Sandwich Thanksgiving Tournament

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3rd Round  Wed. , November 23, 2005

5:00 LaSalle-Peru 51 vs Oswego East    28

6:30 Sandwich     58 vs Streator       60

8:00 Plano        50 vs Aurora Central 58

Contributions aplenty for unbeaten Chargers

By Bob Reynolds

SANDWICH If someone had told Aurora Central Catholic coach Nathan Drye before the game that his team might win with Mark Adams and Danny Bieritz totaling nine points, Drye might have scratched his head and said "No way."

But the second-year coach was grinning from ear to ear after his Chargers withstood a Plano shooting barrage to go 3-0 on the young season, posting a 58-50 triumph in the Sandwich Thanksgiving Tournament.

"We got a lot of contributions from Riley (Totten) and (Justin) Patterson tonight," said Drye. "That was Patterson's best game so far."

Earlier, Sandwich came close to denting the win column for the first time, but Streator's Brandon VanDuzer almost single-handedly shot down the Indians 60-58 with a 34-point explosion.

In the opener, Oswego East was never in it against unbeaten LaSalle-Peru, falling 51-28.

On Monday night, Adams, only a sophomore, and Bieritz combined for 42 points against Sandwich. But Adams especially struggled from the field against Plano, missing 10 of his first 11 shots. As good players do, he kept firing, and his 18-footer put the Chargers up 50-44 with 3:25 left. Then he made a backdoor cut and scored on a feed from Bierritz to give ACC a 52-48 lead with 1:46 remaining.

That bucket was crucial, because the Reapers were forced to foul from then on. From that point, Totten, Colin Craig (8 points), and Patterson calmly stepped up and sank six straight free throws down the stretch to seal the verdict.

Patterson and Totten scored 10 and 8 points respectively off the bench for Aurora Central. The energetic Patterson added seven rebounds, four of which came in the decisive fourth quarter when the Chargers outrebounded Plano 14-4.

There was no secret to Plano's offensive approach work the ball toward the middle and then outside for the 3-point shot. The Reapers were 10 of 25 from behind the arc, with Brook Bott (15 points) canning five and Matt Priesman (14 points) four. Plano (1-2) wanted to stay away from driving toward 6-foot-6 center Mike Benjamin, an intimidating presence down low.

"Benjamin is a very strong, agile player," noted Plano coach Nate Spriggs. "I credit (ACC) for getting him the ball. They know what our weakness is, and that's size. Our turnovers and lack of rebounding hurt us also."

Benjamin appeared to have a somewhat quiet night, until a look at his stats revealed 15 points and 15 rebounds.

Contributions from many players makes any coach perk up.

"It's great to be 3-0 we didn't have a three-game win streak all last year," said Drye. "Our goal is to beat LaSalle-Peru Friday and play for the championship on Saturday."

The Reapers continue to acclimate their seven football players to the hardwood.

"We're using this tournament to get our legs under us," said Spriggs. "We're competing and trying to get wins, but any wins we do get are a bonus for us."

Streator 60, Sandwich 58: The Indians (0-3) played the whole game from behind, until junior Lance Futrell got hot late in the third quarter. He had nine of his 15 points in a short span that enabled Gil Buttels' bucket to tie the score at 42-all.

Futrell's short shot in the lane gave the Indians their first lead at 54-53. Then Robert Munson stole the ball near half court and fed a streaking Futrell for a layup and a 58-57 lead.

But VanDuzer hit one of two free throws to tie the score. Then, with VanDuzer milking the clock for the final shot at the win, Nate Roach appeared to think his Sandwich team was behind on the scoreboard and fouled VanDuzer with six seconds remaining. The two foul shots were good, and Alan Ritchie's last-second 3-point attempt was off the mark.

"He (VanDuzer) was the man tonight," said Sandwich coach Chris Johnson. "Close games are tough to lose, but we're getting better shots as the tournament goes on. I certainly can't fault our effort."

L-P 51, Oswego East 28: Oswego East (1-2) was outscored 20-4 by LaSalle-Peru to fall to 1-2 on their inaugural season. The senior-less Wolves, after surprising Streator to start the season, continue to struggle offensively against zone defenses.

Skyler Ormsbee led Oswego East with eight points.

"We had a few turnovers and then it snowballed on us from there," said Oswego East coach Jason Buckley. "They (L-P) were mentally tougher than we were."

BOYS BASKETBALL: Plano and L-P win, Bulldogs fall at Sandwich
JEFF GLADE,, (815) 431-4043

SANDWICH -- The Plano Reapers broke the trends Tuesday night at the Sandwich Thanksgiving Tournament, becoming the only team to lose its opener that came back to get a win -- edging past Oswego East 59-55 in overtime. Otherwise, Aurora Central Catholic moved to 2-0 with a win over 0-2 Streator, while 2-0 La Salle-Peru held off 0-2 Sandwich.
The round-robin tournament continues tonight with L-P taking on Oswego East at 5 p.m., Streator vs. Sandwich at 6:30 and then Plano vs. Aurora Central Catholic at 8 p.m.

