Woodlawn, Pinckneyville set for rematch
Cardinals hold off Okawville; Panthers wear down Freeburg
On Thursday night at the Carlyle “Kaskaskian Classic” the Woodlawn Cardinals jumped out to an early lead and held off a rally by Okawville to move into their second consecutive title game in this, the 21st annual event.

The Cardinals hit their free throws (11-of-11) with nine-straight made tosses in the fourth quarter to win Pool B by going 3-0 to earn a shot at the title.

In its 55-43 win, after Okawville rallied to tie the game at 37-all just seconds into the final quarter and 39-all with 6:30 left, Coach Brian Gamber saw his team hold the Rockets without a made field goal for nearly the entire fourth quarter.

Woodlawn forced five turnovers and 0-for-3 shooting by Okawville from the floor in that time frame.

The Cardinals are now 4-0 on the season and will face Pinckneyville in the title game on Saturday night in a rematch of last season's tournament finale

The Panthers won the 2018 contest 67-46 and the Panthers will be going for a three-peat in the title game, having also won the 2017 event.

“It was a good win. They (Okawville) do many things right. After about the four minute mark of the third quarter I thought we did a much better job being patient,” said Coach Gamber. “Like I told the team, when you play good teams that guard you the right way and scout you the right way, you can't just dribble down a get a good shot. You have to work it, you have to screen, you got to cut. You have to do everything right and work your tail off to get open looks. We did a much better job after that and in the entire fourth quarter.”

Woodlawn got a game-high 19 points from Race Rynski.

The 6-foot-2 senior forward spent a lot of time hurt last season with a bad ankle but now he is back healthy, which provides a big weapon for Coach Gamber.

Senior guard Blake McKay added 16 points for Woodlawn.

McKay struggled some from the floor in the game but he canned 7-of-7 free throws in the fourth quarter and his drive to the basket for a conventional three-point play with 6:10 left broke the final tie.

Chase Hollenkamp pitched in nine points for Woodlawn and he also added to the big shot heroics.

His 3-point bomb after the McKay “and-one” off of a Okawville turnover helped put the game out of reach, part of a 10-0 run to end the drama.

Junior guard Jackson Tiemann ended up with five points in the game, including two free throws in the run.

When Rynski stuck back a missed McKay shot in the lane, Woodlawn was in charge at 49-39 with 1:28 left.

“He missed all but five games last season and people are going to find out that he is a pretty darn good player,” said Coach Gamber about Rynski. “He is a tough matchup for teams because he can shoot it and he can drive to the basket. He brings a toughness factor to us that every team needs. He kind of plays with a chip on his shoulder and I like that. We need him out there on the floor. He stepped up big tonight.”

Woodlawn's Hayden England, a junior guard, added six points before fouling out in the fourth quarter.

Okawville had its chances as Coach Jon Kraus saw his team commit too many turnovers (17) with most coming when they were trying to mount a comeback as they slipped to 2-1 on the season and into the third place game on Saturday against Freeburg.

The Rockets ended up 15-of-30 from the floor but five turnovers in each of the last three quarters were too much to overcome.

Six-foot-eight senior center Jackson Heckert came up big in the lane for Okawville, netting a team-best 16-points.

But 12 of those points came in the first half with just the one field goal in the fourth.

Junior guard Lucas Frederking added 10 points for the Rockets while junior guards Jackson Harre and Tyler Parsley added six points each.

“We got it close and tied it at 39, then we went a long stretch without scoring,” said Coach Kraus. “We didn't do a job executing and I have to do a better job getting guys in better spots. But again it is the third game of the season and overall there are a lot of things that we need to work on. But we knew that coming into this tournament. We will get better and we have to learn from the mistakes that we made.

Woodlawn ended up 18-of-41 from the floor and 8-of-21 from the arc.

Three of the treys the Cardinals made came early on.

England hit two 3-pointers and Hollenkamp hit one in the opening minutes while McKay started the game with a shot from the left wing.

Rynski added six points with two free throws a pair of field goals.

In the closing seconds of the quarter, the senior got the ball in the lane on a drive.

He then faked an Okawville defender into the air before drilling home a 10 footer in the paint just before the buzzer for a 19-10 Cardinals' advantage.

“They had some kids step up for them. Number 11 (Rynski) stepped up and hit some big shots for them (Woodlawn) and that is what you need in these type of games. We knew about McKay but their other guys stepped up for them,” said Coach Kraus.

In what turned out to be the toughest quarter for Woodlawn, the Rockets rallied to within six at halftime.

The Cardinals were just 3-of-10 from the floor and committed four turnovers.

Heckert scored eight of the points for Coach Kraus, all coming in close to the basket as he was a mismatch underneath.

Okawville's Caleb Unverfehrt added a 3-pointer for his only points as the half ended at 27-21 Woodlawn.

The two teams combined for six made 3-point shots in the third quarter, as Okawville edged closer by connecting on four of them.

