Daily Union Sports Editor
---- — Cross-county combatants competed Friday night in Comet Country. Stew-Strasc is working on finding more points, while Shelbyville has found a recipe for success. The Rams got cooking and gradually pulled away for a near 20-point victory, 79-60.
Brandon Helmuth had a game-high 26 points for the Comets and Jason Fry had 13. Bryse Bugger produced another double-digit performance with 10 points.
Shelbyville got 35 points from their two post up players. Luke McConnell scored 20 points with a team-high eight boards and three blocked shots. Cwenton Williams 15, including stepping out of the lane for a trey hat trick, making 3-of-4 (75%).
Shooting guard Spencer Shadwell had another 15 points with a solo bucket from the arc (1-of-2) and a team-high five assists, while back-up board man Bart Kennell ground out another 10 points, four boards and two blocks, giving the Rams four men in double figures and 12-point advantage from their main scorers.
Three-point threat Drennian Martin added seven points on twobombs from downtown and Tice Robinson also hit twice from distance (2-of-4), finishing with eight points. Stew-Stras had six points from Mark Jones and four from Austin Rincker, falling another five points shy of Shelbyville’s second line.
The Rams inside men are gaining offensive confidence as McConnell and Williams have been the leading scorers recently, and the outside shooters are picking their spots after going inside. The Rams shot 27 3s in a loss to Okaw Valley. But in the last two games, they have confined themselves to 19 attempts and relied more on inside scoring.
The Rams shot 65% inside the arc on Friday and 42% long distance. Stew-Stras shot 52% inside and just 18% from the arc.
Shelby lit it from the arc early with a quartet of triples in the first quarter. Williams stepped out for back-to-back treys, then scored a two to lead the Rams 20-point period. Martin and Robinson also were early arc angels. McConnell scored twice and Shadwell once.
Helmuth got to the line in the 1st, making two free throws, then making a 3-pointer, getting fouled and scoring the rare 4-point play at the line. He scored again for eight points in the 1st. Fry had a deuce and a trey, Rincker a two, and Jones two more frerde throws.
Shelby increased their 1-point lead in the 2nd, getting a pair of deuces and another trey for his hat trick. McConnell scored twice again. Kennell got on the board, while Robinson and Shadwell had solo buckets and Martin split a pair at the line.
Helmuth scored three times and split a pair from the stripe to total 15 points in the 1st half. Fry converted a 3-point play and had another deuce. Bugger got on the board with a two, leaving the Comets down five points at the break, 38-33.
After the pause, Shelby continued to stay on pace, scoring another 18 points in the 3rd period, while the Comets held to ten.
Shadwell caught fire, scoring two twos and hitting his one long shot for 7-of-his-15 in the period. McConnell scored two more times again. Martin dialed up from long distance again and Kennll scored again. Guard Devin Peterson got on the board with a two.
Bugger stepped up for the Comets scoring three times to lead them in the 3rd. Helmuth and Fry had solo twos and that was it, falling behind by 13 points heading into crunch time, 56-43.
The Comets made a push in the 4th, scoring 17 points, but the Rams pulled even further away. Helmuth got to the line three times, but converted just 2-of-6. He still finished with three more buckets and 8 of his 25 points down the stretch. Mark Jones scored twice, Rincker and Bugger once more, each, and Fry jusr 1-of-2 at the line.
Williams fouled out, but Kennell came in and he and McConnell scored three times, each, and McConnell added two free throws, combining for 14 points between them to seal the deal. Shadwell scored two more times and Robinson connected from long distance again, posting the Ra,s biggest quarter of the game, 23 points, to record the 19-point victory.
The Rams snared 28 rebounds and dished 16 assists with only seven turnovers. The had just three steals, but had five blocked shots. They had an amzing 19 to 7 assists/steals to turnovers ratio.
Although Shelbyville got the win, they still allowed 60 points and only got to the line for six free throws, making half.
Shelbyville 79, Stew-Stras 60
Ram stats: McConnell 20 (9 FGs, 2/2 FTs), 8 rebounds, 3 blocks; C. Williams 15 (3-2s, 3-3 pt FGs, 0/1 FTs), 3 rebounds, 1 steal; Shadwell 15 (6-2s, 1-3 pt FGs), 5 assists, 4 rebounds; Kennell 10 (5 FGs, 0/1 FTs), 4 rebounds, 1 steal, 2 blocks; Robinson 8 (1-2, 2-3 pt FGs), 1 rebound, 4 assists; Martin 7 (2-3 pt FGs, 1/2 FTs), 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal; Peterson 2 (FG), Wooters 2 (FG). Team FGs 34. 3-Pointers: 8 (Williams 3, Martin 2, Robinson 2, Shadwell 1). Team FTs 3-of-6. Rebounds 28. Turnovers 7. Assists 16. Steals 3.
Stew stats: Helmuth 25 (8-2s, 1-3 pt FGs, 6/11 FTs), Fry 13 (4-2s, 1-3 pt FGs, 2/3 FTs), Bugger 10 (5 FGs, 0/1 FTs), Jones 6 (2 FGs, 2/2 FTs), Rincker 4 (2 FGs), Kessler 2 (FG). Team FGs 24. 3-Pointers: 2 (Fry, Helmuth). Team FTs 10-of-17.