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Newark Runs Past Serena for Title

Norsemen use trap to best Huskers


Serena overcomes rough start to trump Panthers

Charlie Ellerbrock, Ottawa Times

SOMONAUK — The best laid plans for basketball defenses don't matter if you can't hang on to the ball at the other end of the court.

The Leland-Earlville plan to throw gimmick defenses at Serena's Brady Johnson worked to a tee in the first half, limiting the Huskers ace to just three points. However, the Panthers' inability to take care of the basketball, along with 12 of a game-best 18 points from Serena's Kevin Kreinbrink, negated that benefit and turned a seven-point L-E lead after one quarter into a five-point deficit at the half.

Johnson bounced back and nailed all eight of his free throw attempts in the fourth quarter, helping the No. 3 seeded Huskers stave off No. 6 Leland-Earlville's upset bid and escape the Little Ten Conference Tournament opener with a 55-49 victory.

That late surge at the stripe allowed Johnson to finish with 15 points, backing Kreinbrink's 18-point effort and sending Serena (13-7) into Thursday's 7:15 p.m. semifinal at Somonauk High School against the winner of tonight's 7:15 game between No. 2 Somonauk and No. 7 Hinckley-Big Rock.

Danny Heath scored 12 of his 17 points in the latter half and Trevor Becker totaled 14 points for the Panthers (5-14), who will play the loser of that game at 7:15 p.m. consolation bracket contest in the Somonauk Middle School gym.

Trevor Becker's seven points and Johnson's struggles against Tyler Freiders in L-E's box-and-1 defense led the Panthers to a 12-5 edge after eight minutes. However, Kreinbrink and the Husker defense heated up simultaneously, accounting for eight points and 11 forced turnovers, respectively, in an 18-6 second period. That brought Serena back to a 23-18 advantage at the break.

"We wanted to get the pace of the game up, to get them going faster than they wanted to go and we did a good job of it in the second quarter," said Serena coach Jonathan Immel. "This senior class prides itself on its defense and that's what I love about them. That's a mentality they've had since the first day of practice, that they're going to go out and guard people. It took us a while to adjust and get into the game because of the gimmick defenses they were playing, but we finally came out and executed.

"We looked good at times and not very good at others, but we live to fight another day. Still, we know we have to play better."

Still, the Huskers were not able to pull away. In the third quarter, L-E had seven more turnovers, but hit six of seven shots to stay within five points heading to the fourth. That's when Johnson, who hit the last two of his three fielders in the third, began contributing from the stripe.

While he was perfect, others were less so and Serena's 12-of-17 shooting from the line kept L-E close enough that it got within 49-47 on a Heath deuce with 43.1 seconds left. But the Panthers reverted to their turnover-prone selves and, after two Tyler Kent free throws, Kreinbrink made a back-breaking steal and layup.

Tyler Arnold made another steal that helped take 10 of the last 25 seconds off the clock, andJohnson capped the win with two tosses with 1.8 seconds remaining.

"Brady's a great player. Great players deserve a lot of respect and we gave him a lot of respect tonight," said L-E coach Randy Goodbred. "We guarded him well ...We went man there toward the end and did some good things. We probably could have gone to it a little earlier, but we started forcing other guys to take some shots and that's what we wanted. They had a couple of guys like Trevor Milam and Austin Kent step up and made a couple from the perimeter. We were going to make them beat us, not the two main ones. But Kevin still had a nice game for them, both of them did."

Serena 55, Leland-Earlville 49

LELAND-EARLVILLE (49) —Dan Heath 6-9 3-5 17, Goodbred 2-4 3-4 7, Freiders 1-5 0-0 2, Tr. Becker 6-10 1-4 14, Torman 2-4 0-0 4, Ty. Becker 1-2 0-0 2, Olson 0-0 0-0 0, Abens 1-2 0-0 3. Totals 19-36 7-13 49.

SERENA (55) — Johnson 3-13 8-8 15, Kent 2-7 3-5 7, Kreinbrink 7-14 3-7 18, Milam 2-6 3-4 7, Arnold 1-2 4-6 6, Clausel 1-1 0-0 2, Ro. McCaslin 0-1 0-0 0, Ri. McCaslin 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 16-44 21-30 55.

Leland-Earlville (5-14) 12 6 14 17 — 49

Serena (13-7) 5 18 14 18 — 55

3-point goals — Leland-Earlville 4-8 (Dan Heath 2-2, Abens 1-1, Tr. Becker 1-2, Ty. Becker 0-1, Freiders 0-2), Serena 2-11 (Kreinbrink 1-2, Johnson 1-9). Rebounds — Leland-Earlville 24 (Goodbred 7), Serena 28 (Arnold 6). Turnovers — Leland-Earlville 25, Serena 16. Total fouls (none fouled out) — Leland-Earlville 23, Serena 16.

Paw Paw falls to tourney-tested Timberwolves

Andy Tavegia, Ottawa Times

SOMONAUK — It's tournament time, so it's time for Indian Creek to heat up.

Heading into Monday's Little Ten Conference Tournament, the Timberwolves had participated in two tournaments so far with a perfect 8-0 mark. That's a big difference from a 5-7 regular-season mark that included a five-point loss to Paw Paw in early December.

Apparently just being in a tournament made all the difference as the two teams met again, this time with Paw Paw coming out on the short end.

Fourth-seeded Indian Creekopened up a double-digit lead after three quarters and held on for a 53-48 win over the fifth-seeded Bulldogs in the second game at Somonauk. The loss sends Paw Paw into the consolation bracket Thursday at 5:45 p.m. against eighth-seeded Kirkland Hiawatha, while Indian Creek likely has a meeting against top-seeded and state-ranked Newark on Thursday at the same time.

The Bulldogs (8-9) missed a golden opportunity to move their record over .500 for the first time since being 1-0. They finished the game at 17-for-47 from the field (36 percent), but were just 4-for-21 in the middle two periods (19 percent). That included 2-of-11 in the critical third quarter.

"I thought they wanted it a lot more than we did tonight," said Paw Paw coach Blake Strong. "We beat them earlier, and they had revenge on their minds. They just outhustled us. They outplayed us, they hit bigger shots. (Casey) Marks hit a couple of big shots for us, but other than that and Heath (Nicholson), we didn't really step up at all. Ijust don't think we had very much enthusiasm tonight."

Neither team seemed to have the enthusiasm throughout the first half. Paw Paw led 13-11 after one quarter before Indian Creek(14-7) went on a 10-3 run to make it 21-16. Most of that was due to Paw Paw's poor shooting, but PPHS still was within three points at halftime following a Jared Penman layup off a Ryan Moorehead assist late in the period.

But out of the locker room, the Timberwolves came out with renewed energy, while Paw Paw remained in neutral.

Taking a cue from senior guard Reece Bend, ICHS extended the lead out to 36-24 with 28.5 seconds left in the period. Bend didn't score during the period, but he did have five rebounds and a steal to keep Paw Paw's offense struggling. He also assisted on a key near 3-point play by Seth Sanderson, who finished with 17 points.

