JOHN CURTIS - Daily Union Sports Editor
SHELBYVILLE, IL. —
The first time Shelbyville and Maroa played each other this season was in the Vandalia Hliday Tournament. They met again on Friday in conference play and the result was the same, Maroa won by a handful, 58-53.
On paper, the Trojans were to be much better than the Rams, but the Rams lost by just four at Vandalia, almost upsetting the #2 seed. On Friday, the Rams led early and were within two to start the 4th. But once again, Maroa pulled it out.
The Rams had the game-high scorer in Brody Bence with 24 points and two other players, Nate Standerfer and Darin Breeden in double figures. But, Maroa used two 20+ periods in the 2nd and 4th to boost past the Rams.
Bence converted a 3-point play and Standerfersank a deuce, then a trey in the 1st. Tucker Schwengel scored and the Rams were up 10-9. In the 2nd, Maroa opened up a 20-9 run to shoot past Shelby.
Smith, their leading score for the game, hit a trey, then two free throws, then another trey and two more free thows for 10 of his team-high 18 points. Maroa had four other buckets, while Shelby had four buckets total in the 2nd.
Bence scored, split a pair at the line, and scored again. Breeden scored and yler Hendryx scored. However, the Rams were down by nine at the break, 28-19.
Shelby had an answer after the break, cutting deep into the deficit with a 15-8 run. Breeden nailed a pair of treys back-to-back and sank two at the line. Bence scored, converted another 3-point play, and scored again. Maroa got just four buckets in the 3rd and held a slim 2-point lead heading down the stretch, 36-34.
After being offensively dormant in the 3rd, the Trojans awoke . Smith nailed two more treys and two more free throws. Five other Trojans made solo twos. Aschermann also got to the line four times and was perfect, capping a 22-point flurry.
Shelby didn't fade in the 4th, they competed. Standerfer buried a pair of his own treys and Bence poured in 9 of his 24 in the final 8:00. Bence made two fouls shots, scored a two, converted his third 3-point play of the game. He scored again.
Luke McConnell scored and Jake Keown got to the line, making 2-of-2. That capped the Rams' 19-point finish, but left them shy of a comeback.
Maroa out-scored the Rams from the floor 45 to 43, with both teams connceting from the arc five times. From the line, the Rams were 10-of-15 (67%), while Maroa was 13-of-22 (59%), an additional 3 point ad to extend the margn of victory to five points.
Maroa 58, Shelbyville 53
Ram stats: Bence 24 (9 FGs, 6/8 FTs), Standerfer 11 (1-2, 3-3 pt FGs), Breeden 10 (1-2, 2-3 pt FGs, 2/2 FTs), Schwengel 2 (FG, 0/2 FTs), McConnell 2 (FG), Hendryx 2 (FG), Keown 2 (2/3 FTs). Team FGs 19. 3-Pointers: 5 (Standerfer 3, Breeden 2). Team FTs 10-of-15.
Maroa stats: Smith 18 (4-3 pt FGs, 6/6 FTs), Aschermann 12 (4 FGs, 4/7 FTs), Hockaday 11 (5 FGs, 1/3 FTs), Clawson 8 (4 FGs, 0/2 FTs), Leighton 6 (1-2, 1-3 pt FGs, 1/2 FTs), Beckman 3 (FG, 1/2 FTs). Team FGs 20. 3-Pointers: 5 (Smith 4, Leighton). Team FTs 13-of-22.
Maroa 47, Shelbyville 38
Ram stats: Robinson 11 (3-2s, 1-3 pt FGs, 2/3 FTs), Peterson 9 (1-2, 2-3 pt FGs, 1/1 FTs), Z. Williams 8 (1-2, 2-3 pt FGs), Hendryx 6 (1-2, 1-3 pt FGs, 1/2 FTs), C. Williams 4 (2 FGs). Team FGs 14. 3-Pointers: 6 (Peterson 2, Z. Williams 2, Robinson, Hendryx). Team FTs 4-of-6.
Maroa stats: Murphy 24 (11 FGs, 2/2 FTs), Bryan 9 (4 FGs, 1/2 FTs), Reeser 5 (2 FGs, 1/1 FTs), Ritter 4 (2 FGs), Hise 3 (3/5 FTs), Huffman 2 (FG). Team FGs 20. Team FTs 7-of-10