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Tribe wins twice, will face host Olney in semifinals
OLNEY - Lawrenceville High School's basketball team is in the hunt to win the Little Illini Conference Tournament for the first time since 2006.

The seventh-seeded Indians (8-11) beat both 10th-seeded Edwards County (72-49) and second-seeded Marshall (58-51) over the weekend, and will now face host third-seeded Olney in a 7:30 p.m. semifinal game Tuesday evening. A win would put the Tribe into the championship game for the first time since 2009. In Tuesday's opening semifinal, top-seeded Newton will do battle with fourth-seeded Casey.

"It's a great accomplishment for this young bunch of kids," said LHS coach Randy Bishop, whose team has won five of its last six games. "If you'd have told me before the season that we could achieve this, I'd have said that would be great. It gives us some momentum, with the regional coming up."

Lawrenceville 58, Marshall 51

The Indians had won two previous meetings with the Lions, and the third game proved to be the easiest.

The Tribe closed the third quarter with a 16-6 run, which gave it a 43-34 lead entering the final period. Despite missing eight fouls shots - including the front end of three one-and-ones - LHS was able to stave off the Lions (8-8), who got no closer than five points down the stretch.

"We worked hard tonight, defensively," Bishop said. "We ran a jump trap we'd been working on and they turned the ball over to us about three times. That kind of opened the game up for us a little bit."

The first half was as close as expected, with five lead changes and as many ties. There were five more lead changes and a tie in the second half before Lawrenceville took control.

Reserve Dylan Volkman started the LHS surge, scoring with an offensive rebound to give his team the lead for good, 29-28, at the 4:38 mark of the third period. Volkman immediately extended the lead, as he converted a Marshall turnover into another basket.

John Barnes accounted for the next two LHS baskets, the second after another Marshall miscue, and Harry Loeb's six-footer at the 1:51 mark of the third period stretched the advantage to 37-30. Barnes added two more foul shots, then a basket, before Cody Steffey's putback gave the Indians an nine-point lead entering the fourth quarter.

Barnes finished with a team-high 15 points, while Jordan Shick added 11 and Brandt Cochran 10 points and a team-high seven rebounds.

Marshall's Keegan Steele led all players with 18 points. Drew Morris added 14 and Chazz Lindsey 10.

"It's difficult to beat a team three times," Bishop said. "But our kids responded. They came to play tonight. They really did what we needed them to, especially during that spurt where we were pulling away. I just wish we'd have made our free throws (in the fourth quarter), and it wouldn't have been so difficult."

Lawrenceville 72, Edwards County 49

Although the Lions (10-9) had a nice run in the middle of the game, the Indians were never in trouble after building a 23-8 lead at the end of the opening period. The Tribe was on top 39-30 at halftime, then extended the margin to 62-40 after three periods.

"I don't want our players to get into the mode where they're not playing hard all the time," said Bishop. "There were times tonight where we didn't play as hard as we had been lately. I don't want to lose that intensity. To do well in this tournament you're going to have to play hard every minute, and I thought we relaxed a little bit tonight."

Loeb hit seven of 10 shots on his way to scoring a game-high 19 points for the Indians. He also led all players with nine rebounds.

Cody Steffey added 11 points off the bench, while Cochran contributed 10. Shick added nine points and six boards, while six others added at least a basket in the win.

Lukas Hortin, a 5-9 freshman, was the only Edwards County player to reach double figures with 14 points.

Friday

Lawrenceville 72, Edwards County 49

EDWARDS COUNTY (49)

Hortin (g) 4-10 4-6 14, Borowiak (f) 4-10 0-1 8, Metcalf (c) 2-5 1-2 5, Troyer 2-4 0-1 5, Potter (g) 2-6 0-1 5, Smith 1-3 0-0 3, Schuh (f) 1-4 0-0 2, Compton 1-2 0-0 2, Johnson 1-1 0-0 2, Mosson 0-0 2-4 2, Grimes 0-0 1-2 1. Totals 18-45 8-18 49.

LAWRENCEVILLE (72)

Loeb (g 7-10 4-6 19, Steffey 4-10 3-5 11, Cochran (f) 5-10 0-0 10, Shick (c) 3-5 1-2 9, Winingham (g) 2-7 2-2 6, Barnes (f) 2-4 2-3 6, Volkman 2-2 1-2 5, Wanke 1-1 0-0 2, Thompson 1-3 0-2 2, Mahrenholz 1-2 0-0 2, Benson 0-0 0-0 0, Sholders 0-0 0-0 0, Dorney 0-0 0-0 0, Fox 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 28-54 13-22 72.

3-point shooting: Edwards County 5-15 (Potter 1-3, Hortin 2-5, Schuh 0-2, Smith 1-3, Troyer 1-2), Lawrenceville 3-9 (Winningham 0-1, Loeb 1-4, Shick 2-2, Cochran 0-2). Rebounds: Edwards County 21 (Borowiak 4, Metcalf 4), Lawrenceville 31 (Loeb 9). Turnovers: Edwards County 20, Lawrenceville 14. Fouls: Edwards County 16, Lawrenceville 20.

Edwards County 8 22 10 9 - 49

Lawrenceville 23 16 23 10 - 72

Officials: Jim Fisher, Kirk Hacker, Ron Hacker.

Saturday

Lawrenceville 58, Marshall 51

LAWRENCEVILLE (58)

Barnes (c) 5-9 5-6 15, Shick (f) 3-9 5-6 11, Cochran (g) 3-7 2-3 10, Loeb (f) 2-6 3-7 7, Steffey 2-3 3-4 7, Volkman 2-2 0-0 4, Winningham (g) 1-9 0-0 2, Wanke 0-1 2-2 2, Benson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-49 20-28 58.

MARSHALL (51)

Steele (g) 6-13 18 4-5 18, Morris 6-9 0-0 14, Lindsey (g) 4-10 1-2 10, Davison (f) 1-8 2-2 4, Shaffner (c) 0-7 2-4 2, Brown 1-1 0-0 3, Thompson 0-2 0-0 0, Finkbiner 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-50 9-13 51.

3-point shooting: Lawrenceville 2-10 (Winningham 0-4, Barnes 0-1, Shick 0-1, Cochran 2-4), Marshall 6-17 (Steele 2-7, Lindsey 1-4, Davison 0-1, Morris 2-3, Thompson 0-1, Brown 1-1). Rebounds: Lawrenceville 33 (Loeb 7, Cochran 7), Marshall 30 (Davison 8, Morris 7). Turnovers: Lawrenceville 8, Casey 16. Fouls: Lawrenceville 15, Marshall 24. Fouled out: Shaffner (3:29 4th qtr.), Davison (:49, 4th qtr.)

Lawrenceville 10 12 21 15 - 58

Marshall 11 11 12 17 - 51

Officials: Johnny Meinhart, Don Lidy, Joe Lidy.





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