Saturday morning basketball agreed with the O’Fallon Panthers.
The Panthers recovered from their loss to Belleville West on Friday by taking an early lead and coasting to a 44-33 victory over Peoria Richwoods in the second annual Bank of O’Fallon Shootout.
The Panthers (7-14) received 12 points and eight rebounds from senior Chance Armstrong, who was named the game’s MVP, and eight points from sophomore Tabari Dunlap. Senior Kaelen Johnson scored a game-best 13 points for the Knights (11-11).
“They call it homecourt advantage for a reason,” O’Fallon coach Rick Gibson said, noting the 170 miles Richwoods traveled to arrive in O’Fallon for the 10:30 a.m. tip. “We got to sleep in a little bit longer and come in here and play the early one. They had to hop on a bus and drive 2 1/2, three hours to come play this one.”
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O’Fallon led 10-7 after one quarter, then limited the Knights to three second-quarter points to pile up a 24-10 halftime advantage. The lead was 35-23 after three.
“The damage was done early in that game,” Gibson said. “We haven’t been scoring a ton of points We were similar to where our average kind of is. We’ve struggled to score a little bit, but our defense has been good.”
St. Joseph-Ogden 64, Nashville 55, OT
Nashville (16-9) battled from eight points down late in the third quarter and managed to get the game to overtime, but St. Joseph-Ogden outscored the Hornets 16-7 in the extra period to nail down the win.
It was the second OT victory in less than 24 hours for the Spartans (13-8), who came back from a remarkable 24 points down with a 43-point fourth quarter Friday in a 76-67 OT win over rival Tolono Unity.
Spartans junior Brandon Trimble led the way with 24 points and surpassed the 1,000-point mark for his career in the first half. Aaron Schluter and Jake Pence had 10 points apiece.
“We talked about going overtime in this one and said we were just here (in OT) 15 hours ago,” joked St. Joe-Ogden coach Brian Brooks. “I’m really proud of our guys. We fought really hard all weekend.”
An 11-2 run gave Nashville its first lead early in the fourth quarter, but the Spartans wouldn’t go away. Ryan Brink’s 3-pointer kept Nashville at 48-48 and forced overtime as a last-second shot by Pence was wide.
A three-point play by Trimble set the tone in overtime and back-to-back turnovers helped sink the Hornets.
Nashville’s Brady Bultman had a team-high 16 points, but did not have a field goal in the second half or overtime.
Nashville senior and Ole Miss football recruit Royce Newman struggled through a tough shooting night (5-for-14) and finished with 12 points.
“Good ballclub, very athletic, quicker than us at all spots,” Nashville coach Brad Weathers said of the Spartans. “I think our big kids missed some shots inside that they normally knock down. That’s a little uncharacteristic, but I do credit their defense. We never seemed to be able to get in much of a rhythm offensively.”
With no starters taller than 6-3, the Spartans did their best to control the 6-7 Newman and 6-6 Brody Kemp inside.
“We wanted to make sure every shot (Newman) took was contested,” Brooks said. “We also wanted to make sure every entry pass was contested and try to make those passes from 25 feet out as opposed to 20 feet. If we don’t have pressure on the perimeter, there’s not a whole lot we can do inside against them.
“We’re just not big enough.”
DeKalb 62, Columbia 37
Northern Michigan recruit Michael Pollack racked up 17 points and nine rebounds as DeKalb (21-3) won its 15th game in a row with an easy victory over the Columbia Eagles (16-6).
Senior center Luke Davis had 14 points and seven rebounds for the Barbs and Nick Snow added 11 points. DeKalb, ranked 14th in the Class 4A state poll, has 1,640 students compared to 673 at 3A Columbia.
DeKalb dominated inside, outscoring Columbia 36-16 in the paint, but also excelled outside by draining eight of 12 3-point tries. The Eagles got 13 points from senior Jonathan Holmes and 10 from senior Korbin Farmer.
“They’re the second-best team we’ve played (besides Althoff),” Columbia coach Mark Sandstrom said. “We just had so much trouble with their overall team speed and the way they hawk the ball. We had trouble getting into stuff that we wanted to get into. They’re so balanced all over the floor.”
Defensively, the Eagles had to make choices.
“We tried to take No. 12 (Pollack) away, but when we took No. 12 away, that eliminated some of our help side on the big kid (Davis),” Sandstrom said. “We really couldn’t do anything. It was a really tough match for us today. They were getting to the rim on us and they had post-up opportunities.
“But I will tell you that we won our two most important games this week for seeding (Civic Memorial) and to get back into the Cahokia Conference race (Central).”
Centralia 58, Hinsdale South 53
Senior D’Aaron Owens tossed in 27 points as the Orphans (21-2) earned the victory. Owens was 9-for-14 from the field and made all seven of his free throws.
Senior Barret Benson, a 6-10 Northwestern recruit, led the Hornets (16-8) with 24 points.
Morgan Park 76, Hazelwood Central 65
Morgan Park, the state’s No. 1-ranked Class 3A team, flexed its muscles at the shootout behind a dominant 25-point performance from Memphis recruit Charlie Moore and 13 each from Jarrin Randle and Jamal Burton.
The Mustangs (19-2) held off a 31-point explosion by Hazelwood Central’s Kansas State recruit Xavier Sneed. Sneed had 18 points in the first half, but Morgan Park did a better job defensively in the second half and broke loose by outscoring the Hawks 17-9 in the third quarter.
“They sort of stayed around longer than I expected or I hoped, but they’re a well-coached team,” Morgan Park coach Nick Irvin said. “They’re a good ballclub and they know where their guy is. They sure know where he is.”
CBC 65, Westchester St. Joseph 59
Westchester St. Joseph, the defending Class 3A state champion, received a huge performance from unsigned 6-10 senior Nick Rakocevic (27 points, 18 rebounds), but couldn’t keep pace with the Cadets.
Indiana State recruit Jordan Barnes, a senior, scored 21 points for CBC (15-7) and was 13-for-13 from the free-throw line. He was named MVP of the game.
Westchester St. Joseph, coached by the legendary Gene Pingatore, slipped to 14-7. The Chargers shot a paltry 36 percent (23-for-64).