Two each by Frederking and Parsley to be exact.

Following a Tiemann 3-pointer, Okawville gave the ball back to Woodlawn who was holding the ball for a final shot in the quarter when they, too, coughed up a turnover.

Harre nailed a 3-pointer just before the horn sounded as Okawville had some momentum heading into the fourth down just 37-34.

Woodlawn closed out the game and booked a spot in the final while shutting down the Rockets in the final quarter.

The Cardinals slightly won the rebounding battle at 19-17 while committing just nine turnovers with just four of those in the final two quarters of play.

“They are good for a reason, they have a great program and do the things the right way,” said Coach Gamber. “For early in the year, this is a really good test. A game like this will show you what areas of weakness are and what are your strengths. It was a good test and a good win.”


Okawville (43)
– Harre 1 0 4-5 6, Frederking 1 2 2-2 10, Unverfehrt 0 1 0-0 3, Meyer 1 0 0-0 2, Parsley 0 2 0-0 6, Jansen 0 0 0-0 0, Heckert 7 0 2-5 16.
2FG-10, 3FG-4, FT-8-12, PF-12.

Woodlawn (55) – Fewkes 0 0 0-0 0, Hunter England 0 0 0-0 0, Rynski 7 1 2-2 19, McKay 3 1 7-7 16, Hollenkamp 0 3 0-0 9, Tiemann 0 1 2-2 5, Hayden England 0 2 0-0 6.
2FG-10, 3FG-8, FT-11-11, PF-13.

Fouled Out – Hayden England - Woodlawn.
Technical Fouls – None.
The Panthers survived some early shooting issues as they finally wore down Freeburg in the opening semifinal game Thursday night.

Coach Bob Waggoner has a squad that is as deep as Carlyle Lake and they showed it in the victory.

Despite opening the game by missing their first seven field goal attempts, the Panthers' defense never takes time to warm up.

Pinckneyville forced the Midgets into 20 turnovers and a 15-of-38 shooting night as they moved into the championship game set for Saturday.

Dawson Yates, a senior guard who has been on the varsity level since his freshman season, scored 20 points for his now 4-0 club, 3-0 in winning Pool A.

Senior guard Hunter Riggins added 18 points while senior forward Devin Kitchen added 11.

Freeburg slipped into the third place game and are now 2-1 in Pool A and overall for the season.

Coach Matt Laur's club had a bright spot as junior guard Jacob Blomenkamp led everyone in scoring with 23 points.

The Midgets didn't place another scorer in double-digits as senior guard Luke Ervie ended up with just nine points.

With the Panthers having trouble finding the range in the early stages, Freeburg managed three different leads.

Blomenkamp hit two of his four 3-pointers in the first quarter and Ervie scored twice on drives to the goal.

His second field goal gave the Midgets their final lead at 10-9 with only :30 left in the first.

However Riggins, who had nailed his first 3-pointer of the game earlier, stepped up and converted from the arc to close the scoring at 12-10 Pinckneyville.

Pinckneyville had an 11 point leads in the second quarter but settled for a 30-24 halftime advantage as Freeburg rallied.

Five points by Blomenkamp and another bucket by Ervie got the Midgets close one last time at 37-31 with 4:29 left.

Freeburg didn't score another point before the third quarter ended and Pinckneyville used the time to go on a 9-0 run.

Yates sandwiched a pair of scores around two baskets by Riggins with the last one becoming a conventional three-point play, making it 46-31 heading into the fourth.

Riggins and Yates again started strong in the final quarter, while Kitchen added a shot just outside of the paint to push the margin to 57-35.

Riggins also got into the fun of converting three-point plays, ending his scoring night with it 60-40 with 1:09 remaining.

Pinckneyville ended up with a 24-of-54 shooting performance overall and they committed 10 turnovers.

Freeburg held a slight 26-25 advantage on the boards.


Freeburg (45)
– Ervie 3 1 0-0 9, Blomenkamp 4 4 3-5 23, Lickenbrock 0 0 2-2 2, Holcomb 0 0 0-0 0, Stone 0 0 0-0 0, Bruggemann 1 0 3-7 5, Range 1 0 1-2 3, Carmack 1 0 1-2 3.
2FG-10, 3FG-5, FT-10-18, PF-14.

Pinckneyville (62) – Restoff 1 0 0-0 2, D. Riggins 0 0 0-0 0, Yates 5 2 4-4 20, Ritter 0 0 0-0 0, Tanner 1 0 0-1 2, Carter 0 0 0-0 0, Scott 2 0 3-4 7, H. Riggins 4 3 1-1 18, Adcock 0 0 0-0 0, Szczepanski 1 0 0-0 2, Dagner 0 0 0-0 0, Kitchen 4 1 0-0 11.
2FG-18, 3FG-6, FT-8-10, PF-21.

Fouled Out – Kitchen - Pinckneyville..
Technical Fouls – None.