Okawville nabs sixth straight regional title
Rockets roll past cold shooting Marissa-Coulterville, 52-33
STEELEVILLE - The Okawville Rockets, year after year, prepare themselves for the postseason.

And for the sixth consecutive time, and the eighth time in the four-class era, Coach Jon Kraus has led his club to a regional championship.

The Rockets topped Marissa-Coulterville last February in the regional title game at Marissa on a last second shot.

There was no need for late game heroics in the rematch a year later.

Okawville shut down Coach Scott Wine's club in a 52-33 romp that wasn't as close the score would indicate.

The Meteors missed their first 14 field goal attempts and never got back within single digits as their season ended at 25-6.

While M-C missed shot after shot, the Rockets took care of business as their guard play on this night, as it has been for most of the season, was stellar.

Five-foot-eight junior Jacksen Harre came up big for Okawville as he poured in a game-best 20 points in the win.

Backcourt mate junior Lucas Frederking added 13 points while 6-foot-8 center Jackson Heckert tossed in nine points while grabbing eight rebounds.

The Rockets also got eight important points from 6-foot-7 junior Mason Meyer in the dominating effort.

“The last thing we talked about in the lockerroom before we came out was that the first three minutes of the game were going to be important. We thought that they would come out really hard against us, try to get into us a little bit,” said Coach Kraus. “We have played in so many games with atmospheres like this, all season long against 2A and 3A teams that are more physical, stronger. So we aren't afraid of that. We attacked better than we have all year tonight.”

The Meteors' season came to a halt with senior Sebastion Ivory-Greer closing out his prep career with 14 points before fouling out in the fourth quarter.

Logan Jones, another senior leader for the club, added 12 points.

So how bad was the shooting for the Meteors?

Coach Wine saw his club end up a miserable 9-of-43 from the field, and just 2-of-13 from the 3-point line.

The 0-of-14 beginning was too much to overcome for Marissa-Coulterville as they will have to wait for another season to snag a regional crown.

The program hasn't won a regional championship since 1982-83 when they were still the Marissa Meteors without the Coulterville cooperative.

The Rockets did have their own issues on the night, but none of the negative numbers ended up helping M-C get any sort of run together.

Okawville was just 13-of-31 from the foul line, including 10 missed free throws in the fourth quarter.

They also turned the ball over 13 times.

However they held a 29-25 rebounding edge and shot the ball much better than Marissa-Coulterville.

Okawville ended up at exactly 50 percent shooting on the night.

The Rockets hit 15-of-30 from inside the arc while nailing 3-of-6 from deep.

The game itself was as lopsided as the numbers.

With a big crowd on hand at Steeleville, the Meteors and their faithful watched in dismay as shot after shot misfired.

Most just couldn't find the bottom of the net and they clanged off of the rim.

The more the Meteors missed, the worse things got.

Okawville took advantage of the cold shooting performance by getting the ball inside early to both Heckert and Meyers.

A nice assist on the Meyers' score by Frederking gave the Rockets an early 4-0 lead.

After Jones finally got Marissa-Coulterville on the board by hitting 1-of-2 free throws, Frederking and Harre made the first two big offensive plays to send them on the way to the championship.

Frederking knocked down a 3-pointer from the right corner and, on the next possession, Harre got loose for a drive to the basket for a conventional three-point play that closed the quarter at 10-1 Okawville.

In the first quarter alone, M-C was 0-of-10 from the floor and committed four turnovers.

Harre nailed a 3-pointer to start the scoring in the second quarter and Heckert added 1-of-2 free throws for a 14-1 lead with 6:28 before halftime.

M-C senior Blake Steinwagner scored his only two points on a rebound put-back with 6:10 left as the team went nearly 10 minutes without a field goal.

Heckert then hit the offensive glass for a score and the big guy hit a nice hook shot from the right blocks as Okawville extended the lead to 18-5.

Jones and Ivory-Greer finally got shots to fall with Jones scoring on a mid range shot and Ivory-Greer hitting his only 3-pointer.

But the half stayed in the control of the Rockets as Harre, Frederking and Meyer each produced points before the break.

Frederking nailed his second 3-pointer while Harre scored another penetration into the lane.

Harre added two free throws and Frederking dished inside to Meyer for a lay in with under a minute left for a 27-10 lead.

Marissa-Coulterville got a 3-pointer from senior Kade Portz to close the first half scoring with the Rockets in charge and the Meteors in trouble.

“Lucas Frederking got going early and hit 3's which opened the floor up for Harre. If you give him some space he can get to the rim. Once we got some 3's and opened the floor up some and we were better than we have been at finding the open man,” said Coach Kraus.

Harre scored two straight times to open the second half and Meyer added another bucket as the lead reached 33-15 with 4:24 left.

Ivory-Greer got going a bit in the third with a three-point play on a drive inside and then a rebound of his own missed shot in the lane.

The Rockets, by this point, had begun running the clock by spreading the floor on offense.

This paid off on a nice lob pass assist from Heckert to Meyer for a basket and a 36-20 lead.

Two free throws by Jones closed out the quarter with Okawville up 14 heading to the fourth.

The Rockets left the door open for a M-C comeback by missing a slew of free tosses in the final six minutes of play.

However there was no rally.

The Meteors were just 4-of-13 in the final frame from the field.

Portz, Ivory-Greer and Steinwagner all fouled out late and Harre added one more shot to the heart of the Meteors; a drive in the paint for another three-point play.

Two free throws by Okawville junior Caleb Unverfehrt gave the Rockets their largest lead at 51-30 before both coaches looked to their “pine for clean up time.”

The Rockets improved to 22-8 on the season and they advanced to the 1A Norris City-Omaha-Enfield Sectional where they will play Goreville Wednesday night at 7 pm.

“They (regional championships) are all great and all different with different kids. We played our best game tonight, we competed,” said Coach Kraus. “We guarded them. We made them shoot over us and then we didn't give them second chance points. They only got one shot for most of the first half. If you can do that in the postseason you can be very effective.”

1A Steeleville Regional Championship

Marissa-Coulterville (33)
– Ivory-Greer 3 1 5-5 14, Rahlfs 0 0 0-0 0, Portz 0 1 0-0 3, Steinwagner 1 0 0-0 2, Harrell 1 0 0-0 2, Gilley 0 0 0-0 0, Trieb 0 0 0-0 0, Cathcart 0 0 0-0 0, Jones 2 1 5-8 12, Lawless 0 0 0-1 0.
2FG-7, 3FG-2, FT-10-13, PF-24.
Okawville (52) – Harre 6 0 8-17 20, Frederking 1 3 2-2 13, Rulevish 0 0 0-0 0, Unverfehrt 0 0 2-2 2, Meyer 4 0 0-0 8, Parsley 0 0 0-2 0, Kolweier 0 0 0-0 0, Bening 0 0 0-0 0, Heckert 4 0 1-4 9.
2FG-15, 3FG-3, FT-13-31, PF-12.
Fouled Out
– Ivory-Greer, Portz, Steinwagner, Gilley - Marissa-Coulterville.
Technical Fouls
– None.