"I thought in the first half we were a half-step slow with everything we were doing," said ICHS coach Joe Piekarz. "So at halftime, we talked about getting it going a little bit. Let's get it going a little bit, and that was kind of led by Reece."

Marks and Nicholson answered Indian Creek's aggression in an effort to get the Bulldogs back in the game. Marks drained back-to-back 3-pointers in an 8-0 run that made it 36-32 early in the fourth. Later, after Indian Creek pushed the lead back out to nine points, Nicholson hit a pair of 3-pointers with a hand in his face, an inside layup while getting fouled and a double-pump free-throw-line jumper to make it 47-45 with 30.2 seconds left.

However, Nicholson, who had 17 points, five rebounds and three steals, drew his fifth foul the next time down the floor. Indian Creek, which was less than stellar from the free-throw line for the game (16-for-28), hit 6 of 8 free tosses in the final 22 seconds while adding a key steal by Alex Bremner to secure the win.

"They deserved to win," Strong said. "They played a good ballgame tonight. We kept up with them, but I don't know if I can say much else. Until the very end we didn't show a lot of fire."

Steven Voris added 10 points for the Timberwolves. Brandon Safranek had nine points for Paw Paw.

Indian Creek 53, Paw Paw 48

PAW PAW (48) — S. Rosenkrans 0-3 0-0 0, J. Rosenkrans 0-2 0-0 0, Hendren 0-2 0-0 0, Safranek 3-8 2-2 9, Marks 2-5 0-0 6, Glenn 1-4 1-2 4, Nicholson 7-12 1-4 17, Moorehead 1-1 0-0 3, Penman 3-10 3-4 9. Totals 17-47 7-12 48.

INDIAN CREEK (53) — Bend 1-2 0-0 2, Herrmann 1-3 0-0 2, Johnson 1- 2 0-0 2, Mitchell 1-3 0-1 3, Lazzarotto 1-3 2-4 4, Sanderson 4-8 9-13 17, Voris 5-7 0-1 10, Bremner 2- 3-4 7, Soler 2-7 2-5 6. Totals 18-41 16-28 53.

Paw Paw (8-9) 13 5 8 22 — 48

IC (14-7) 11 10 15 17 — 53

3-point goals — Paw Paw 7-19 (Nicholson 2-4, Marks 2-5, Moorehead 1-1, Glenn 1-2, Safranek 1-3, J. Rosenkrans 0-2, S. Rosenkrans 0-1, Hendren 0-1); IC 1-10 (Mitchell 1-2, Herrmann 0-2, Sanderson 0-2, Bremner 0-2, Johnson 0-1, Voris 0-1). Rebounds — Paw Paw 26 (Penman 6); IC 31 (Bend 7). Steals — Paw Paw 10 (Nicholson 3); IC 11 (Voris 3). Blocks — Paw Paw 0; IC 3 (Mitchell, Soler, Johnson). Turnovers — Paw Paw 15; IC 14. Total fouls (fouled out) — Paw Paw 21 (Nicholson); IC 9.

Big kids cut down to size

By JON STYF, DeKalb Daily Chronicle

SOMONAUK – There was little Indian Creek could do.

In the first half, they faulted their effort.

But as the time wore down in the second half, effort wasn't the issue. It was Paw Paw's Heath Nicholson, who started making everything. A banked three-pointer, a left-handed floater in the lane and several putbacks under the hoop all went in.

When he fouled out in the final minute, however, the Timberwolves finally were able to pull away with a 53-48 win at the Little Ten Tournament that sends Indian Creek on to the semifinals, where they will face top-seeded Newark or ninth-seeded LaMoille at 5:45 p.m. Thursday.

"We knew they were going to make a run, we just had to make our free throws," Indian Creek senior Reece Bend said. "You know the lucks on their side and we can't get any."

Nicholson was in and out of the game with foul trouble from start to finish, giving an animated response every time he was sent to the bench. But he also finished with a game-high 20 points.

"Those two big kids (Nicholson and Jared Penman), when they're going, they're so much bigger than the rest of our guys," Indian Creek coach Joe Piekarz said. "They could be a tough matchup. So when they got in foul trouble, I thought we took advantage."

The biggest player who took advantage was Seth Sanderson, who made 9 of his 12 free throws and finished with 17 points to lead the Timberwolves (14-7).

Alex Bremner added seven points while Steven Voris, Eddie Soler and Josh Lazzarotto had six apiece.

After a disappointing first half, Indian Creek had extended its lead to as many as 12 points late in the third quarter before the Bulldogs came back.

"We said afterward that it's about winning and surviving," Piekarz said. "It wasn't very pretty, but when it comes to tournament time it's are you moving on or not."

Indian Creek 53, Paw Paw 48

Paw Paw 13 3 10 22 – 48

Indian Creek 11 10 15 15 – 53

Paw Paw (48) – Hendren 0 0-0 0, Safranek 2 2-2 6, Nicholson 8 1-4 20, Moorehead 1 0-0 3, Penman 3 3-4 9, Glenn 1 1-2 4, J. Rosenkranz 0 0-0 0, S. Rosenkranz 0 0-0 0, Marks 2 0-0 6. Totals 17 7-12 48.

Indian Creek (53) – Bend 2 0-0 4, Herrmann 1 0-0 2, Mitchell 1 0-1 3, Sanderson 4 9-12 17, Bremner 2 3-4 7, Voris 3 0-1 6, Soler 2 2-5 6, Lazzarotto 2 2-4 6, Johnson 1 0-0 2. Totals 18 16-27 53.

Three-pointers – Paw Paw 7 (Nicholson 3, Moorehead, Glenn, Marks), Indian Creek 1 (Mitchell). Total Fouls – Paw Paw 22, Indian Creek 9. Fouled out – Safranek, Nicholson.

Hawks fall to LaMoille 

After falling behind early, Hiawatha came back and led for much of the second and third quarters before coming up empty late in a 63-56 loss to LaMoille to open the tournament.

Down four points with the ball in the final minute, LaMoille's Donavon Guzman stepped in front of a pass and beat the Hawks (4-16) to the other end to put the game away.

"That killed us," Hiawatha coach Tyler Whitebread said. "I was getting ready to call a timeout to try to set something up and I was kind of hoping our guys would find one of our posts to make something happen. Those unforced turnovers killed us."

The Hawks were coming off a three-point win at LaMoille on Friday, but this game went much differently.

Larry Walton struggle with foul trouble much of the game but still scored 14 while Jeo Andujar led the Hawks with 16.

"For some reason, for the majority of the game we were flat," Whitebread said. "The intensity wasn't there."

And late, the Hawks struggled to take care of the ball as Guzman and Scott Taylor finished with 20 points apiece for the Lions, many of which came in transition. Taylor also had 10 rebounds.

"I think they did a good job with pressure," Whitebread said. "They forced us into some situations where we weren't patient."