Plano 59, Oswego East 55 (OT)

The Plano Reapers might still be trying to find their basketball legs, but they definitely found their defense, shutting down the athletic Oswego East offense in the overtime period to claim their first win of the season.

"This is definitely a big win for us against a quality AA opponent that's going to win more than a few games before this season is over," Plano coach Nate Spriggs said. "And this is for a team that has all been together, other than our two games now, for a 10-minute walkthrough before we got on the bus to come over Monday.

"And the bottom line was that we challenged these guys to come out and play defense tonight ... especially Alex Jensen, who had a bad rap last year, especially from me, because of his defense. To get to the elite status of player, he has to play defense and tonight he really did that was a big spark."

Jensen also was a big spark on the offensive end, with the senior guard scoring a game-high 17 points, while forward Obina Agomo had 14 and center Will Brown added 14 points and 13 rebounds.

The biggest points may have come from Brown though, who went 2-for-2 from the charity stripe with the game on the line.

"They scouted us pretty well, because my assistant from last year, Kevin Jansen, is a part of their program now," Spriggs said. "So they knew that if they had to foul, Will Brown was the guy and he knocked down two big free throws right at the end and gave us a big lift. We knew if he could do it in that situation, so could we."

Key: fgm-fga ftm-fta tp

PLANO (59) - Agomo 6-15 1-2 14, Bott 1-4 1-2 4, Brown 6-14 2-2 14, Jensen 6-17 2-2 17, Priesman 3-14 0-0 8, Green 0 0-2 0, Wilson 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 23-69 6-8 59.

OSWEGO EAST (55) - Ormsbee 2-4 0-0 4, Pearson 4-9 0-0 9, Holmes 4-7 0-0 8, Mudra 1-2 0-0 2, Sullivan 6-9 0-0 12, Lozano 1-2 2-2 4, Fisher 2-3 0-0 4, Smith 4-12 2-4 12. Totals 24-48 4-6 55.

Score by quarter and overtime:

Plano (1-1)       13 19 11 6 10 - 59
Oswego East (1-1) 14 12 13 10 6 - 55

Three-point baskets - Plano 7-25 (Jensen 3-12, Priesman 2-8, Agomo 1-1, Bott 1-4); Oswego East 3-10 (Smith 2-7, Pearson 1-3). Rebounds – Plano 33 (Brown 13, Agomo 6, Jensen 6); Oswego East 33 (Ormsbee 9, Pearson 6). Turnovers - Plano 12; Oswego East 19. Total fouls (none fouled out) - Plano 11, Oswego East 12. Field goal percentage - Plano 33.3; Oswego East 50.0. Three-point percentage - Plano 26.9; Oswego East 30.0. Free throw percentage Plano 75.0; Oswego East 66.7.

Aurora Central Catholic 56, Streator 44

It was another night of ups and downs for the Bulldogs offense, which just seemed to pick the wrong time for their final down -- converting just one shot from the field in the final 5:30 as Central Catholic broke a 38-38 tie and pulled away for a 12-point win.

"We shot the ball streaky last year, so this is not that much of a surprise," Streator coach Brandon Creason said. "But in practice, when you go for a layup against a 6-foot kid there's no problem. Here we're going in against 6-8 kids and that's going to change your shots. In practice we have no threat, now we're facing a threat and we were just struggling with point blank layups and free throws. You can't do that and expect to win."

Still, after a slow start as the Bulldogs fell behind 8-0 after missing their first nine shots from the field, the team battled back and put itself in a position to win -- starting the fourth quarter strong, tying the game at 38 when Brandon VanDuzer converted a layup off a steal and then moved ahead 39-38 on a Jake Hollinsaid free throw, things still looked good with 4:28 left in the game.

The Bulldogs wouldn't score again for nearly two and a half minutes though, as ACC big man Mike Benjamin and guard Mark Adams led the Chargers on an 11-0 run that all but put the game out of reach.

"Nothing looks good when you're shooting poorly and all the good things we were doing tend to get lost," Creason said. "We did some good things on defense, we made some nice plays ... but when you can't score all of that is moot. It just seemed like we were always doing enough to keep hanging around, but never enough to capitalize and get the win."

Key: fgm-fga ftm-fta tp

STREATOR (44) - VanDuzer 5-15 2-4 14, Urtachko 1-5 2-4 4, Ingold 2-11 0-0 5, Nicklin 1-4 0-0 2, Hollinsaid 2-4 2-4 6, Ramon 2-8 0-0 4, Bedecker 1-2 0-0 3, Murray 0-1 0-2 0, Kling 0-0 1-2 1, Martin 1-6 3-4 5, Malley 0-0 0-0 0, Erschen 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 15-56 10-20 44.

