Neoga stayed just ahead of Stew-Stras to take the IESA 7A Region 19 Championship on Thursday night, 44-37. The two big guns, Henry Ballinger for the Stars hit for 21 points and Bryn Price led the Warriors with 28. The difference between the two leading scorers was the same as the margin of Neoga’s victory--seven points.

Neoga took a 6-4 lead in the first period, but the two teams played almost dead even the entire game. In the second period, the Stars matched Neoga 13-13, but trailed 19-15 at the half.

Neoga ran out to a 6-0 lead before Luke Rincker could stop the bleeding with a rebound and put back. In the second, the Stars lost an inbounds and Tyler Roy hit in the lane for two more Warrior points. Henry Ballinger nailed a longball for the Stars to get them to 7-10. Landon Collins went up to block a shot , but Neoga’s Roy hit for a long two to take the Warriors 12-7 with 3:43 in the second.

Rincker posted up for a short jumper but Neoga countered with a line drive basket from Bryn Price. Rincker drove to the hoop again and Price got the put back on a missed shot.

The head-to-head battle ended in the first half with the Warriors sitting on a 19-15 lead.

In the third period, Neoga edged the Stars by one point, outscoring them 13-12 and in the fourth period, Neoga came in with 12 to the Stars 10.

It was a hard-fought contest for the Regional Championship, and Neoga walked away with the hardware at 44-37

Stew-Stras seventh end their season with a 16-6 record and Neoga is currently at 17-3. Windsor will tackle the Warriors in the IESA Sectional Championship, next Wednesday at 6:00 p.m.

Scoring: For Stew-Stras- Ballinger, 21pts, (1-3, 8 FG, 2 FT); Rincker 8 pts, (4 FG); Helmuth 6 pts, (3 FG); Brandt (FG). For Neoga- Price 28 pts, (2-3, 10 FG, 2 FT); Roy 6 pts, (3 FG); McFarland (3 FG); Pikowski (FG); McKimmy (FG).

This Week's Circulars