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Little Illini Conference Tournament
Olney knocks Tribe into 3rd-place game
OLNEY - Falling behind early, the Lawrenceville Indians found coming back against a surging Olney club, on its own court, a daunting task.

In Tuesday night's semifinal round of the Little Illini Conference tournament, the Indians fell to the Tigers 55-40 and will now play Newton for third place at 6:30 p.m. Friday.

Olney, 13-6 on the season and winners of seven in a row, will square off against Casey at 8 p.m. in the title game. Casey defeated Newton 50-39 in Tuesday's other semifinal game.

Lawrenceville, now 8-12, fell behind 10-2 after four minutes and trailed 26-14 at halftime and 39-24 after three quarters.

"We got down, but we fought back to nine and I thought they were doing pretty good, but they hit a couple shots and pulled away from us again," LHS coach Randy Bishop said following the contest. "We got after them, we just didn't get them."

Olney led by as many as 17 points twice in the third quarter and again early in the fourth quarter. The Indians, behind Brandt Cochran and Bryce Winningham, pulled to within nine with 4:48 to play, but could come no closer.

Down 41-24, Cochran hit a driving layup and was fouled and made the free throw. Another driving layup by Cochran and a 3-pointer from Winningham gave the Indians eight straight points and closed the gap to 41-32.

After that, the teams traded baskets with Winningham scoring on a baseline drive and Cochran hitting two free throws to make the score 46-36 with 3:27 left.

The Indians were forced to foul down the stretch and the Tigers hit their free throws to produce the final score.

Olney guard Chance Madden had a big night, going 7-for-8 from the field and 5-for-5 from the free throw line for 20 points. Alec St. Pierre scored 14 points and Tate Nohren 10 to give the Tigers good balance.

Olney was 20-for-35 from the field and 12-for-16 from the free throw line.

For the Indians, Cochran and Winningham each scored 12 points. Both scored 10 points in the second half. John Barnes finished with eight points, including six in the first half.

The Tigers held a 22-14 rebounding edge.

Olney controlled the tempo of the game, playing at a deliberate pace on offense and pushed the Indians away from the basket on defense. That strategy worked to take an early lead.

After the Indians scored first on a basket by Loeb, the Tigers hit a basket and a free throw and never trailed.

Loeb and Jordan Shick spent much of the first half on the bench with two fouls.

"They got us in the hole early. Jordan (Shick) and Harry (Loeb) getting into foul trouble early really hurt us because it took us out of sink offensively," Bishop said. "The other kids played real hard on defense, but you take two scorers out of the game, that hurts you and puts pressure on Cochran. I thought they really got after Cochran on defense."

Standing at 3-10 at one point, the Indians have won five of their last seven games with a win over Newton, their Friday opponent. Lawrenceville defeated the Eagles 59-53 on their own floor on Jan. 17.

"We have come a long way since Christmas. I just wish they could have played for first, it would have been quite a deal, but we're playing for third or fourth and there are a lot of teams sitting at home right now," Bishop said. "I'm proud of them. Tonight we didn't play quite as well and just didn't get it done."

In the other semifinal game, Casey led Newton throughout, including 35-29 after three quarters. Brandon Wolfe paced the winners with 24 points while sophomore Brock Mammoser led Newton with 14 points.

Olney 55,

Lawrenceville 40

LAWRENCEVILLE (40)

Loeb (g) 2-10 0-1 4, Barnes (f) 3-7 2-2 8, Shick (f) 1-2 0-0 2, Cochran (g) 4-12 3-3 12, Steffey (g) 1-2 0-0 2, Winningham 5-11 0-0 12, Volkman 0-1 0-0 0, Mahrenholz 0-1 0-0 0, Sholders 0-0 0-0 0, Benson 0-1 0-0 0, Thompson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 16-46 5-6 40.

OLNEY (55)

Madden (g) 7-8 5-5 20, Nohren (f) 3-9 4-4 10, Eth. Eagleson (g) 1-2 1-2 3, Ev. Eagleson (c) 3-4 1-2 8, St. Pierre (f) 6-12 1-2 14, R. Eagleson 0-0 0-1 0, Hahn 0-0 0-0 0, DeVenecia 0-0 0-0 0, Wyatt 0-0 0-0 0, Jones 0-0 0-0 0, Adams 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 20-35 12-16 55.

3-point shooting: Lawrenceville 3-14 (Winningham 2-6, Loeb 0-3, Cochran 1-4), Olney 3-13 (Madden 1-1, Nohren 0-3, Eth. Eagleson 0-1, Ev. Eagleson 1-2, St. Pierre 1-6). Rebounds: Lawrenceville 14 (Barnes 4), Olney 22 (Nohren 5). Fouls: Lawrenceville 17, Olney 7. Fouled out: Loeb (1:08, 4th qtr.) Turnovers: Lawrenceville 10, Olney 11.

Lawrenceville 6 8 10 16 - 40

Olney 10 16 13 16 - 55

Officials: Jim Wagner, Jason Wagner, Bryan Danks.



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