LaMoille 63, Hiawatha 56

LaMoille 14 16 16 17 – 63

Hiawatha 15 17 15 9 – 56

LaMoille (63) – Schwingle 5 1-2 11, Guzman 9 0-3 20, Elam 4 2-4 12, Taylor 6 8-11 20, Callison 0 0-0 0. Totals 23 11-20 63.

Hiawatha (56) – Andujar 6 2-2 16, Keneway 5 0-0 10, Walton 7 0-3 14, Freeman 1 0-0 2, Harber 4 1-2 11, Puckett 0 0-0 0, Shipley 0 1-2 1, Tamraz 1 0-0 2, Wittwer 0 0-0 0. Totals 24 4-9 56.

Three-pointers – LaMoille 4 (Elam 2, Guzman 2), Hiawatha 4 (Andujar 2, Harber 2). Total Fouls – LaMoille 12, Hiawatha 16. Fouled out – None.

Timberwolves keep streak alive

Indian Creek -- a perfect 9-0 in tournament play

By CHRISTINE BOLIN For Sun-Times Media

SOMONAUK -- The Indian Creek boys basketball team kicked off the 91st annual Little Ten Conference Tournament with a 53-43 win over Paw Paw Monday night in Somonauk.

The win not only improved the No. 4 seeded Timberwolves to 14-7 overall, but 9-0 in tournament play this season. They will face either No. 1 Newark or No. 9 LaMoille Thursday at 5:45 p.m.

"We said after the game, it's about winning and surviving," Indian Creek coach Joe Piekarz said. "That was the key to this game. We had to find a way to win and move on to Thursday. It wasn't very pretty the entire 32 minutes, but when it comes to tournament time, it's are you on the winning end or not. Hopefully we can keep the (9-0 tournament) streak going. We know Thursday is going to be a tough test."

"I thought they wanted it a little more than we did tonight," Paw Paw coach Blake Strong added. "We beat them earlier this season, so they probably had revenge on their minds. They out-hustled us and out-played us."

There were seven early ties before Indian Creek went on a little 6-0 run toward the end of the half, where it led 21-18. Although Paw Paw, the No. 5 seed, kept it close, it was never able to gain the lead in the second half.

Indian Creek's largest lead of the game was 36-24 after Eddie Soler's bucket with 30 seconds left in the third quarter. By the end of that quarter, the Timberwolves outscored the Bulldogs, 15-8.

Paw Paw (8-9), however, opened the fourth with back-to-back 3-pointers from Casey Marks that reduced Indian Creek's lead to 36-32. The closest the Bulldogs could come to catching up was in the final 31 seconds, when Heath Nicholson (team-high 17 points) scored five consecutive points off a banked-in 3-pointer and a floater in the lane.

"I was glad we kept fighting," Strong said. "(But Indian Creek) deserved to win."

The Timberwolves, however, closed the contest out on clutch free throws from Seth Sanderson (team-high 17 points), Josh Lazzarotto and Alex Bremmer.

With the loss, Paw Paw will play Hiawatha Thursday night.

Norsemen dominant in win over Lions

Bill Lidinsky, Ottawa Times

SOMONAUK — Tuesday's first quarterfinal matchup at the Little Ten Conference Tournament between top-seeded Newark and ninth-seeded LaMoille-Ohio figured to be a very lopsided matchup. In the end it proved to be just that.

Newark owned both ends of the floor in a 78-31 win over LaMoille-Ohio. The Norsemen placed four people in double figures while completely dominating the boards 48-24.

Junior Kyle Anderson registered game-high totals with 23 points and 11 rebounds in a scant 14 minutes of work. The Norsemen didn't need him or fellow starter Jeremy Anderson, who missed the game with the flu, for any more than that as they led 26-2 after one period and 67-22 after three periods.

"Our goal is to be champions in 1A basketball this year and anything less than that will be a disappointment because that's the goal that we've set for us to become," said Newark coach Rick Tollefson. "What I've told the kids is that no matter who we're playing, we're going to take the game seriously and go out there and improve. Despite the lopsided score, I think we improved tonight and positioned ourselves to move forward and hopefully win our conference tournament."

Kyle Anderson was electric in the first quarter, taking the opening tip and scoring on a dunk just five seconds into the set. His ten first-period points propelled Newark to a 24-point advantage while holding LaMoille-Ohio to just one bucket. Anderson had been nursing a nagging knee injury prior to Tuesday's contest, but he showed no ill effects against the Lions on Tuesday.

"I felt a lot better tonight," he said. "Even though I didn't really play more than about half a game tonight. I thought I was back to myself."

"This is the first time I've really seen Kyle (Anderson) healthy since the first time we played LaMoille earlier in the year," Tollefson said. "He really looked sharp tonight. I've seen Kyle ever since he was a freshman. Tonight he was sharp, he was jumping, he was passing, and he was just on his game. Even though Jeremy (Anderson) wasn't here because he was sick, Kyle took over and led us to a win even though he really didn't play that much."

After Newark (17-2) led 40-12 at the half, the Norsemen blitzed the Lions 27-10 in the third quarter as Kyle Anderson tallied 11 points. He wouldn't see the floor after that.

After Kyle Anderson, freshman Brett Anderson was next in line with 17 points. Junior Paul Hines posted 14 markers, while John Avery hooped 12 tallies.

Mike Elam paced LaMoille-Ohio (1-20) with a team leading eight points.

Newark was 34-of-69 (49 percent) from the field, while limiting LaMoille-Ohio to only 12-of-57 (21 percent) from the floor.

The Norseman now take on fourth seeded Indian Creek on Thursday at 5:45 p.m. in the first of the two LTC tourney semifinals at Somonauk.

Newark 78, LaMoille-Ohio 31

LAMOILLE-OHIO (31) — Schwingle 2 1-1 5, Husband 1 1-2 3, Callison 0 0-0 0, Farmer 1 0-0 3, Taylor 1 0-2 2, Guzman 3 0-0 7, Elam 3 1-1 8, Breedlove 0 0-0 0, Hix 0 0-0 0, Lampe 1 0-0 3, King 0 0-0 0, Hughes 0 0-1 0. Totals 12 3-7 31.
NEWARK (78) — McGrath 3 0-0 7, K. Anderson 9 4-5 23, Hughes 1 1-1 3, Warpinski 1 0-0 2, Sulc 0 0-0 0, Avery 6 0-1 12, Berg 0 0-0 0, Thanepohn 0 0-0 0, Hines 6 2-2 14, B. Anderson 8 1-1 17. Totals 34 8-10 78.
LaMoille-Ohio (1-21) 2 10 10 9 — 31
Newark (17-2) 26 14 27 11 — 78
3-point goals — LaMoille-Ohio 4 (Farmer, Guzman, Elam, Lampe); Newark 2 (McGrath, K. Anderson). Rebounds — LaMoille-Ohio 24 (Elam 8); Newark 48 (K. Anderson 11). Turnovers — LaMoille-Ohio 20; Newark 16. Total fouls (none fouled out) — LaMoille-Ohio 10; Newark 11.