AURORA CENTRAL CATHOLIC (56) - Nelson 3-5 5-6 11, Benjamin 10-12 5-6 25, Mi. Adams 0-0 0-0 0, Ma. Adams 4-9 2-2 11, Craig 0-1 2-2 2, Totten 2-4 0-1 5, Patterson 0-1 0-0 0, Kelley 0-1 0-0 0, Bieritz 0-4 2-2 2. Totals 19-37 16-19 56.

Score by quarter:

Streator (0-2) 11 17 5 11 - 44
ACC (2-0)      17 7 12 20 - 56

Three-point baskets - Streator 4-18 (VanDuzer 2-6, Bedecker 1-2, Ingold 1-5, Nicklin 0-1, Hollinsaid 0-1, Martin 0-3); ACC 2-8 (Totten 1-2, Ma. Adams 1-3, Nelson 0-1, Bieritz 0-2). Rebounds - Streator 28 (VanDuzer 10, Uratchko 8); ACC 30 (Benjamin 10, Nelson 6). Turnovers – Streator 19; ACC 27. Total fouls (none fouled out) – Streator 16; ACC 15. Field goal percentage - Streator 26.8; ACC 51.4. Three-point percentage - Streator 22.2; ACC 25.0. Free throw percentage - Streator 50.0; ACC 84.2.

La Salle-Peru 67, Sandwich 59

The Cavaliers moved to 2-0 on the season, but the Indians made getting there a lot more difficult than the final score would indicate.

Trailing 17-16 after one quarter, L-P made a second quarter run to lead by one at half and by two after three quarter. Then it finally started to stretch the lead when Clay Mudge went inside and then Brett Zawacki hit an NBA range 3-pointer to make it a 7-point game. And hitting free throws, that's right about where they Cavs kept it the rest of the way.

"We were about as unfundemental as you can get and still win a basketball game," Cavalier coach Luke Yaklich said. "But I felt like the key was that we were able to make two big runs when we had to have them. The first was in the second quarter, when we closed on a 9-0 run to take a 1-point lead into halftime. That was a huge lift for us. The other came in the fourth quarter, where we finally got ourselves just a little breathing room and kind of forced them out of their comfort zone."

Sandwich coach Chris Johnson still felt positive after the loss. After all, this was a lot closer than the 38-point opening night loss to Aurora Central Catholic.

"Really, I feel so much better because now I can honestly tell myself that the first game was just an off night and maybe the nerves got to us a little bit," Johnson said. "Tonight was a complete turnaround and we just played great. I'm sure L-P was asking themselves at halftime what they got themselves into, because we looked like a completely different team. But they hit their free throws and held on to the ball well down the stretch when they had to."

Key: fgm-fga ftm-fta tp

LA SALLE-PERU (67) - Heider 3-8 1-2 7, Hughes 0-0 0-0 0, Dresbach 1-2 1-4 3, Michaelson 1-1 1-2 3, Sipovic 5-10 6-8 16, Atkins 1-3 0-2 2, Zawacki 10-15 7-8 32, Hudson 0-1 0-0 0, Mudge 2-4 0-0 4, Bray 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 23-55 16-26 67.

SANDWICH (59) - Roach 3-7 2-4 8, Heibel 1-1 0-0 2, Munson 0-0 3-4 3, Ritchie 4-8 0-0 11, Meyer 4-6 2-2 11, Buttels 1-4 0-0 2, Futrell 5-10 0-0 11, VanPelt 2-7 1-1 5, Weinlader 1-1 0-0 2, Gordon 2-3 0-0 4. Totals 23-47 8-11 59.

Score by quarter:

La Salle-Peru (2-0) 16 18 13 20 - 67
Sandwich (0-2)      17 16 12 14 - 59

Three-point baskets - L-P 5-14 (Zawacki 5-8, Heider 0-1, Atkins 0-1, Hudson 0-1, Bray 0-1, Sipovic 0-2); Sandwich 5-18 (Ritchie 3-7, Meyer 1-1, Futrell 1-4, Buttels 0-1, Gordon 0-1, VanPelt 0-4). Rebounds – L-P 24 (Mudge 6, Dresbach 6); Sandwich 15 (Meyer 5). Turnovers - L-P 25; Sandwich 26. Total fouls (fouled out) - L-P 13 (none); Sandwich 23 (VanPelt). Field goal percentage - L-P 41.8; Sandwich 48.9. Three-point percentage - L-P 35.7; Sandwich 27.7. Free throw percentage - L-P 61.5; Sandwich 72.7.