JOHN CURTIS - Daily Union Sports Editor
SHELBYVILLE, IL. —
Shelbyville was on their way to a Whiteout wipeout on Friday, but Okaw Valley fought back and made a game of it. In the end the Rams made enough free throws down the stretch to hold on and get the win, 50-45.
Shelbyville celebrated Whiteout Night for their home-opener on Friday and led 30-17 at the half. But, in the 3rd quarter Okaw poked a hole in the Ram boat and their lead started taking on water. The Rams let Okaw off the mat and they started teeing off from the arc.
Ram coach Mike Steers had seen this before. The Rams took their foot off the accelerator and in the half court they grew stagnate. It didn't help that go-to guy Brody Bence shot 4-of-15. Normally, that would spell d-e-f-e-a-t, but the rest of the Rams had enough shots in the chamber to avoid the loss.
Okaw guard Peyton Hagerman made his first shot and that was bad news for the Rams. Hagerman would finish with a game-high 13 points, all from the floor, including a trey hat trick. Bence and Spencer Shadwell also had a game-high 13 for the Rams, thanks to free throws and a pair of Shadwell treys.
Bence got a put back to tie the game at 2-2, then the Rams got a 3 from Nate Standerfer and a bank two off a Standerfer drive to go up 7-2 in the first 2:00. But Hagerman hit a floater and then a long two to make it 7-6.
However, the Rams were still playng fast and furious and Tyler Hendryx buried a a triple in transition. Ram rebounder Tucker Schwengel picked off a postentry pass and Jake Keon took it coast to coast, finishing with a jump step between two defenders for an 11-6 lead. The Rams led 11-7 at the end of the 1st after Garrett Sparks split a pair at the line.
Sparks made a put back and got thefoul, convertng a 3-point play, 11-10. Shelbyville then went on a 7-0 run with a Standerfer trey, a Shadwell base line jumper and two free throws from Bence, 18-10.
Bence took a charge, but Wes Thompson got a steal and knocked down a 3-pointer. Standerfer answered from the arc and Keown had a steal and made two free throws. Shadwell used an up-fake and drove, floating in a two to cap another Ram 7-0 spurt, 25-13.
Joe Jeffers cut in for an Okaw two, then Keown took a charge. Bence scored on an inbound play. Bence then blocked Jeffers, only to have Jeffers come back and make a baby hook. Shadwell nailed on frmo the key and the Rams were up 13 at the break, 30-17.
Hagerman started the scoring again ni the 3rd, this time from the arc. Bence blocked Jeffers again, but Jeffers came right back with a score. Thompson hit a triple in transition to cap a 7-0 run to start the 3rd and make it a 5-point game, 30-25.
Bence drop-stepped in the post for two, but Sparks cut into the lane on an inbounds play and the battle was joined, 32-27. Corrngton made two free throws, before Shadwell dished to Schwengel inside for two, 34-28.
It was a 4-point game again, when Schwengel stopped and popped in the lanefor two. Okaw blocked two shots on the next Ram possession, then Hagerman dialed up another shot from long distance, making it 36-33 with 2:00 left in the 3rd. Both sides missed shots to finish the 3rd and they went to the final 8:00 in a dogfight.
Corrington scored to open the 4th and made it a 1-point ball game, 36-35. Shadwell dished to Bence for two and the foul, but Wil Craig sank both ends of a 1-and-1. The Rams wroked their offense and Shadwell sank another shot from long range, 42-37.
Time started to tick away in the tit-for-tat game, leaving Okaw still down . The Rams got the ball on a steal by Schwengel with 3:06 left in the game. They called time-out, then worked their offense for a minute and 35 seconds, before Shadwell was fouled with 1:31 to play.
The final minute and a half was mostly a free throw contest. Shadwell made one and Corrington missed the front end of a 1-and-1, only to get fouled again and make both shots. Standerfer missed the front of a 1-and-1, but Bence buried two fouls hots, 45-39 inside a minute to play.
Corrington scooped up a loose ball and threw it in and got the foul with 36 seconds left. He converted the 3-point play and it was a one-possession game, 45-42.