No. 2 Somonauk moves on

Brian Hoxsey, Ottawa Times

SOMONAUK — If momentum was a rug that Hinckley-Big Rock was standing on at the end of three quarters, Somonauk quickly ripped it out from under their feet to begin the fourth.

The No. 7 seed Royals never led in their opening round Little Ten Conference Tournament game against the second-seeded Bobcats and trailed by as many as 14 in the first half. The tournament hosts saw their 10-point halftime led sliced to just six heading to the final eight minutes, but it was the opening two minutes of that fourth period that put SHS head coach Ron Hunt at a little more ease.

Senior Brad Baker swished a pair of free tosses to begin the frame and then a minute later buried a clutch trey from the corner to push the led back out to double digits, helping Somonauk go on to defeat H-BR 60-43

That allowed the Bobcats to advance to Thursday night's 7:15 p.m. semifinal match up with third-seeded Serena. The Royals drop into the consolation side of the bracket and face Leland-Earlville at 7:15 p.m. in Somonauk's Middle School Gym.

"A big part of that was (sophomore Justin) Fox set a nice, big old screen on the play," Somonauk coach Ron Hunt said. "The defender couldn't get out and Brad had all day to set up. He hit the big shot, but there was a lot that led to it. We also had a nice pass (from Brock Kartheiser) to go along with the good pick and recognition to get to the corner."

The Bobcats looked early on as if they were going to quick work of the Royals, who they had topped by 20 points in thier LTC regular season tilt a month ago, when they jumped to a 17-6 first-quarter edge.

H-BR's leading scorer, Brian Michaels, was held in check in that game Jan. 8 and struggled through a 1-for-7 opening period. But after Eric Green's layup at the 6:34 mark gave SHS a 21-7 cushion, Michaels' short jumper ignited his team and it went on a 11-0 run to make it 21-18.

Somonauk used lay ups from Fox and Green, plus a old fashion three-point play from Jeremy Schmitt, to head to the break up 28-20, but Michaels didn't cool off at halftime. The senior guard had 12 of his game-high 27 points in the third, including the final six of the quarter, helping H-BR trail just 41-35 at the horn.

"We tried to switch up guys on Michaels, the last time we played he only had eight points," said Hunt. "All it takes is one free throw, one lay up to get that guy going. Then its just, 'I hope that guy misses' at that point. I thought we had good defense on him in that third quarter, Jeremy had a hand in his face and he was just knock'em down, so give credit to him."

The Royals (6-16) cut the disadvantage back to eight after the quick start in the fourth by Baker and company, but the second of back-to-back hoops by Green with just over two minutes remaining, had H-BR needing to press. The frantic defensive pressure was handled nicely by the Bobcats as they were able to score 10 of the last 13 points of the contest, four each from Baker and Green.

"That is how our mode is and how we do things," said H-BR coach Bill Sambrookes. "We get behind early, chip back in it and then late fall back behind and have to foul. That is how the whole season has been for us and its frustrating. Now its try and get out of the tournament with two wins, it sure would feel better leaving with two wins instead of two losses."

The Bobcats shot 56 percent from the field in the game, including a scorching 68 percent (13-of-19) in the second half. Somonauk also won the battle of the boards with a 26-22 margin.

Green led the Bobcats with 20 points on 10-of-14 shooting, six rebounds and four steals, while Baker added 14 tallies and grabbed four caroms. Schmitt, Kartheiser (six boards)and Fox (five boards)all chipped in eight points each, with Schmitt hading out a game-high five assists.

Somonauk 60, Hinckley-Big Rock 43

HINCKLEY-BIG ROCK (43) — Michaels 12-25 3-4 27, Hemesath 1-4 0-0 2, McKenzie 0-1 0-0 0, Laurie 2-4 0-0 4, Chase 0-2 0-0 0, Blume 0-0 0-0 0, Craig 1-5 1-4 4, Madden 1-2 0-0 3, Peters 1-4 0-0 3. Totals 18-47 4-8 43.

SOMONAUK (60) — Baker 5-12 2-2 14, Fox 4-5 0-4 8, Schmitt 2-4 3-3 8, Green 10-14 0-1 20, Alvarez 0-0 0-0 0, Kartheiser 3-5 2-2 8, C. Passero 1-2 0-0 2, Hanson 0-1 0-0 0, Weslowski 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 25-45 7-12 60.

H-BR (6-16) 6 14 15 8 — 43

Somonauk (10-12) 17 11 13 19 — 60

3-point goals — H-BR 3-11 (Michaels 0-3, Craig 1-5, Madden 1-2, Peters 1-1); Somonauk 3-10 (Baker 2-6, Schmitt 1-2, Kartheiser 0-1, Hanson 0-1). Rebounds — H-BR 22 (Chase 6); Somonauk 26 (Green 6, Kartheiser 6). Assists — H-BR 9 (Michaels 3, Laurie 3); Somonauk 15 (Schmitt 5). Steals — H-BR 7 (Chase 3); Somonauk 8 (Green 4). Turnovers — H-BR 13, Somonauk 13. Total fouls (none fouled out) — H-BR 13, Somonauk 6.

Royals' up-and-down night ends in loss




SOMONAUK – For a moment, Somonauk was stunned.

Hinckley-Big Rock went to a 1-3-1 zone defense midway through the second quarter that resulted in three straight Bobcats turnovers to put the Royals back in the game.

Soon after, the Bobcats fixed their offensive personnel and pulled away. H-BR would make one more late third-quarter run on the strength of Brian Michaels’ shooting, but the Royals didn’t have enough as they fell 60-43 to Somonauk on Tuesday night to open the Little Ten Tournament.

“That’s kind of what our mode is, we get behind and then chip back in,” H-BR coach Bill Sambrookes said. “Then we get back behind and chip back again. Then it becomes a fouling situation and that’s how the whole season has been for us.

“It’s frustrating.”

H-BR’s (6-16) last run put it within six points at the end of the third quarter, but Somonauk (10-12) came out and hit several key shots at the start of the fourth quarter to pull away for good.

None was bigger than senior Brad Baker’s three-pointer to put the Bobcats up 11.

“I think a big part of it was that [Justin] Fox set a nice screen over there,” Somonauk coach Ron Hunt said. “The defense couldn’t get out and Baker had all day to set up and knock it down.”

Baker finished with 14 while Eric Green had 20, most of which came on layups after beating the Royals’ defense.

“If [Green] didn’t play hard, he would be an average player,” Hunt said. “But what makes him extraordinary is his heart and his hustle and his desire because he doesn’t like to lose.”

H-BR was once again led by Michaels, who had 11 third-quarter points and a game-high 27. Matt Laurie and Colton Craig added four points apiece.

Michaels was once again enough to get any opponent nervous as he began to hit shots with a guy, usually Somonauk’s Jeremy Schmitt, in his face.

“All it takes is just one free throw or one layup to get that guy going,” Hunt said. “Then you just hope that he misses.”

