Webber Township wins OT battle
Trojans rally past Gallatin County, 53-48 to reach title game
Red Hill, Wayne City also win to set up Friday night showdown

WAYNE CITY – The Webber Township Trojans have been looking for an important victory.

A signature win that has eluded this veteran senior group since their freshman season three years ago.

The last two really big games that they played in, at the end of 2016-17 season and early this winter, the Trojans and head coach Brad Beaty fell just short.

Webber Township had lost back-to-back championship games in overtime, in last February's 1A Regional at Wayne City to Woodlawn and a heartbreaking loss to Christopher in the title game of the Christopher Thanksgiving Tournament three weeks ago.

But on Wednesday night, this coach and this team broke through this barrier.

The Trojans dug deep and gutted out a 53-48 overtime win over Gallatin County to win Pool A of the 64th annual Wayne City Holiday Tournament with a 3-0 mark.

The Trojans will now play for the championship at Wayne City for the first time since 2005 with this come-from-behind victory.

“This was just a hard, gut wrenching win. I'm proud for the kids. They are seniors and they haven't played in a championship game over here in this tournament. Last year here we lost in overtime in the regional and then we lost at Christopher in overtime. I'm just happy for the kids,” said Coach Beaty.

Trailing for most of the first half Webber made the right adjustments and the right moves in the second half.

They hit the big shots and made the big plays.

No play or shot was bigger than the one made by senior Charles Neal with just seconds remaining in regulation.

Down 43-41 in the final moments, Webber Township in bounded the ball to the 6-foot-4 forward, who drove the lane and got his left handed runner to bank home to beat the buzzer to send the game into overtime.

Neal scored 14-points and grabbed nine-rebounds for Webber Township and he added two important three-point plays, one in the fourth quarter and the second one in overtime.

Senior guard Dylan Stratton topped the Trojans with 15-points while classmate Brody Hart added 10-points.

Hart made perhaps the biggest defensive play of the night in overtime to help Webber Township keep the lead.

Leading 51-48, Hart got in front of Gallatin County's Audie Goebel to take a charge with just :23.9 left.

“The kid that never gets talked about on our team is Dalton Hart. He hit some big 3's for us tonight but he will take a big charge at the most crucial part of the ball game. Every good team has to have a player like that,” said Coach Beaty.

Stratton had a chance to clinch the win from the foul line moments later but he missed two straight free throws.

Coach Doug Miller's Hawks had two open looks at 3-point shots in the final moments.

Goebel launched a 20-footer from the left wing that did everything but find the bottom of the net.

His shot caromed off of the rim and backboard before falling away.

The rebound ended up with Gallatin County and sophomore Dawson Hish, who had made four other 3-pointers in the game.

Hish missed from the right wing as the ball sailed out of bounds back to Webber Township.

Stratton was fouled again on the ensuing in bounds play with just :05.6 remaining.

He made up for his previous missed foul shots as he calmly iced the game by sinking a pair of free throws, while sinking Gallatin County's chance at the tournament championship.

“I told the guys tonight in the huddle 'we're gonna win this basketball game'. We were down by two at the end of the game and Charles (Neal) got a good look at it and threw in a miracle shot,” said Coach Beaty. “Once we got into overtime I told the guys that sometimes when the team loses the two point lead before overtime, sometimes it takes the air out of them.”

The Hawks were in control for most of the first half as Hish and Goebel led the Gallatin County attack with 21 and 13-points respectively.

The pair helped fuel an early offensive run.

After taking a 12-8 lead at the end of the first quarter, Gallatin County was very close to pulling away from the Trojans in the second quarter.

Back-to-back scores to open the frame, a bucket by junior Robbie Prince and a 3-pointer by Hish, gave the Hawks a 17-8 advantage.

Hish produced a conventional three-point play on a fast break and then nailed yet another 3-pointer as Gallatin County led 23-14.

Trailing 25-19 at the half, the Trojans went on a 10-2 run to take back the lead.

Hart nailed a pair of 3-pointers in the run and added a drive to the basket for a score.

Senior Brody Mount added a bucket in the run as Webber took the lead at 29-27.

Senior Aaron Walters and Goebel scored on consecutive trips to give back the lead to the Hawks, but Stratton hit a pair of free throws to send the teams to the fourth quarter tied at 31-all.

For Coach Miller, the chances were there to get the win and head into the title game on Saturday.

The Hawks scored the first five points in the quarter with Hish and Prince both scoring on cuts to the basket while Prince would later add a free throw.

But it was at the foul line where the Hawks had their chances to win the contest but failed.

With the game tied at 38-38, both Hish and Goebel went to the line with chances to extend the lead.

However both of these Hawks made just 1-of-2 from the stripe.

Neal gave the Trojans back the lead with a spinning drive in the lane for a score while being fouled by Goebel with :52.4 left.

“Free throw shooting and us not boxing out cost us tonight. We talked about this, if we make the free throws late in the game, then they have to foul us and chase us,” said Coach Miller. “My kids have a lot of heart and we are going to go back to the drawing board and work on free throw shooting, boxing out and not giving up three-point plays.”

The made free throw proved to be very important as it gave Webber a 41-40 lead.

Important because the next possession, Gallatin County worked the ball to Hish who found himself open from the right wing again.

This time his 3-point bomb gave the Hawks back the lead at 43-41.

Webber took a time out at :13.3 remaining to set up a play.

But with a foul to give, the Hawks committed a foul with :06 left, leaving Webber an in bounds play to try and get the tie.

After both teams strategically used timeouts, Webber got the ball inside to Neal, who found the mark to send the teams to the extra session.

Gallatin County hit 17-of-32 shots from the field, including 5-of-11 from the arc.

