On a big night for Columbia junior Jordan Holmes, the Okawville Rockets had a little more overall firepower in a 57-50 victory over the Eagles.
Holmes finished with 27 points to help offset the 24 scored by Okawville senior and University of Evansville recruit Noah Frederking, but the Rockets had better balance.
Shane Ganz had 11 points, Payten Harre had eight and Caleb Frederking added seven as No. 5 Okawville (19-3) beat Columbia (11-10) for the seventh straight time. Columbia’s last win over Okawville was 50-37 on Jan. 27, 2006.
“We told our guys he’s going to get between 20 and 30; we’re not going to stop him from getting that,” Okawville coach Jon Kraus said of Holmes, who came in averaging 21.8 points. “He’s a good player; he’s got the ball in his hands a lot. I thought we had to do a good job on the other kids and limit their possessions, limit their touches and don’t give them easy buckets.”
Ganz guarded Holmes most of the night, and despite the big point total, Kraus was happy with his senior’s effort.
“I thought Shane did a great job on him,” Kraus said. “The shots he made, he earned. He got a couple layups on some turnovers, but most of the stuff he got I felt like he earned.”
Columbia, playing without injured senior guard Greg Long because of an ankle injury, did its best to keep up with the Rockets. The Eagles were within 30-26 in the first half and 43-38 in the third quarter, but each time the Rockets managed to pull away.
“That’s a really good club. I was real happy with our kids,” Columbia coach Mark Sandstrom said after Columbia lost for the fourth time in five games. “I know we lost, but it was a pretty gamey performance out of our guys. They’re really well coached, and I hope they make it to the state tournament.”
Holmes got plenty of extra defensive attention each time he touched the ball, but he still managed to score 11 points in the first half. He scored all 10 points for Columbia in the third quarter. Brennen van Breusegen had 10 points for Columbia, and Jon Peterson had nine.
The Eagles cut the Okawville lead to 30-26 late in the first half, but Caleb Frederking nailed a 3-pointer just before halftime to put the Rockets on top 35-28.