Somonauk will move on to face Serena in the second semifinal at 7:15 p.m. on Thursday while H-BR will play Leland-Earlville at the same time in the consolation bracket at Somonauk Middle School.

Somonauk 60, Hinckley-Big Rock 43

H-BR              6    14    15    8    –    43
Somonauk    17    11    13    19    –    60

H-BR (43) – Michaels 12 3-4 27, McKenzie 0 0-0 0, Laurie 2 0-0 4, Hemesath 1 0-0 2, Chase 0 0-0 0, Madden 1 0-0 3, Blume 0 0-0 0, Craig 1 1-4 4, Peters 1 0-0 3. Totals 18 4-8 43.
Somonauk (60) – Fox 4 0-4 8, Alvarez 0 0-0 0, Green 10 0-1 20, Baker 5 2-2 14, Schmitt 2 3-3 8, Kartheiser 3 2-2 8, Passero 1 0-0 2, Hanson 0 0-0 0, Weslowski 0 0-0 0. Totals 25 7-12 60.

Three-pointers – H-BR 3 (Madden, Peters, Craig), Somonauk 3 (Baker 2, Schmitt). Total Fouls – H-BR 13, Somonauk 6. Fouled out – None.


Serena back in LTC title game -- Johnson, Kreinbrink handle the load as Huskers send Somonauk home

Bill Lidinsky, Ottawa Times

SOMONAUK — Serena senior guard Brady Johnson certainly can be considered a very seasoned veteran when it comes to the annual Little Ten Conference Tournament.

Back in 2007 as a freshman starter, Johnson helped lead his club to the tournament title. Since then, the Huskers have placed out of the money during Johnson's sophomore and junior campaigns.

But after Thursday night's 52-44 win over the No. 2-seeded host Bobcats, Johnson is right back where he started and that's in another LTC tourney title game.

Johnson's game-high 18 points, including 14 during the first nine minutes of play, helped propel third seeded Serena into tonight's Little Ten Tourney championship matchup at 8 p.m. against No. 1 seed Newark.

Even though he was battling foul trouble in the second and third quarters, Johnson was helped by a sterling performance from senior teammate Kevin Kreinbrink (14 points), who tallied 12 second half makers.

But it was Johnson who got Serena (14-7) off and running with 11 first quarter points, including a trio of 3-pointers that staked the Huskers to a 17-12 lead after eight minutes of play.

"I came in early and I was shooting around before the game trying to stay as focused as possible and that focus stuck with me especially early in the game," Johnson said. "Anything I got in the first quarter I took and it seemed to go down."

Johnson played sparingly in the second frame after getting his second foul early in the quarter, but the Huskers managed to hold on to a 25-21 lead at the intermission.

"We didn't shoot very well during the first two quarters and we didn't defend Johnson especially in the first quarter," said Somonauk coach Ron Hunt. "(Johnson) is a veteran of this tournament and very athletic, and we didn't take advantage of the time he was out of the game in the second period with foul trouble."

Serena surged to a 30-21 lead in the third quarter before Somonauk (10-13) reeled off six consecutive points to pull within 30-27 with 3:10 to go. Johnson picked up two charging fouls during the Bobcat rally and headed to the bench with four personal miscues.

That's when Kreinbrink took over.

The Serena senior then hit three consecutive shots to give his squad a 36-27 advantage with 10 seconds to go in the period. Aaron Alvarez added a put back at the third quarter buzzer for Somonauk and Serena led 36-29 after three.

"With Brady (Johnson) out in foul trouble we knew we had to step it up," Kreinbrink said. "I did my best to get open shots especially in the third quarter and I hit them. It feels good because we were able to come through and get to the championship game."

Johnson returned in the fourth quarter to tally four more points down the stretch as Serena outscored Somonauk 16-15 to pull off the victor.

Senior Eric Green led Somonauk with 13 points, while senior Brock Kartheiser pitched in with 12.

Serena 52, Somonauk 44

SERENA (52) — Ri. McCaslin 0 0-0 0, Ro. McCaslin 1 0-0 2, Milam 1 1-2 3, Janssen 0 0-0 0, Kreinbrink 6 2-4 14, Kent 4 0-1 8, Johnson 6 2-4 18, Clausel 2 0-0 4, Arnold 1 1-4 3. Totals 21 6-15 52.

SOMONAUK (44) — Schmitt 1 2-2 5, Kartheiser 4 3-6 12, Hanson 1 1-2 3, Green 6 1-2 13, Baker 1 0-0 3, Alvarez 1 0-4 2, C. Passero 0 2-2 2, J. Fox 2 0-1 4. Totals 16 9-19 44.

Serena (13-8) 17 8 11 16 — 52

Somonauk (10-13) 12 9 8 15 — 44

3-point goals — Serena 4 (Johnson 4); Somonauk 3 (Kartheiser, Schmitt, Baker). Rebounds — Serena 28 (Kent 11); Somonauk 24 (Alvarez 5). Turnovers — Serena 17; Somonauk 13. Total fouls (none fouled out) — Serena 18; Somonauk 17.

Norsemen avoid upset in final minutes

Andy Tavegia, Ottawa Times

SOMONAUK — The big dog's bite was just a bit better than the underdog's.

Top-seeded Newark survived some hot shooting from fourth-seeded Indian Creek to produce a 67-63 win in Thursday's Little Ten Conference Tournament semifinals. The victory puts Newark (18-2) into today's championship game against Serena, a 52-44 winner over Somonauk in the other semifinal.

But it wasn't without a major scare.

Indian Creek shot 75 percent from the 3-point line in the first half (6-for-8) as it led almost from the very beginning. But as the Timberwolves cooled off, John Avery heated up, scoring 17 of his game-high 26 points in the second half, with most of those points coming near the rim off assists from Kyle Anderson and Russ McGrath.

"That was a very good team that we just played, that's my view," said Newark coach Rick Tollefson. (Eddie Soler) is as good a guard as we've faced. I'm not sure it was all just us. We have kids hurt, and we're a little out of shape. ... We were playing a lot of straight-legged defense, which allowed them to shoot 75 percent."

Newark's defense wasn't alone in Indian Creek's first half. A lot also had to do with the play of Soler, a relative newcomer to the Timberwolves lineup, and Alex Bremner.

Soler had six points in the first half, but also helped set up four 3-pointers in the second quarter for Bremner. His last long ball with 2:02 left was followed by a Soler steal and layup that made it 38-32 ICHS at the half.

Brett Anderson kept Newark in the game with 15 points in the opening half. He finished with 21 points.

Newark did neutralize Bremner and Indian Creek's 3-point shooting in the first half. In fact, Newark held Bremner, who finished with 14 points, scoreless with just two shot attempts in the second half. Indian Creek didn't have a 3-pointer in the second half.

Still, behind Soler, solid defense and two costly charging calls that put Kyle Anderson in foul trouble, the Timberwolves were able to extend the lead to as high as eight points in the third quarter. But that's when Kyle Anderson found other ways to contribute with help from Avery.