But they can point to just 9-of-14 from the foul line, including just 3-of-6 while trying to protect a fourth quarter lead.

Gallatin County committed 15-turnovers, including five in the third quarter which allowed Webber Township to rally.

Webber Township finished just 16-of-41 from the field but they also managed to get 11-second chance offensive rebounds.

The Trojans won the glass battle, 27-17 and committed just 11-turnovers by comparison.

They also kept the Hawks off of the offensive boards, allowing just four such rebounds.

The only non-senior in the Webber Township starting lineup is sophomore Dalton Adcock.

He is worthy of a big mention as he hit some key shots and picked up some important rebounds.

Adcock scored nine-points while grabbing seven-boards.

He hit a 3-pointer to go along with a couple of other field goals as Gallatin County didn't guard the sophomore from the outside.

All added up, it was an important win that gets Webber Township to the title game on Saturday.

The Trojans, now 8-1 overall, will play the winner of the Wayne City/Red Hill contest that will be played Friday night.

“This is the first time that we have played on a Saturday night here in my six years of being here,” said Coach Beaty. “We had always fell short for a spot to play for a trophy.”

Gallatin County (6-3) will face the loser in the third place contest, also on Saturday.

“They (Webber Township) are a well coached team and a very talented team,” said Coach Miller. “We knew it was going to be a tough game.”

Webber Township
Gallatin County
Webber Township (53) – Stratton 1 2 7-11 15, Adcock 2 1 2-2 9, Hart 2 2 0-0 10, Mount 1 1 0-0 5, Neal 5 0 4-4 14, Thompson 0 0 0-0 0, Davis 0 0 0-0 0.
2FG-10, 3FG-6, FT-13-17, PF-15.

Gallatin County (48)
– Goebel 4 1 2-3 13, Prince 1 0 3-4 5, Walters 2 0 0-0 4, Rushing 2 0 1-2 5, Hish 3 4 3-5 21, Artman 0 0 0-0 0, Keisecomes 0 0 0-0 0, Br. Seely 0 0 0-0 0.
2FG-12, 3FG-5, FT-9-14, PF-16.

Fouled Out
– Rushing - Gallatin County.
Technical Fouls
– None.
The Indians improved to 7-1 overall and 2-0 in Pool B with the win over the Trojans.

Junior guard Jayzale O'Neal paced the Tribe with 16-points while senior forward Remington Henson added 13-points in the lopsided win.

Dane Horton, a junior forward, netted 10-points as the Indians are now a win away from the championship game.

The Trojans fell to 1-2 in the tournament and 8-4 overall.

Sophomore Tony Lakotich scored 13-points for Crab Orchard while freshman Kegan Peek added 10-points.

Crab Orchard
Wayne City
Crab Orchard (46) – Throgmorton 0 1 0-0 3, Stephens 0 1 0-0 3, Meyers 1 0 5-6 7, Lakotich 2 3 0-0 13, Whitehead 0 2 1-3 7, Peek 4 0 2-2 10, Watts 0 1 0-0 3, Elders 0 0 0-0 0, Tiberio 0 0 0-0 0, Powell 0 0 0-0 0, Killman 0 0 0-0 0, Hodge 0 0 0-0 0, Bailey 0 0 0-0 0, Rix 0 0 0-0 0, Tippy 0 0 0-0 0.
2FG-7, 3FG-8, FT-8-11, PF-14.

Wayne City (72) – Barbee 3 0 0-2 6, O'Neal 6 1 1-2 16, Smith 1 1 0-0 5, King 2 0 3-3 7, Horton 4 0 2-2 10, Carbonetti 1 0 1-2 3, Clark 0 1 0-0 3, Sledge 0 0 0-0 0, Miller 0 0 2-2 2, Durham 0 0 0-0 0, Henson 6 0 1-3 13, Dickey 0 0 3-3 3, Barnard 0 0 0-0 0.
2FG-21, 3FG-3, FT-13-19, PF-10.

Fouled Out – None.
Technical Fouls – None.
The Salukis stayed in the title chase of the tournament with a win over the Bison.

Coach Bryan Havill saw his club jump out to a 40-20 halftime lead and never looked back to improve to 2-0 in Pool B and also 5-4 overall on the season.

Senior Corbin Shoulders topped the attack with 17-points while junior Drew Moore tossed in 15-points in the victory.

Conner McKinney and Patrick Havill, both juniors, added eight and seven-points respectively.

Grayville fell to 0-3 in Pool B and 1-6 overall.

Cole Neely topped the Bison with 13-points in the loss while senior Marcus Risley added nine.

Red Hill
Red Hill (65) – Murray 3 0 0-0 6, Havill 2 1 0-0 7, McKinney 1 2 0-0 8, Co. Benson 0 0 0-0 0, Moore 5 1 2-2 15, Henry 0 0 0-0 0, Wells 2 0 0-0 4, Ray 0 1 0-0 3, Shoulders 5 2 1-3 17, Allen 2 0 0-0 4, Nash 0 0 1-2 1, Ca. Benson 0 0 0-0 0, Wirth 0 0 0-0 0, Volkman 0 0 0-0 0.
2FG-20, 3FG-7, FT-4-7, PF-13.

Grayville (33) – Funkhouser 1 0 0-0 2, Neely 2 3 0-0 13, Stockton 0 1 0-0 3, Risley 3 0 3-6 9, Hatcher 0 0 0-0 0, Cowling 0 1 0-0 3, A. Finch 0 0 0-0 0, Worley 0 0 0-0 0, C. Finch 0 1 0-0 3, Cherry 0 0 0-0 0, Koester 0 0 0-0 0.
2FG-6, 3FG-6, FT-3-6, PF-7.

Fouled Out –None.
Technical Fouls – None.