fall short of Little Ten crown
By Greg Burks - DeKalb Daily Chronicle
It was a night of tough luck for Hinckley-Big Rock High School in the championship
game of the Little Ten Conference Tournament. The Royals couldn’t find their rhythm and lost to an intense Serena High
School crew, 62-43.
third-place game, Newark High School routed Earlville High School, 77-38.
The title game
was a game of catch-up for the Royals, much like their semifinal win over Earlville. However, the result was different against
the Huskers, who took a 31-19 halftime lead and never let Hinckley-Big Rock (8-12) back to within single digits.
After Serena (16-5)
took a 19-12 lead with two minutes left in the first quarter, Mike Phillips caught a baseball pass from Nate Viland and scored
to give the Royals some momentum going into the second quarter. But the Huskers countered with two quick buckets to start
the second frame and outscored H-BR 12-5 for the quarter.
Serena’s scoring that upset H-BR coach Bob Barnett, it was how the Huskers scored. Midway through the quarter, Serena
grabbed an offensive rebound and put it back for two points on four straight possessions.
had them for 10 offensive boards and six put backs in the first half. That’s 12 points right there,” Barnett noted
Many of those offensive
rebounds were by Eric Schrader, who finished with 11 boards and 12 points. The Huskers received their usual 21 points from
Jake Finley, arguably the MVP of the tournament. Dain Twait scored 11 and controlled the tempo from his point-guard position.
get better for H-BR to start the second half, as Serena scored the first seven points of the quarter. The Royals managed to
claw back into the game with a 16-7 run to end the third quarter, pulling to within ten at 45-35. Adam Richards scored 12
of his team-high 18 points in the third period.
of a Royal comeback were scrapped when Serena scored the initial six points of the fourth quarter to take a 51-35 lead and
control of the game. “It takes too much energy to come back like that,” said Barnett. “They had three seniors
on the floor that knew what to do.”
scored 11 points for the Royals, but nine of those were in the first half. It was a good tournament for both teams, considering
that neither of them were expected to make the title game. Serena was seeded third and Hinckley-Big Rock was seeded fourth.
expected us to do anything in this tournament and we’re a team of juniors,” said Barnett.
is for all the Serena people that have been waiting since 1981” said coach Randy Goodbred. “These kids brought
everything they had tonight.”
second place finish is nothing new. They have played in the tournament’s title game six times within the last eight
years. The lone championship in that span was in 1996. The two teams will meet again on Feb. 18 at Hinckley-Big Rock High
School. It could be a crucial game, considering that both schools are 6-1 in conference play.
best thing about tonight is that we get them again in two weeks” said Barnett.
The third place
game was controlled by Newark (15-7), as the Norsemen cruised behind a tournament-high 27 points from Justin Carlson. Earlville
(7-13) was playing without center Ben Erwin (19 ppg), who was nursing a sore back.
Leading 24-13 at
the break, Newark hit eight three-pointers in the third quarter and outscored EHS, 37-10, to take a commanding 61-23 lead.
Jeff Eddy scored 12 for Newark, while Nathan Fruit scored 14 for Earlville.
(8) Earlville 62, (9) Paw Paw 37
(7) Malta 60, (10) LaMoille 45
(4) Hinckley-Big Rock 49, (5) Leland 36
(3) Serena 58, (6) Somonauk 53
(8) Earlville 59, (1) Indian Creek 43
74, (7) Malta 43
(4) Hinckley-Big Rock 63, (8) Earlville 56
(3) Serena 68, (2) Newark 60
THIRD PLACE GAME
77, (8) Earlville 38
(3) Serena 62, (4) Hinckley-Big Rock 43
Final 1999-2000 Little Ten Conference Standings
Hinckley-Big Rock 8
Indian Creek 8 1
Somonauk 5 4
Earlville 2 7
Malta 2 7
Paw Paw 2 7
LaMoille 0 9
Little Ten All-Conference
Boys Basketball Team for 1999-2000 season
* Dustin Spears,
Indian Creek, Senior 6-foot-4 Forward : Two-time All-LTC. He was named
the Timberwolves most valuable player after averaging 19.1 points per game and 9.2 rebounds per game.
* Jordan Swanson,
Indian Creek, Senior 6-foot-1 Guard : Two-time All-LTC. He averaged
15.4 points per game and 7.1 rebounds a game for the Timberwolves.
* Dain Twait,
Serena, Senior 6-foot Guard : Two-time All-LTC. Scored 15.0 points per
game for the Huskers and led team in steals and assists.
* Jake Finley,
Serena, Senior 6-foot-3 Forward : He led Huskers with 23.0 points per game and was named club’s most valuable
* Justin Carlson,
Newark, Senior 6-foot-2 Forward : Two-time All-LTC. He averaged 18.0 points per game, 6.7 rebounds per game and hit 57-percent of his field goal tries.
Jeff Eddy, Newark,
Junior 6-foot-1 Guard : Scored 12.8 points per game for the Norsemen and hit 50-pecent of his shots from the floor.
Somonauk, Junior Guard : Led the Bobcats with 16.0 points per game.
Joel Thomas, Leland,
Junior 6-foot-1 Guard : Led the Panthers in scoring (13.0 ppg), rebounds and steals.
* Ben Erwin, Earlville,
Senior 6-foot-4 Forward : Led Red Raiders in scoring (18.7 ppg) and rebounding (9.5 rpg).
Chad Pecka, Malta,
Sophomore 6-foot-1 Guard : Voted Mustangs Co-MVP, led team in scoring (24.2 ppg) and was a state qualifier in three-point
* - Unanimous selection
Hinckley-Big Rock, although LTC Co-Champions had no players selected to team. The
Royals had a young team (one senior, Drew Fickau, and he missed about half the season) and they were very balanced. No one player really stood out above the rest, but several players did receive votes.