Anderson (15 points, six assists) had three assists on easy inside buckets by Avery to pull NHS within one point on two occasions late in the third. But each time, it seemed as if the Timberwolves had an answer, and they led 56-51 with 5:34 following a Seth Sanderson putback basket.

That's when things finally turned Newark's way. The Norsemen scored six straight points to take the lead at 57-56, their first since 6-5 in the opening two minutes. After ICHS tied the game at 57, Avery rattled off nine straight NHS points, including six off assists in the paint. Indian Creek got two impressive floaters in the lane by Soler (16 points), but it wasn't enough as Newark led 66-61 with 22.8 seconds remaining.

"In the second half we got some stops and took the ball to the post well," Tollefson said. "A couple of charges got Kyle in foul trouble, and he overcame that. But that's a good team. You put that guard on that team, they're tough."

Newark 67, Indian Creek 63

INDIAN CREEK (63) — Bend 1-2 1-2 3, Herrmann 3-6 1-2 9, Johnson 1-2 0-0 2, Mitchell 1-5 0-1 2, Lazzarotto 3-8 1-2 7, Sanderson 3-9 4-8 10, Voris 0-0 0-0 0, Bremner 5-11 0-0 14, Soler 8-17 0-0 16. Totals 25-60 7-15 63.

NEWARK (67) — McGrath 1-2 2-2 4, K. Anderson 5-8 5-9 15, J. Anderson 0-4 1-2 1, Avery 10-18 6-8 26, Berg 0-2 0-0 0, Hines 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 26-45 15-24 67.

IC (14-8) 20 18 13 12 — 63

Newark (18-2) 18 14 15 20 — 67

3-point goals — IC 6-14 (Bremner 4-7, Hermann 2-3, Mitchell 0-2, Lazzarotto 0-1, Sanderson 0-1); Newark 0-4 (K. Anderson 0-2, Avery 0-1, Berg 0-1). Rebounds — IC 22 (Sanderson 6); Newark 36 (B. Anderson 12). Assists — IC 8 (Soler 3); Newark 23 (J. Anderson 8, K. Anderson 6). Steals — IC 6 (Soler 3); Newark 5 (B. Anderson 2, K. Anderson 2). Blocks — IC 0; Newark 4 (B. Anderson 2, K. Anderson 2). Turnovers — IC 8; Newark 11. Total fouls (none fouled out) — IC 18; Newark 14.

Moral victory

By JON STYF - DeKalb Daily Chronicle

SOMONAUK – Indian Creek could be disappointed.

But it couldn't be mad.

The Timberwolves led top-seeded Newark for more than 3 1/2 quarters Thursday night. But in the final minutes, the Norsemen were able to take the lead and steal a 67-63 win.

"I told them after the game that I'm extremely proud of them and their effort was outstanding," Indian Creek coach Joe Piekarz said. "I thought it was two good teams playing each other and they just made a couple more plays at the end."

Indian Creek (14-8) worked well on offense from the start, but it was Alex Bremner who helped them pull out to a six-point halftime lead over the No. 8 team in the state's Class 1A rankings.

Bremner hit four second-quarter three-pointers and finished with 14 points.

"We were having trouble stopping them on the defensive end," Piekarz said. "We needed guys to hit shots and he caught fire there for a little bit."

Early in the fourth quarter, it was Indian Creek's Eddie Soler giving an offensive spark, driving to the hoop and finishing with 16 points.

But the Timberwolves never could consistently stop Newark (18-2) and its solid passing and continued easy looks caught up with Indian Creek.

Newark didn't make a three-pointer in the game, but John Avery got stronger as the contest went on and finished with a game-high 26 points while Brett Anderson added 21 and Kyle Anderson scored 15.

"They're pretty good," Piekarz said. "That's what top 10 teams in the state do; they find ways to win games. They might be losing the whole game, but they find a way.

"I told them that we want to be that team come regional time."

Indian Creek will move on to play Somonauk at 6:30 p.m. today in the third-place game while Newark will face Serena for the championship at 8.

Huskers advance: Serena's Brady Johnson scored 11 first-quarter points and went on to score 18 despite second-half foul trouble to lead the Huskers to a 52-44 win over Somonauk in the late semifinal.

Kevin Kreinbrink scored 14 while Austin Kent had eight for the Huskers (14-7).

Eric Green scored 13 points while Brock Kartheiser added 12 for Somonauk (10-13).

Newark 67, Indian Creek 63

Indian Creek 20 18 13 12 – 63

Newark 18 14 15 20 – 67

IC (63) – Sanderson 3 4-8 10, Bend 1 1-2 3, Herrmann 3 1-2 9, Mitchell 1 0-1 2, Bremner 5 0-0 14, Lazzarotto 4 1-2 9, Voris 0 0-0 0, Soler 8 0-0 16. Totals 35 7-15 63.

Newark (67) – B. Anderson 10 1-3 21, Avery 10 6-8 26, K. Anderson 5 5-9 15, J. Anderson 0 1-2 1, McGrath 1 2-2 4, Hines 0 0-0 0, Berg 0 0-0 0. Totals 26 18-24 67.

Three-pointers – IC 6 (Bremner 4, Herrmann 2), Newark 0. Fouled out – None.

Royals unravel under pressure

By JOHN SAHLY - DeKalb Daily Chronicle

SOMONAUK – Leland-Earlville set the tone of the second half right away against Hinckley-Big Rock.

Coming out with a fast, aggressive trapping press, Leland-Earville flummoxed the Royals and came back to defeat H-BR, 46-41, in the Little Ten Conference Tournament consolation semifinals on Thursday at Somonauk Middle School.

"It messed us up a little bit," H-BR guard Brian Michaels said. "After a while, we kind of got used to breaking it, but it definitely shocked us a little bit."

The Royals (6-17) committed eight turnovers in the third quarter, leading to transition buckets for Leland-Earville. H-BR's four-point halftime lead held for most of the quarter, but ultimately gave way on a basket by Trevor Becker late in the third to make it 32-30. H-BR wouldn't get any closer than that.

Royals coach Bill Sambrookes said his team simply didn't take care of the basketball against the press.

"We rushed into their pressure too much and had unforced turnovers and they got the momentum," Sambrookes said. "We didn't answer it. We pushed back a little bit and they pushed back harder and they passed us and we didn't answer it."

Sambrookes said he couldn't point to a reason why his team faltered when Leland-Earlville started trapping and taking the momentum of the game.

"I don't know," he said. "We do stuff like that and that same set of guys go right through it in practice."

The Royals did cut the lead to 45-41 with 41 seconds left but committed another turnover trying to break the press and couldn't get two three-point attempts to fall in their final possession.

"We've got to throw this in the bag and look forward to the rest of the season," Michaels said. "We've got to finish strong."

Drought stymies Hawks: Hiawatha went scoreless in the third quarter and managed only three points in the first quarter in a 54-28 loss to Paw Paw in the other Little 10 Conference Tournament consolation semifinal.

