Nokomis' early run dooms hosts
Redskins roll to 18-2 lead, hold Eagles at bey, 57-41
– The Nokomis Redskins picked up a non-conference road win at St. Elmo/Brownstown on Thursday night as they jumped out to a big early lead.

While in a perfect world Coach Steve Kimbro's squad would have cruised into high gear and won with ease, but in the 57-41 triumph they sort of limped down the shoulder of the freeway to the exit ramp.

Jumping out to an 18-2 first quarter lead, Nokomis' engine “coughed and sputtered” for the final three quarters.

The club improved to 9-4 on the season with the win, nevertheless, as they did just enough to keep the Eagles from making a serious dent in the advantage the visitors had from the outset.

Nokomis was led by all-state candidate 6-foot-8 junior forward Carter Sabol with 16-points and 10-rebounds.

Six-foot-two senior Mason Stewart tossed home 14-points while 6-foot-2 senior Isaiah Bruder added 12 to the totals, that added up to a road win over a pretty good 1A opponent as the Redskins head to a break as they don't participate in a holiday tournament.

St. Elmo/Brownstown got 13-points from junior guard Andy Goldsborough as he was the only Eagle in double-digits.

Three different Eagles, however, scored six-points.

Senior Tyler Brooks, sophomore Jace McWhorter and sophomore Jaxon Tish added to the points for Coach Greg Feezel's club that saw it's mark slip to 6-6.

“I told the kids yesterday. Here is how Nokomis beats you. They beat you right off the bat and get a big lead on you, then they play you even the rest of the way. That's what they do and they do it well,” said Coach Feezel. “We played pretty even with them the rest of the way but you can't be down 16 and expect to win. I'm proud of what we did defensively tonight in the last three quarters.”

Like the Redskins, SEB doesn't play in a holiday tournament as each of the teams won't play again until January.

Nokomis had chances to put the Eagles away in the second half but a combination of 10-turnovers after the first quarter and just 18-of-31 shooting from the foul line allowed the host team to hang around.

“It wasn't like the game was in jeopardy but we just made poor decisions out there and poor execution at times,” said Coach Kimbro. “I think they got it down to 11 a couple of times. But you know, with a 3-point shot, if you miss a couple and they hit a couple it's a five point ballgame. We just don't play smart at times.”

As most winning programs do, the Redskins played well on the defensive end, forcing St. Elmo/Brownstown into a tough shooting night.

These Eagles were just 16-of-44 from the field overall, 4-of-17 from the arc as they fell to 6-6 on the season.

The rebounding battle went easily to the Redskins, as they pounded the glass for a 28-17 edge.

After spotting the hosts a 2-0 lead, Nokomis dominated the rest of the first quarter with 18 unanswered points.

Sabol showed that he is more than just an inside player as he started the scoring for the Redskins with a 3-point bomb from the left wing.

Tosetti scored on a rebound put-back and on inbounds play.

A 3-pointer from senior Trevor Wright forced a St. Elmo/Brownstown time out at 10-2 Nokomis.

Sabol, Wright and Stewart all added points to continue the run.

Wright closed the frame on a drive to the basket that beat the horn for a 16-point lead.

“We went out (in the first quarter) and executed well and got the ball where we wanted. But we just had too many unforced errors. These are things we talk about every day. In a closer ballgame it is going to cost you,” said Coach Kimbro. “We let down mentally at times and physically at times. When we do that it leads to points for our opponents. Our focus has got to get better. The puzzle pieces (for us) are there. We have just got to do a better job of putting them together.”

St. Elmo/Brownstown got a pair of scores from Brooks and a 3-pointer from Tish in the second quarter.

Nokomis got an inside score from Sabol and a basket on a drive by Stewart to give Nokomis a 26-9 lead.

A McWhorter steal and lay in closed the half with the Eagles down by 15.

The second quarter wasn't nearly as pretty as the first frame for Nokomis.

But as they did for the remainder of the game, they kept the hosts in front of them.

Coach Feezel saw his club get to within 11-point twice in the third quarter only to be thwarted by Nokomis.

McWhorter scored twice in succession for SEB as they cut the margin to just 29-18 with 6:04 left in the third.

A driving lay in by Brooks and a three-point play by Goldsborough closed it to 38-27 with 1:27 remaining.

Each time Nokomis answered.

Six-consecutive points to close out the thrid by the Redskins' Stewart, Wright and Bruder pushed the lead back to 17.

Bruder closed the scoring by grabbing a rebound of a missed Wright free throw to make it 44-27 at the end of the third.

It turned into a 10-0 run as Sabol scored to open the fourth and Stewart also got inside for points and a 48-27 advantage.

“He (Sabol) is athletic and mobile. He's as quick as a 6-1 kid,” said Coach Kimbro. “He stepped out and hit a three for us tonight. He is a good 12-foot shooter, too. He is a great ball handler. He can help bring the ball up the floor. He keeps maturing. He is the youngest kid in his (junior) class.”

Nokomis missed 10-free throws in the fourth quarter or the game would have had a continuous clock late.

The Eagles needed some made shots in the final eight minutes when given chances but they were just 5-of-13 from the field.

Nokomis' next outing will be at Lincolnwood/Morrisonville on January 4 while on the same night SEB will travel to Windsor/Stewardson-Strasburg on the same evening.

“Good teams like that and that are coached as well as he does there, you can't play like we did early,” said Coach Feezel. “They (Nokomis) are pretty good. But you have to play them from the opening tap. Not get behind.”

St. Elmo/Brownstown
Nokomis (57) – Bruder 4 0 4-4 12, Johnson 0 0 0-0 0, Stewart 3 0 8-17 14, Wright 2 1 1-5 8, Sabol 4 1 5-5 16, Tosetti 2 1 0-0 7, Mascher 0 0 0-0 0, Herpstreith 0 0 0-0 0.
2FG-15, 3FG-3, FT-18-31, PF-14.

St. Elmo/Brownstown (41) – Pruett 0 0 1-2 1, Klein 0 0 0-0 0, Brooks 3 0 0-0 6, McWhorter 3 0 0-1 6, Higgs 0 0 0-0 0, Goldsborough 3 2 1-3 13, Philpot 0 0 3-4 3, Tish 0 2 0-0 6, Himes 0 0 0-0 0, Baron 2 0 0-1 4. 2FG-12, 3FG-4, FT-5-11, PF-25.
Fouled Out – Brooks, Pruett - St. Elmo/Brownstown.
Technical Fouls – None.