of the half. Futrell scored all 15 of his points in the first half after hitting his first five shots from the floor.
"I just felt good the whole time," Futrell said.
"That was probably the best half I've played all year."
Plano (11-15, 5-8) did outscore Sandwich 36-30 in the second half, but the Reapers had dug themselves too much of a hole. They cut the lead to nine on several occasions but were unable to make a serious threat.
"We would like to come out and really play aggressive and not wait until the last quarter to make a run," said Plano coach Nate Spriggs. "It's always a frantic run. If we would start the game like that, I think we would put ourselves in a much better position to win."
Free-throw shooting iced the win for the Indians, as Nate Roach hit 8 of 9 at the stripe in the fourth quarter and 10 of 11 for the game.
Roach scored a team-high 16 points, while Futrell had 15. Robert Munson scored 12 and added seven rebounds, Travis Van Pelt scored 10, and Mike Meyer had eight points and 12 rebounds.
"We did a lot of things right tonight," said Johnson, who gave the team the weekend off of practice. "They're always happy when I give them a day off, and this is a time when I can feel good about giving them a day off."
Alex Jensen had 22 points, six rebounds and four assists to lead Plano. Will Brown scored 10, while Eric Nelson scored seven points and added six rebounds.