Boys Basketball

Two stars meet on the basketball court at Okawville High School

Okawville Rockets beat the buzzer for the win

Okawville High School Rockets junior Caleb Frederking hit a shot at the buzzer Feb. 17 to give the Rockets a 60-58 win over Breese Central High School Cougars in an IHSA boys basketball win in Breese, IL in southern Illinois near St. Louis, MO.
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Okawville High School Rockets junior Caleb Frederking hit a shot at the buzzer Feb. 17 to give the Rockets a 60-58 win over Breese Central High School Cougars in an IHSA boys basketball win in Breese, IL in southern Illinois near St. Louis, MO.

Between them, Dave Luechtefeld and Noah Frederking have a combined 4,750 points for the Okawville Rockets.

Frederking broke Luechtefeld’s career scoring record at Okawville earlier this season. He scored 28 points Friday in the Rockets’ 60-58 victory over Central, giving him 2,595 points in his career.

Luechtefeld, who played at Saint Louis University, scored 2,155 points at Okawville from 1955 to 1958, despite playing only three years on the varsity team. His high game was 64 points, and his highest scoring average was just under 30 points per game.

Before the game Friday, Luechtefeld presented Frederking with the game ball from his record-breaking game Dec. 16 against Steeleville.

“Records are made to be broken, and I’m real happy for him,” said Luechtefeld, who also coached Okawville to a 738-348 record from 1963 to 2000 before becoming an Illinois state senator. “He’s done a good job.”

When Luechtefeld broke the original record, it was decades before the 3-point line came into existence. His high school coach was former Benton High and Southern Illinois University Carbondale coach Rich Herrin.

“I wouldn’t have made too many from the 3-point line,” Luechtefeld said. “Basketball is a lot better now than it was back then.”

Luechtefeld was also on hand with his 1986-87 team that finished second at the Class A state tournament. The team was honored at halftime.

Okawville coach Jon Kraus played for Luechtefeld and now coaches Frederking.

“It is pretty impressive,” he said of Frederking’s record. “I think there are some things that help these days. We play a few more games than they did back then, the 3-point line, those sort of things, but it’s probably a record that’s going to stay around for a while.

“To have a kid score that many points as a freshman (520) is unusual; you just don’t have that very often. There’s a lot of kids that have played three years of basketball and are going to score points. That fourth year is a big, huge difference.”

Kraus said consistency and high production have helped push Frederking’s total higher and higher through four years.

“He’s done a really good job for us, and he’s represented our school in a positive way,” Kraus said. “It’s going to be pretty cool to see Coach hand him the ball.”

Luechtefeld’s scoring record lasted 59 years. How long does Kraus think Frederking’s will stand?

“It’s going to be here for a while — and I don’t think you’ll see it broken for a long, long time,” Kraus said. 

Norm Sanders: 618-239-2454, @NormSanders

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