Warriors 'zone in' on Trico title
Eggemeyer's seven 3-pointers in the first quarter led Steeleville to a 70-50 win


The phrase 'In a Zone' is commonly used in the sporting world for a player that, for a stretch of time, can't seem to miss.

For the first eight minutes during the final game of the Trico Pioneer Invitational, Adam Eggemeyer was 'In a Zone' from behind the 3-point line that few high school players have ever been in.

In fact he nearly equaled a state record in the process of leading his team to the tourney championship and a 5-0 start to the season for coach Matt Laur.

The 6-foot-3 senior lefty canned seven 3-pointers in the opening quarter (eight overall) in Steeleville's 70-50 win over Waltonville Saturday night.

Known to few outside of the southwestern Illinois small school loop, this one has blossomed into a potential first team all-state player.

On Saturday night, Eggemeyer turned the final game of the tournament into his own personal 'coming out' party.

People around the state should now take notice.

"To say he was in a zone is a huge understatement," said coach Laur. "He struggled some earlier in the week and I told him to relax and let the game come to you. He responded these last few days like I thought he would."

Only one player in Illinois High School Basketball history connected on more 3-point shots in one quarter than Eggemeyer.

Gary Bollinger of Genoa-Kingston, in a game vs. Kirkland in 1997, canned eight in one period.

Eggemeyer tied Macomb's Chris Herrera, who hit for seven in a quarter against Quincy on January 16, 1998 for second place on the IHSA list.

Although he cooled down a bit the rest of the game, his teammates were scoring all over the court in a contest in which Waltonville played well, but not nearly well enough to make much of a game of it.

"When a guy (Eggemeyer) shoots that well from the field, there isn't much that you can do," said Waltonville coach Mike Denault, who spent a season coaching most of these seniors when they were sophomores two seasons ago. "And the other guys stepped up for them, too. I told the kids in the locker room that we lost to a team that may end up at the Supersectional in March. We played well but tonight that wasn't good enough."

Tyler Tiemann slashed to the basket to keep the Spartans' defense honest and added a 3-pointer for himself as the team hit 13 shots from 'behind the arc' on the night.

Steeleville's Josh Jausel added 11 points as eight different Warriors scored in the win.

Waltonville had nothing to hang their heads over with three players hitting for double figures on the tournament's final night.

However the Spartans had their role in this final game reduced to that of a 'deer in headlights' as they fell behind in the first quarter and they didn't mount much opposition in the final game of this tournament.

Just seconds into the contest Steeleville and Eggemeyer set the tone for the entire evening, much to the dismay of the Spartans and their faithful.

After winning the opening tap, Eggemeyer struck first with a 3-pointer from the right wing to spot the Warriors to a quick 3-0 lead.

However Waltonville hung tough in the early going. This mostly underclassmen squad held a brief first quarter lead.

Trying to use the slight size advantage that they held over the Warriors, Waltonville got a pair of baskets in the paint by 6-foot-5 Jon Kash and 6-foot-8 Brandon Spotanski, which gave this West Jefferson County crew a 6-5 lead with 5:50 remaining in the opening stanza.

But at this point in the contest, the first big offensive 'tidal wave' by Steeleville struck the Waltonville coast.

Eggemeyer hit his second 3-pointer from the right wing giving the Warriors back the lead.

On the next Waltonville possession, Steeleville's Josh Jausel stepped in front of a Spartan pass and took the ball to the basket for a fast break score.

While Eggemeyer was the master of the outside domain, Tiemann was the 'driving force' to the basket.

He reached the foul line on two different occasions in the first quarter while being fouled.

He connected on all four of his charity attempts.

His second pair (occurring on this scoring run) put Steeleville ahead 12-6.

Eggemeyer canned his third 3-pointer on the next Warriors trip, from that same right wing spot.

Waltonville responded with a pair of 3-pointers from point guard Adam Kitowski, which lowered the Steeleville lead to 18-12 at the 3:14 mark.