"It killed us," Hawks coach Tyler Whitebread said. "It was a seven-point game at halftime. We scored zero points in the third quarter. We just talked about that in the locker room. I don't understand how we could score zero points in a quarter."

Paw Paw made a seven-point halftime lead a 30-point lead after entering the fourth after scoring 23 on the Hawks (4-16) in what was the deciding quarter.

Hiawatha was led by Jeo Andujar's eight points. Whitebread said he saw some good things from the Hiawatha offense in the second quarter.

"The second quarter we started getting the ball to the middle of the court," Whitebread said. "We got the ball to the middle, made some good passes out of it. We started working the ball more and against a zone that's what you've got to do."

Panthers use 'D' to edge Hinckley

SOMONAUK — Leland-Earlville edged Hinckley-Big Rock 46-41 in the consolation bracket of the Little Ten Conference Tournament on Thursday.

The Panthers (6-14) trailed 23-19 at halftime but then outscored Hinckley-Big Rock 27-18 the rest of the way.

"We played solid defense in the second half and caused 29 turnovers for the night," said L-E coach Randy Goodbred. "I am happy for our seniors, they battled all night long."

Trevor Becker had 12 points for Leland-Earlville. Andrew Abens had 11 points.

Paw Paw 54, Kirkland Hiawatha 28

At Somonauk, Paw Paw led 23-16 at halftime before outscoring Hiawatha 23-0 in the third period of the other consolation semifinal LTC Tournament contest.

Jared Penman had 18 points for the Bulldogs(9-9). Heath Nicholson contributed 11 points and 11 rebounds.

Paw Paw best L-E for LTC consolation title

The Ottawa Times Sports Staff

Paw Paw 70, Leland-Earlville 35

The Bulldogs beat the Panthers in the consolation championship game of the Little Ten Conference Tournament.

Paw Paw held a 10-9 edge after one quarter, led 31-17 at the half and built a 50-21 advantage after three periods of play.

"It was one of those nights where everything seemed to go our way," Bulldogs coach Blake Strong said. "We shot better as a team than we had all season. Give our kids credit for continuing to play unselfishly. I thought we did a nice job of setting each other up tonight."

Heath Nicholson scored 14 points and Jared Penman 13 to pace a balanced Paw Paw (10-9) scoring attack. Casey Marks added 10 points. Penman grabbed nine rebounds. Nicholson snared six boards.

"Give Paw Paw credit. After the first quarter, they dominated the game," Leland-Earlville coach Randy Goodbred said. "I was pleased with our play in the tournament. Tonight we just didn't do too many things right. We will bounce back and play hard the rest of the season."

Danny Heath had eight points for the Panthers (6-15).

Indian Creek 60, Somonauk 46

The Bobcats fell to Indian Creek in the third-place game of the Little Ten Conference Tournament.

Indian Creek led 26-20 at the half and outscored Somonauk 34-26 after the break.

Eric Green had 11 points and Brad Baker 10 for the Bobcats (10-14).

Soler a secret no more

By Jon Styf - DeKalb Daily Chronicle

SOMONAUK – For the past 2 1/2 years, Eddie Soler has been Indian Creek's secret.

Over that time, the junior point guard never has been eligible to play. But he's continued to practice with the Timberwolves, waiting for his chance.

After this week, however, Soler no longer is a secret.

For the second straight night, he was the ignition to the Timberwolves' offense. And on Friday night, he scored 13 points and helped lead them to a 60-46 win over Somonauk to take third place at the Little Ten Tournament.

"It's been like having LeBron James on your team," junior Alex Bremner said. "He's great. He can take them off the dribble, he can take them outside, he can do everything."

Bremner has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of Soler's driving ability.

The Timberwolves (15-8) took a six-point lead into halftime, but came out of the break firing. Soler drove and scored on the first possession and then kicked out the ball to Bremner for a three-pointer on the second possession as the Timberwolves scored the first nine points of the second half and then pull away.

"Earlier this year, when I was playing point, I really struggled to get shots off," Bremner said. "Now he's really penetrating and kicking it out and it's really helping me out."

Soler said afterward that "it's been a long time coming."

But the effort he put in to gain eligibility in the second semester has lit a fire under the Timberwolves, who led state-ranked Newark for most of the night before falling on Thursday. Soler scored a team-high 16 points in that game while helping Bremner get open for four second-quarter three-pointers.

This time, he looked even more under control on the drive as he showed his quickness more and more as the night went on. He beat Somonauk off the dribble consistently and wore down its guards.

"In the second half, they had to take out some of their best shooters because they were tired," said Bremner, who led Indian Creek with 14 points.

Soler has shown a quick ability to fit in with the Timberwolves, but a lot of that has to do with the many hours he's spent practicing with the team while never suiting up for a game.

"That was the fourth organized basketball game he's ever played," Indian Creek coach Joe Piekarz said.

The final was a game that Indian Creek hoped for after a tough loss a night before. Somonauk (10-14), however, felt the opposite way as it never could put things together and fell apart late.

Eric Green led the Bobcats with 11 points while Brad Baker scored 10.

Soler and Seth Sanderson finished with 13 points apiece while Blake Mitchell added nine.

While Soler snuck up on teams at the Little Ten Tournament, that iikely will be short-lived heading into the playoffs. Because after how he played, everyone will know exactly who Soler is.

"I'm pretty sure they've got a scouting report on me now," Soler said.

Indian Creek 60, Somonauk 46

Somonauk 15 5 10 16 – 46

Indian Creek 19 7 19 15 – 60

Somonauk (46) – Schmitt 2 3-6 7, Baker 4 0-0 10, Fox 3 0-0 6, Green 5 0-0 11, Kartheiser 2 2-4 7, Alvarez 1 0-0 2, Wesolowski 0 1-2 1, Passero 1 0-0 2, Hanson 0 0-0 0, Gerry 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 6-12 46.

Indian Creek (60) – Sanderson 6 0-2 13, Herrmann 0 2-4 2, Mitchell 3 2-2 9, Bremner 6 1-2 14, Soler 4 4-5 13, Bend 0 2-4 2, Lazzarotto 1 0-2 2, Voris 0 0-0 0, Johnson 0 0-0 0, Nealey 0 0-0 0, Drendel 0 0-0 0, Challand 0 0-0 0, Creed 0 0-0 0. Totals 20 11-21 60.

Three-pointers: Somonauk 4 (Baker 2, Green, Kartheiser), Indian Creek 6 (Herrmann 2, Sanderson, Mitchell, Bremner, Soler). Team Fouls: Somonauk 9, Indian Creek 10. Fouled out: None.


Norsemen take home LTC Tournament title -- Championship ties Newark for most with 16

Brian Hoxsey - Ottawa Times

SOMONAUK — It was kind of like havingan exclamation point at the beginning of a sentence.

