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Tigers put a damper on Indians' going-away party
Olney 53, Lawrenceville 48
LAWRENCEVILLE - Visiting Olney spoiled the party Friday evening, with a 53-48 win over Lawrenceville High School's basketball team in what was scheduled to be the final game ever played in the Lawrenceville High School gym.

With more than 30 players and coaches from the Indians' past state championship teams looking on, the Indians (5-21, 2-9 Little Illini Conference) led at each of the first three quarter stops, but faltered in the final two minutes.

"They took the momentum away from us," said LHS coach Randy Bishop. "They hit a big 3-pointer and made a couple of nice drives (to the basket). We fell asleep a couple of times and paid for it."

The Indians were in control for the game's first 28 minutes and held leads of 13-12, 27-23 and 42-37 at the quarter stops. Lawrenceville led by as many as 11 points, 36-25, two minutes into the second half.

Lawrenceville junior Austin Wanke scored to open the final period, giving the Indians a 44-37 advantage. Olney responded by scoring nine straight points and grabbed its first lead since the second period when Tate Nohren hit a 3-pointer for a 46-44 edge with just over five minutes remaining.

The Indians tied the game with 2:50 remaining on a driving basket by senior Braxton Blagrave, then took their final lead with 1:31 remaining when Ben Loeb's driving layup gave them a 48-46 edge.

The Tigers (15-13, 6-5 LIC), claimed the lead for good with 53 seconds remaining, 49-48, thanks to Chance Madden's 3-pointer from the left baseline.

To make matters worse, Nohren quickly turned a LHS turnover into an easy basket, stretching the lead to 51-48. After a LHS miss, the Tigers closed out the game on Madden's two foul shots with five seconds to play.

Loeb, who hit seven of 11 shots, topped LHS with 14 points, while Wanke came off the bench to hit five of seven shots and score 10 points. Cochran added eight points, Blagrave seven, Austin Dorney four, Jacob Potts three and Dylan Volkman two for the Tribe.

Nohren, a sophomore, hit nine of 19 shots and led all players with 24 points. Madden added 20, as those two combined for 44 of Olney's 53 points.

The highlight to the evening was prior to the game, when LHS honored the 1972, 1974, 1982 and 1983 Illinois Class A state champions, all coached by Ron Felling, in front of a near-capacity crowd.

After all the players were introduced, Felling was escorted to a table at mid-court that displayed the four championship trophies. Felling was accompanied by Rick Leighty, Jay Shidler, Doug Novsek and 1983 Illinois Mr. Basketball Marty Simmons, all of whom have had their jerseys retired by the school.

"We did a lot of things to try to get the players ready for this game and I thought they responded well," Bishop said. "Earlier today we had them watch (the 1983 state championship game), with Marty and Coach Felling and those guys. Our players weren't even born then, but it helped motivate them. They tried their best to win, but our youth showed up a little bit."

Lawrenceville closed out the junior varsity season with a 50-35 win to finish 10-5. Wanke and Dalton Sholders both scored 11 for the Indians.

The Indians will travel to Hamilton County High School at McLeansboro this evening for an 8 p.m. Class 2A regional matchup against Fairfield. The winner will face Mount Carmel at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the semifinals.

Olney 53,

Lawrenceville 48

OLNEY (53)

Nohren (f) 9-19 4-6 24, Madden (g) 5-7 7-8 20, St. Pierre (c) 3-9 0-0 6, Et. Eagleson 1-1 1-1 3, Ev. Eagleson (g) 0-2 0-0 0, R. Eagleson 0-0 0-0 0. Hahn 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-38 12-15 53.

LAWRENCEVILLE (48)

Loeb (f) 7-11 0-0 14, Wanke 5-7 0-2 10, Cochran (g) 2-5 2-2 8, Blagrave (g) 3-12 0-0 7, Dorney (c) 2-6 0-0 4, Potts (f) 1-2 0-0 3, Volkman 1-2 0-0 2, Steffey 0-0 0-0 0, Benson 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 21-46 2-4 48.

3-point shooting: Olney 5-8 (Madden 3-3, Ev. Eagleson 0-1, Nohren 2-4), Lawrenceville 4-10 (Potts 1-2, Blagrave 1-2, Loeb 0-2, Cochran 2-4). Rebounds: Olney 20 (Nohren 7), Lawrenceville 20 (Wanke 7). Turnovers: Olney 12, Lawrenceville 9. Fouls: Olney 9, Lawrenceville 15.

Olney 12 11 14 16 - 53

Lawrenceville 13 14 15 6 - 48

Officials: Jim Wagner, Jason Wagner, Skip Dillon. Junior varsity: Lawrenceville 50 (Wanke 11, Dalton Sholders 11), Olney 35.



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