Okawville Rockets knock off Carrollton to reach Class 1A sectional final
Junior guard Payten Harre came up big for the Okawville Rockets on Tuesday in a 62-36 semifinal victory over Carrollton at the Class 1A Okawville Sectional.
Harre came off the bench to bury four 3-pointers, including three in a row in the second quarter, to stake the Rockets to a 25-6 lead early in the second quarter. University of Evansville recruit Noah Frederking erupted for 15 of his 23 points in the third quarter, and there was no doubt which team was headed to the sectional championship.
“We’ve got a great bench, and we’ve got some different players that can come in and make shots,” Okawville coach Jon Kraus said. “It’s not always the same kids. Some nights Shane (Ganz) gets hot; some nights (Luke) Hensler comes in and makes some 3s. We’ve got some different weapons, and that makes it difficult for other teams to guard us maybe the way they’d like to.”
Okawville (29-3), ranked second in Class 1A and on a 12-game win streak, will face the winner of Metro-East Lutheran-New Berlin in the sectional championship at 7 p.m. Friday at the O-Rena.
Carrollton coach Jeff Krumwiede feared an early deficit playing in hostile territory.
“You’ve got an 18-12 team playing catch-up against a 28-3 (team) in their house, with a D-I player (Frederking), so you don’t have to say any more than that,” Krumwiede said. “Their defensive pressure is what got them what they needed at the start, and you have to give them credit for that.”
Okawville led 16-6 after one quarter, and Harre’s barrage of 3-pointers in the second quarter delivered another hammer to the Hawks. Okawville’s pressure defense forced nine first-half turnovers, too.
“Coach has been preaching all year to make them call the first timeout, and that’s what we went out and did,” said Harre, who sank his first four 3-point shots. “It’s good to finally see my shots fall, except for the second half. It was good to see the first one fall; kept shooting till I missed.”
Frederking heated up in the third quarter, burning the Hawks for 15 points and mixing in a pair of 3-pointers. Ganz had 14, and Harre finished with 12, while Carrollton’s top scorer was Jeremy Watson with 18 points.
Frederking is capable of scoring in bunches, as one would expect from Okawville’s all-time scoring leader.
“They were holding him and banging on him really hard all night, and he just has to play through those things,” Kraus said. “He’s done a good job with that for the most part this year.”