Logan Kohrmann was a starry-eyed eighth grader back in 2012 when he watched the Central Cougars win a state title with a dominating 34-1 campaign.
Now a senior for the Cougars, Kohrmann and his teammates will get their own chance to be role models for some young hoop hopefuls after knocking off Teutopolis 67-52 in the Class 2A Super-Sectional at the SIU Arena on Tuesday night.
“I was up there my eighth grade year during (Brandon) Book’s senior year and it looked like so much fun, so I’m glad I get the chance to go,” said Kohrmann. “It’s a great feeling, I don’t know what else to say.”
Central will take on St. Joe-Ogden – a 56-43 winner over Pleasant Plains – in Peoria’s Carver Arena at 6:30 p.m. Friday night.
Central coach Jeremy Shubert was also at the state tournament back in 2012 as an assistant to coach Stan Eagleson.
“This has been a dream of mine, I’m not going to lie,” Shubert said. “Being an assistant with Stan Eagleson was great, but this was one of my goals. I credit my seniors and my team, they made it possible. Hopefully we can make some noise up there from the south.”
The Cougars led 15-14 after one quarter of play, but Central would use a huge second quarter to put some distance on the Wooden Shoes.
A free throw from T-Town’s Brant Bueker made it 19-15 with 5:26 left in the first half. But Central would go on a 10-0 run over the next four minutes, which included a pair of 3-pointers from Kohrmann, to open up a 29-15 advantage.
Brett Mette would get the Shoes’ first basket of the second quarter at the 1:12 mark, but Jack Strieker would follow that up with another trey to give the Cougars a 32-17 lead.
“When Chase (Schneider) and Jack and Mitch (Rule) are hitting shots it spreads everything open for our guards and we can just attack the rim,” said Kohrmann of his team’s big second stanza. “Our offense flows well when they hit shots.”
The Cougars knocked down six 3-pointers in the first half to help them open up a 32-19 lead by the intermission.
“They are an excellent team,” said Teutopolis coach Jason Hanson. “I didn’t think we played our best in the first half, but they shot 6-11 from the 3 and that’s good shooting even if nobody’s guarding you. I thought our defense was pretty good, but they still knocked down some tough shots. When a team shoots like that you have to give them credit.”
Central led by 17 points with 3:16 left to play in the contest before the Wooden Shoes made a run late to cut the gap to 58-50 with 1:36 remaining.
But the Cougars would hit 7-8 free throws in the final 1:16 to seal the victory, running their record to 30-4.
“It just seemed like every time we got it close enough to make it interesting, we couldn’t finish on a transition, or we lost somebody for a three, or give up an offensive board,” said Hanson. “That’s kind of how the whole night went.”
Kohrmann led all players with 22 points, going 4-7 from behind the arc and 8-11 from the charity stripe.
Strieker added 12 points for Central, as Kolby Schulte and Rule each had nine points.Mette and Mitch Hardiek finished with 14 points apiece to pace T-Town, as Devin Smith added 10 points.
The Shoes ended their season at 26-7.
“They wanted a chance to get to state to bring home a trophy, hopefully it’s that big trophy,” Shubert said.