SHELBYVILLE, IL. — It was the sloppiest Stew-Stras Homecoming Hatchet game in recent memory. Despite the play being more of a blunt object than a sharp performance, it was one of the most exciting Hatchet games in the series. In the end, the Comet Hatchet mystic magic pulled out the hometown win in overtime, 72-69.
Over the last 20 years the Comets have owned their annual homecoming game against Windsor, losing only a couple of times and winning by blowouts many times.
But this Comet Hatchet game had 11 ties and 17 lead changes as the atmosphere fed into the helter skelter pace.
The mystic of Comet Country and the packed house in close confines can be overwhelming. The atmosphere gins up the excitement and the players have to control their emotions more than in other games.
That control wasn't there on Wednesday night and it led to hectic play, turnovers, and pushing fouls, grabbing fouls, and payback fouls between rivals and co-op baseball teammates. Players on both sides fouled out.
However, just when one team started to pull away, the other would hold on and comeback. It was a rollercoaster ride worth watching.
Windsor drew 1st blood with a Tristan Warner shot and a Hayden Cole put back, 4-0. Jason Fry drove the lane and put the Comets on the board.
Brandon Helmuth tied the game and then gave Stew-Stras the lead, 6-4. The Comets were up 10-6, before two transition plays from Warner to Alex Allen knotted the score with 2:15 left in the 1st, 10-10.
Warner broke a 12-12 tied with 10 seconds left in the 1st with a 3-pointer, 15-12.
Spencer Blackburn stretched the Devil lead at the foul line to 5 points, 17-12, their largest lead of the 1st half. The Comets pulled the Devils back in with two Fry scores and a Helmuth 3 for a 19-17 lead.
Warner stopped the 7-0 run with a put-back on a missed free throw, 19-19. Fry split a pair at the line for the Comet lead, then Warner hit Rylan Ard for a two and a Devil lead, 21-20. Windsor went up 26-23, but Helmuth hit another 3 for another tie.