JOHN CURTIS - Daily Union Sports Editor
SHELBYVILLE, IL. —
The Cowden-Herrick Jr. High Hornets notched a 1st round win over Stew-Stras in the NTC 8th grade tourney on Saturday, 32-25. That 8th grade NTC win followed up their regular season win over Mulberry Grove on Thursday in Herrick, 37-24.
In the NTC tourney, Konner Blackerby struck early against Stew-Stras, hitting a 3-pointer, scoring a two and knocking down another three for all eight Hornet points in their, 8-5, 1st period run. Josh Overbeck was Stew-Stras' answer. Overbeck scored all five of their points, with a deuce, followed by a 3-point play.
The Blackerby beat continued in the 2nd with a pair of twos. Aaron Nohren joined the effort with his own two. The only Stew-Stras player to score was Overbeck again. He had three free throws and sank two. The Hornets had double-up Stew-Stras in the 1st half, leading by seven at the break, 14-7.
The margin of victory was set halfway through the game and Stew-Stras had to try to trim it. They couldn't. Cowden-Herrick matched Stew-Stras in the 3rd and 4th stiff-arming any Stew-Stras comeback.
Blake Nichols scored twice for Stew-Stras and Dustin Vondereide once. But C-H won the period, 7-6. Nohren scored twice in the 3rd and Duane Beck had a deuce and 1-of-2 at the line.
Stew-Stras was down eight heading into the final 6:00, 21-13. They broke loose for 12 points. Overbeck scored 7 of his 14 points in the 4th. He got to the line and made both shots. He converted another 3-point play. He scored again. Nichols scored and Collin Ohnesorge scored.
Those dozen points could have threatened the Hornet lead. But, the Hornets went almost stride for stride with Stew-Stras down the stretch. Blackerby scored a conventional 3-point play, then split a pair at the stripe. Beck made two buckets. Brody Phillips and Noah Sandiford each split a pair at the line. Hunter Watson made 1-of-4 free throws, totaling 11 points.
The two teams combined to score 23 points in just 6:00 on seven field goals and 9-of-18 foul shooting. It was a furious finish that almost burned the barn down.
Blackerby led all scorers with 16 points, including two treys and 2-of-3 at the line. Overbeck followed for Stew-Stras with 14 points, including 6-of-7 at the stripe.
C-H advanced to the next round of the tourney and will play Monday evening.
Cowden-Herrick 32, Stew-Stras 25
C-H stats: Blackerby 16 (4-2s, 2-3 pt FGs, 2/3 FTs), Beck 7 (3 FGs, 1/2 FTs), Nohren 6 (3 FGs), Phillips 1 (1/2 FTs), Watson 1 (1/4 FTs). Team FGs 12. 3-Pointers: 2 (Blackerby). Team FTs 6-of-13.
Stew stats: Overbeck 14 (4 FGs, 6/7 FTs), Nichols 6 (3 FGs, 0/2 FTs), Ohnesorge 2 (FG), Vonderheide 2 (FG), Moschenrose 1 (1/2 FTs). Team FGs 9. Team FTs 7-of-11.
On Thursday, Konner Blackerby was doubly effective for the Hornets, scoring 16 points again, all in the 1st half, as Cowden-Herrick established a double-digit lead and never relinquished it, winning 37-24.
Blackerby buried the first of his four 3-pointers in the 1st. Aaron Nohren scored twice and Hunter Seaton made two foul shots. Mulberry Grove got two scores from Huhn and one from Sloan, but the Hornets had a 9-6 lead.
Blackerby caught fire in the 2nd and led a 17-8 Hornet run. He made a pair of twos, then cashed in three more times from the arc to cap his game-high scoring. Nohren scored two more times in the 2nd.
Mulberry Grove got solo twos in the 2nd from Slaon, Huhn and Linaberry and a free throw from Huhn and Enloe, but they still trailed by 12 points at the break, 26-14.
C-H held their own in the 2nd half and Mulberry Grove couldn't make up any ground. Linaberry scored and Wright scored twice for MG, but Noah Sandiford and Nohren scored and Matt Smith split a pair at the line. C-H still led by 11 heading into the 4th, 31-20.
Down the stretch, Wright scored for MG and Sloan and Huhn both went 1-of-2 at the line, but that was all they had. Sandiford scored twice for C-H and Beck scored to push the margin of victory back to 12 before the final buzzer.
Cowden-Herrick 37, Mulberry Grove 24
C-H stats: Blackerby 16 (2-2s, 4-3 pt FGs), Nohren 10 (5 FGs), Sandiford 6 (3 FGs, 0/1 FTs), FTs 3-of-5.
MG stats: Huhn 8 (3 FGs, 2/6 FTs), Wright 6 (3 FGs), Sloan 5 (2 FGs, 1/12 FTs), Linaberry 4 (2 FGs, 0/2 FTs), Enloe 1 (1/4 FTs). Team FGs 10. Team FTs 4-of-24.
Although C-H 8th controlled their opponents on Thursday and Saturday, the C-H 7th grade got involved in a roller coaster affair on Thursday against Mulberry Grove. The pendulum swung to MG at the end and C-H 7th lost, 40-29.
MG led after the 1st as Wright scored twice and Linaberry once. Coltin Rauch and Hunter Watson each had a bucket, but trailed, 6-4.
In the 2nd, C-H erupted with a 13-6 run. Rauch scored three times, Watson scored, and then converted a 3-point play. Kaleb Barfield also scored. MG got just solo twos from Gauch and Linaberry and 2-of-6 foul shooting from Wright. The Hornets led by five at the break, 17-12.
The roller coaster took a dip after the half. MG went on a back-breaking, 21-2 run. Gauch scored three times, Wright twice, Linaberry twice, Tompkins twice, Hans once and Lathan addedd 1 free throw. Rauch was the only Hornet to score.
After leading by five at the break, the Hornets were down 14 heading into the final frame, 33-19. The Hornets won the 4th out-scoring MG 10-7, but it wasn't near enough to get the roller coaster back up to the top of the track.
Brody Phillipas nailed a 3-pointer and Marshall Nohren nailed a three. Hunter Watson scored, then made two free throws. But that was their final bullet. MG got three solo twos and just 1-of-8 free throws, but it was enough to notch the win.
Hunter Watson and Linaberry shred game-high honors for the respective teams with 11 points each. Watson was the only Hornet in double figures. Wright and Gauch both had 10 points for MG.
Mulberry Grove 40, Cowden-Herrick 29
C-H stats: Watson 11 (4 FGs, 3/5 FTs), Rauch 10 (5 FGs), Phillips 3 (FG), M. Nohren 3 (FG), Barfield 2 (FG, 0/1 FTs), Russell (0/1 FTs). Team FGs 12. 3-Pointers: 2 (Rauch, Nohren). Team FTs 3-of-7.
MG stats: Linaberry 11 (5 FGs, 1/4 FTs), Wright 10 (4 FGs, 2/6 FTs), Gauch 10 (5 FGs, 0/1 FTs), Tompkins 4 (2 FGs, 0/2 FTs), Lathan 3 (FG, 1/2 FTs), K. Hans 2 (FG), Swain (0/1 FTs). Team FGs 18. Team FTs 4-of-16.