Keown was fouled on the press and went to the line, making both double-bonus shots. Hagerman wasn't done. He launched another bomb from downtown to make it a 1-point game with 27 seconds left.
Keown was tripped on the press and got to the line again, making the second shot, 48-45. Corrington drove and drew the foul, but missed both free throws. Shadwell was fouled rebonding the miss and went to the stripe.
Shadwell made the first and Okaw called time-out. He made the second shot and gave Shelby another 5-point lead with 11 seconds remaining, 50-45.
Hagerman tried another 3 from the key, but the chamber was empty. Schwengel got the rebound with two seconds left and Okaw fell short of stealing a win despite being down at the break.
The teams had see-saw runs in the middle periods, but Shelby's early lead and 4th quarter gut-check tipped the scales in their favor.
Shelbyville 50, Okaw Valley 45
Ram stats: Bence 13 (4 FGs, 5/5 FTs), Shadwell 13 (2-2s, 2-3 pt FGs, 3/5 FTs), Schwengel 4 (2 FGs, 0/4 FTs), Hendryx 2 (FG). Team FGs 16. 3-Pointers: 5 (Standerfer 3, Shadwell 2). Team FTs 13-of-21.
Okaw stats: Hagerman 13 (2-2s, 3-3 pt FGs), Corrington 9 (2 FGs, 5/8 FTs), Thompson 8 (1-2, 2-3 pt FGs), G. Sparks 6 (2 FGs, 2/5 FTs), Jeffers 6 (3 FGs), Craig 2 (2/2 FTs), Perrine 1 (1/2 FTs). Team FGs 15. 3-Pointers: 5 (Hagerman 3, Thompson 2). Team FTs 10-of-17.
In the JV prelim game, Shelbyville did have a Whiteout wipeout, beating Okaw JV, 74-25.
The win was one for the scrap book, as Shelbyville's Devin Peterson went off for eight 3-pointers and 31 points in 2 1/2 quarters of floor time.
Peterson made his first three with 3:00 left in the 1st and his second 2:00 later. He madtrio of treys on three straight possessions in the 2nd, a space of less than a minute. He made his sixth triple with 2:00 in the half.
He opened the 3rd with another 3-pointer and his eighth trey with 3:45 inn the 3rd. A minute later he took his bows with the Rams up by 49 points, 62-23.
The Rams started the game like Tokyo Drift, forcing turnovers and cashing them in at the other end, along with 3-point punctuations from Peterson. They led 18-0 through 5:00 of play, before Okaw got a score from Devon Still.
Shelby led by 20, 27-7, at the end of the 1st and Peterson had 11 points, while big man Cwenton Williams had eight and Tyler Hendryx six.
After Peterson's trokia of treys in the 2nd, the Rams were up by 29. Tice Robinson out them up 40-8 on a 3-point play then Peterson was fouled on a 3-attempt. He made 2-of-3 foul shots. Sheldon Meyer scored and made it a 34-point lead, 44-10. Shelby led by 38 at the half, 51-13, and Peterson had 25 of their 51 points.
Devin Minder put Shelby up by 50 with 12 seconds in the 3rd, 65-15. The biggest lead was 53 with 5:00 to play, 70-17. Okaw finally got some traction in the 4th and got the Ram lead to under 50 with scores from Ethan Hill and T.J. Pieszchalski.
Shelbyville 74, Okaw Valley 25
Ram stats: Peterson 31 (2-2s, 8-3 pt FGs, 3/5 FTs), C. Williams 9 (4 FGs, 1/2 FTs), Zach Williams 7 (2 FGs, 3/4 FTs), Robinson 7 (3 FGs, 1/1 FTs), Hendryx 6 (3 FGs), Devin Miner 3 (FG, 1/2 FTs), Josh Foster 3 (FG, 1/2 FTs). Team FGs 27. 3-Pointers: 9 (Peterson 8, Meyer). Team FTs 11-of-17.
Okaw stats: Still 6 (3 FGs), Pieszchalski 6 (3 FGs), Greg Walker 5 (2 FGs, 1/4 FTs), Brody Sparks 4 (2 FGs), Drew Fruchtl 2 (FG), Justin Johnson 2 (FG). Team FGs 12. Team FTs 1-of-4.