JOHN CURTIS - Daily Union Sports Editor
SHELBYVILLE, IL. —
Shelbyville-The Shelbyville Rams had the Stew-Stras Comets number in the
1st half, Friday. But the Comets had a 21-7 run in the 3rd to make it a
2-point game heading into the 4th. Darin Breeden, in his first game back
from injury, sparked the Ram 4th and Shelby pulled away to win, 64-56.
What was expected to be a battle in the paint between Shelbyville’s 6-7
Brody Bence and Stew-Stras’ big body Justin Fulk never materialized. In
the first half they guarded different people.
Fulk has been steady all season scoring in the 20s and Bence has been off
and on. Bence scored a season-high 32 on Tuesday, after being scoreless
The game was all Shelby early as their defense denied Fulk the ball and
the Ram offense picked up where it left off on Tuesday.
Bence scored twice in the 1st and Nate Standerfer, who had 15 on Tuesday,
recorded a 3-point hat trick in the 1st. Fulk scored three times, but the
Comets had just one trey. Shelby led by six after one, 19-13.
In the 2nd, the Rams went on a 19-9 run to extend their lead to 16 at the
Bence scored five times from the floor in the 2nd and Standerfer had
another triple. The Comets had just two field goals.
In the 3rd quarter the Rams came out without much fire and Stew-Stras took
Shelby traveled and Fulk scored inside. Jason Becker stole the ball on the
next Ram possession. Shelby turned the ball over for the third straight
possession and Brandon Helmuth scored, was fouled and made the 3-point
Luke McConnell had a free throw and Bence scored on a bunny, but Helmuth
answered with a 3-pointer, 41-32. It was the start of a 7-0 run.
Becker scored off another Ram turnover and Fulk had a catch and bank in
the paint, 41-36.
Bence scored, but Helmuth dialed up another basket from long distance and
it was a 4-point game with 2:28 in the 3rd, 43-39. Helmuth was fouled and
made it a 2-point game.
That’s when Breeden made his presence known. He drove and spun between two
Comets and had a easy bank at the hoop. Jon Luce answered with a long base
line jumper and neither team scored in the final 1:10 of the period and it
was 45-43 heading into the 4th.
McConnell went head to head against Fulk in the paint and won to start the
4th period scoring and a 14-2 Ram run, 77-43. Standerfer had a quick
first-step drive from the wing and went all the way to the dish, 49-44.
After Comet misses, Breeden drove the base line, got the foul and made the
The Rams missed a 3-pointer, but McConnell fought to get the board and
Breeden drained a flat shot from the key, 53-45.
The Comets, who are still missing shooter Christian Vonderheide, missed a
3-pointer. Breeden drove from the key and made a lefty lay-up with 3:43
left for a 10-point lead, 55-45.
McConnell’s defense turned over the Comets and the Rams started working
the clock without their three leading scorers on the floor. Point guard
Jake Keown found McConnell underneath and he scored again, 57-45.
Ram reserve Tyler Hendryx got a steal and McConnell got on the floor for a
loose ball to keep the Ram possession.
Shelby worked the ball for 16 seconds and Stew-Stras had to start fouling
to get Shelby in the bonus and slow the clock.
It was desperation time for the Comets. Jason Fry drove and scored. The
Comets pressed, but the Rams broke it and Standerfer got a lay-up with
1:43 left, 59-47.
Helmuth nailed a trey in transition, but Shelby guard Spencer Shadwell
made 1-of-2 foul shots to get the lead back to 10, 60-50.
Helmuth missed a 3-pointer, fry missed a 3-pointer, but Fry drove for two.
Fry got another lay-up with 35 seconds left, cutting the deficit to seven,
Fry kept driving to the hole and scored again, but Standerfer made 3-of-4
foul shots to ice the game, 65-56.
Standerfer and Bence combined for 37 points and Breeden gave them 10 more,
eight in the 4th period. Helmuth ended up with a game-high 21, scoring 11
in the 3rd period run. Fulk was held to 11, 10 coming in the 1st and 3rd
periods. Fry finished in a flourish with nine, seven in the 4th.
Shelbyville will head to the Vandalia Holiday Tournament after Christmas
and Stew-Stras to the Tri-County Tourney.
Shelbyville 64, Stew-Stras 56
Ram stats: Standerfer 19 (2-2s, 4-3 pt FGs, 3/4 FTs), Bence 18 (9 FGs, 0/2
FTs), Breeden 10 (4 FGs, 2/3 FTs), McConnell 5 (2 FGs, 1/2 FTs), Shadwell
4 (FG, 2/4 FTs), Keown 2 (FG) , Schwengel 2 (FG, 0/1 FTs), Hendryx 2 (FG),
C. Williams 2 (FG). Team FGs 26. 3-Pointers: 4 (Standerfer). Team FTs 8-of-16.
Stew stats: Helmuth 21 (1-2, 4-3 pt FGs, 7/8 FTs), Fulk 11 (5 FGs, 1/2
FTs), Fry 9 (4 FGs, 1/4 FTs), Luce 8 (4 FGs), Becker 7 (2 FGs, 3/4 FTs).
Team FGs 20. 3-Pointers: 4 (Helmuth). Team FTs 12-of-18.