Early in the second quarter, Newark's high flying junior Kyle Anderson electrified the large crown at Somonauk High School and his teamwith a monstrous two-handed dunk in traffic,jump-starting a game-changing 17-0 runthat provided the top-seeded Norsemen a 66-43 Little Ten Tournament title game victory over third-seeded Serena Friday night.

Their first LTC championship since 2004 tiesNewark with Serena, each having won 16 LTC Tournament titles. The Huskers were also trying to be the first school to be seeded lower than the top two, and win the title, since they did it in 2000.

"We came out a little slow and we knew we'd have to kick it up a notch," said NHS junior John Avery, who scored 16 points, ten in the second frame. "We went to the trap and started running the break better. Kyle had great finish on that one, it got us going."

Serena led out of the gates 7-4 after a NBA-range 3-pointer from senior Brady Johnson, three of his team-high 14 tallies.Out of the timeout, in which Newark coach Rick Tollefson voiced his displeasure of his team's slow start, the Norsemen got four points from freshman Brett Anderson (game-high 18 points) and a buzzer-beating triple from reserve Paul Hines for an 11-7 edge. NHS employed a half-court trap to start the second quarter and, after Avery picked up a loose ball with 6 minutes, 10 seconds on the clock, his pass ahead found Anderson who got the gym buzzing with his highlight-reel jam.

"Serena is a high energy team and early on we missed a couple pups and they were getting momentum," saidTollefson, who felt his team played not to lose early on. "When you are the No. 1 seed you get that in your mind, but you can't do that. You have to shift it to, 'let's take the game to them and if they beat you, they beat you,' but you never want to say lets just hope we win. The beginning of the second quarter, we started trapping, increasing the pressure and were able to go on a nice run. I thought tonight we really executed on offense."

Junior Jeremy Anderson finished the consecutive-point streak for Newark with a trey at the 3:06 mark and it was 30-9. The Huskers cut the lead to 32-17 on a baseline drive and a pair of free tosses by Johnson, but a Cameron Berg hoop from beyond the arc and another nifty drive by Kyle Anderson (12 points, four rebounds, and five assists) had the Norsemen in control 37-17 at the intermission.

"That run they went on, we really tried to stop it with a couple of time outs, but the trap really hurt us," said Serena coach Jonathan Immel, whose teams have now dropped nine straight to their neighbors to the northeast. "When they put that on in the second quarter, that was a shift. We had some complacence in our offense tonight and got a little sloppy (20 turnovers). I didn't think our halfcourt defense was that bad, but when we turned it over they were going down dunking it and getting easy transition baskets. Against that team…you can't do that."

Husker senior Kevin Kreinbrink, who had a solid tournament, scored two of his 11 points (six rebounds)on a nifty drive to open the second half, but Serena was unable to gain any ground during the third period and trailed 51-30 heading to the fourth. Newark out-scored SHS 15-13 in the final period.

"I thought Cameron Berg had a terrific game tonight, he came out played hard and hit some big threes," Tollefson said. "Russ McGrath played steadier every game this week and I thought Paul did some good things. (Hines) rushed that first three, but the second one, at the end of the first quarter, he spotted up nice and knocked it down."

Newark 66, Serena 43

SERENA (43) — Johnson 4-12 4-4 14, Kreinbrink 3-13 3-4 11, Kent 0-2 0-0 0, Milam 1-5 0-0 2, Arnold 3-5 0-0 6, Clausel 2-2 0-0 4, Ro. McCaslin 1-4 0-0 2, Ri. McCaslin 0-1 0-2 0, Janssen 1-3 1-2 4, Murley 0-0 0-0 0, Ford 0-0 0-0 0, Clements 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 15-47 8-12 43.

NEWARK (66) — Ky. Anderson 6-16 0-0 12, B. Anderson 6-11 6-8 18, J. Anderson 3-4 0-0 7, Avery 7-9 2-2 16, McGrath 0-1 0-0 0, Berg 2-3 2-2 8, Hines 1-3 0-0 3, Warpinski 0-0 0-0 0, Thanepohn 1-1 0-0 2, Hughes 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 26-48 10-12 66.

Serena (13-9) 7 10 13 13 — 43

Newark (19-2) 11 26 14 15 — 66

3-point goals — Serena 5-15 (Johnson 2-6, Kreinbrink 2-5, Milam 0-1, Ro. McCaslin 0-1, Ri. McCaslin 0-1, Janssen 1-1); Newark 4-9 (Ky. Anderson 0-4, J. Anderson 1-1, Berg 2-3, Hines 1-1). Rebounds — Serena 26 (Kreinbrink 6); Newark 27 (Avery 5, Berg 5). Assists — Serena 7 (Clausel 2); Newark 16 (Ky. Anderson 5). Steals — Serena 4 (Johnson 2, Kreinbrink 2); Newark 9 (4 with 2). Blocks — Serena 1 (Clausel); Newark 1 (Warpinski). Turnovers — Serena 20, Newark 17. Total fouls (none fouled out) — Serena 19, Newark 13.



Little Ten All-Conference Boys Basketball 2009-10

Kyle Anderson and John Avery were unanimous choices for Newark. Anderson averaged 20.8 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game as a junior. He also shot 49.9 percent from the field.  Avery, a junior, averaged 13.3 points and 6.2 rebounds per game for the undefeated conference champs.

Senior Brady Johnson led Serena's honorees. Johnson averaged 17 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.9 steals per game for the Huskers. He's joined by Kevin Kreinbrink, a senior who averaged 11.6 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. Kreinbrink also shot 47 percent from the field.

Somonauk's Brad Baker also was a unanimous selection. A senior, Baker averaged 10.6 points per game. He also was a stellar 89.7 percent from the free-throw line.  Senior Eric Green was the other Bobcat to be honored. Green averaged 12 points and 6.9 rebounds per game for Somonauk. He also shot 49 percent from the field.

Heath Nicholson earned honors for Paw Paw. As a senior, Nicholson just missed a double-double, averaging 14.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game.

Danny Heath, senior from Leland-Earlville, averaged 10 points and 4.2 rebounds per game for the Panthers.

Junior Seth Sanderson from Indian Creek and senior Brian Michaels from Hinckley-Big Rock also were selected and were unanimous choices. Sanderson averaged 13.4 points and 8.1 rebounds per game for Indian Creek. Michaels, meanwhile, averaged 20.1 points per game for H-BR.

Other Notable Awards - Kyle Anderson was named to the Associated Press, Illinois Basketball Coaches Association and Sun-Times First Team All-State Teams.  Kyle also was a All-Tournament selection at the Plano Christmas Classic.

Brian Michaels was selected the the IBCA's fourth-team All-State and also All-Tournament at Plano Christmas Classic.

Danny Heath was named to the honorable mention list by the IBCA, while John Avery was named to the special mention list.

Final Standings                            


Newark            8-0

Somonauk          6-2

Serena            6-2

Paw Paw           5-3

Indian Creek      4-4

Leland-Earlville  3-5

Hinckley-Big Rock 3-5

Hiawatha          1-7

LaMoille          0-8