JOHN CURTIS - Daily Union Sports Editor
SHELBYVILLE, IL. — Stew-Stras Jr. High basketball hosted Okaw Valley on Monday and posted a sweep. Stew-Stras 7th won, 28-17, and Stew-Stras 8th won, 37-36.
The Comet 7th grade took a 6-2 lead early, but Okaw fought back and cut the lead to two points at the break, 11-9. Stew-Stras struck back in the 3rd and established a6-point lead heading into the 4th, 19-13. Stew-Strasheld the momentum late and extended their final margin with a 9-4 run.
Burton scored a game-high 15 points for Stew-Stras with seven field goals. Hagerman led Okaw with 10 ponts, including a trey. Smith made five free throws for the Comets
Stew-Stras 28, Okaw Valley 17
Stew stats: Burton 15 (7 FGs, FT), Kerby 5 (2 FGs, FT), Smith 5 (5 FTs), Tabbert 3 (FG, FT). Team FGs 10. Team FTs 8.
Okaw stats: Hagerman 10 (3-2s, 1-3 pt FGs, 1 FT), Coleman 3 (FG, FT), Bland 2 (FG), McGill 2 (2 FTs). Team FGs 6 (1-3). Team FTs 4.
In the prime-time affair it was a battle royal that came down to a 1-point difference for the home team.
Okaw took a 10-8 lead in the 1st and the two teams matched each other in the 2nd with 10 points each. Stew-Stras trailed 20-18 to start the 3rd, but won the 3rd, 10-7, and claimed a slim, 28-27, lead heading into the fateful 4th.
The heavyweights went at it down to the wire matching each other with nine points each, as Stew-Stras held on to the 1-point margin and the win.
Kessler was high-point man again for Stew-Stras with 17 points on eight field goals and a free throw. Garrett Fritz led Okaw with 14 points and Cody Drake had 10. Austin Harshman had six for Okaw, while Kramer and Thies had six each for Stew-Stras.
That would have left Okaw up 30-29. But four Stew-Stras role players scored eight more points and the three other Okaw scorers had just six, leaving Okaw one point short on the scoreboard.
Stew-Stras 37, Okaw Valley 36
Stew stats: Kessler 17 (8 FGs, FT), Kramer 6 (3 FGs), Thies 6 (2 FGs, 2 FTs), Quast 2 (FG), Koester 2 (FG), Hansen 2 (2 FTs), Clark 2 (2 FTs). Team FGs 15. Team FTs 7.
Okaw stats: Fritz 14 (6 FGs, 2 FTs), Drake 10 (4 FGs, 2 FTs), Harshman 6 (1-2, 1-3 pt FGs, 1 FT), Yarnell 3 (FG), Bunfill 3 (FG, FT). Team FGs 14 (2-3s). Team FTs 6.