But from this moment until the final buzzer sounded, Steeleville was in total control.

And in the first 16 minutes, Eggemeyer was in power.

He finished the first quarter by scoring the next nine points on three more 3-point bombs.

He even managed to change to the left side of the court for his final first period missile, a 20-footer from the left wing, which made the score 27-12 at the end of one.

Waltonville's Kash scored in the lane to end the high scoring quarter.

However that basket was just a 'Band-Aid on a wound that needed a Tourniquet' as Waltonville headed to the second quarter staring at a 27-14 deficit.

After Tiemann score four straight points on a pair of free throws and a fast break basket to open the second quarter, the Spartans started to get the ball underneath the basket to Kash and Spotanski.

Each scored on 'the blocks' and those two shots cut the Spartan deficit down to 34-21 with 5:08 to go before the half.

But that was the last hurrah for Waltonville, as another weapon in the Steeleville 'gun cabinet' exploded with points from the outside.

Eggemeyer hit his final 3-pointer of the night and then teammate Matt Guebert connected on two-consecutive 3-pointers, one from the left corner on a pass from Tiemann and the next one from the right corner.

All three of these shots made up a 9-0 run that put any serious notions of a Spartan comeback to bed at 43-21 with 2:26 to go in the second quarter.

Even with six points coming from Spotanski, Kash and Anthony Lowery to close out the quarter, Waltonville looked up at the scoreboard heading to the locker room, which read 46-27 Steeleville.

The teams played even in the second half with each team scoring 10 points in the third quarter and 14 in the fourth.

But that was no consolation for the Spartans, who ran out of time and chances.

Every time Waltonville tried to get a run started, they couldn't get the defensive stops to cut into the Steeleville advantage.

A bright spot in the quarter for the Spartans was Derek Tepovich, who hit a pair of 3-point shots in the frame (and two more in the fourth quarter) as coach Laur switched to a zone defense to try and keep Kash and Spotanski from doing anymore harm.

At this point in the competition, Steeleville proved how dangerous a team it is as other players stepped up.

The Spartans finally got a defensive collar of Eggemeyer in the second half, but his teammates were gladly there to grab the offensive baton.

A back door lay in by Jausel was followed by a 3-pointer by Travis Schaber.

Another basket by Tiemann and a 3-of-4 successful free throw attempts by D. J. Hochmuth closed out the frame at 56-37 Warriors.

Jausel nailed the Waltonville coffin shut by scoring seven straight points to open the final eight minutes.

His run ended with a conventional 3-point play after being fouled by Lowery. That made free throw gave the Warriors their biggest lead of the contest at 63-40.

Eggemeyer showed he was still human late in the game. After driving to the basket and being fouled, he missed the second free throw.

By the time reserve guard Ben Tiller scored on a drive to the basket late in the game, the Warriors were the proud holders of another Trico Tournament title.

"Everyone understands the team concept and what we are trying to accomplish," added Laur, who savors this opportunity to coach such a good group of kids. "This team has a great attitude toward the game and they work hard. Our practices are hard and intense and it shows in the games."

Eggemeyer ended up with 25-points on his eight 3-pointers and one free throw. Tiemann was second on the team with 15 while Jausel added 11.

Waltonville, 3-2 on the season, received 12-points each from Kash and Tepovich while Kitowski chimed in with 10.

Things won't get any easier for the Warriors, with road games at Gibault and Columbia this coming weekend while the Spartans head back to Mid-South Conference play with games at Thompsonville and Grayville.


Steeleville (70) - Tiller 1 0 0-0 2, Schaber 0 2 0-0 6, Guebert 0 2 0-0 6, Jausel 4 0 3-3 11, Eggemeyer 0 8 1-2 25, Tiemann 3 1 6-6 5, Hochmuth 0 0 3-4 3, Uchtman 0 0 2-2 2.
2FG-8, 3FG-13, FT-15-17, PF-14.
Waltonville (50) - Ralls 0 01 0-0 3, Tepovich 0 4 0-0 12, Lowery 1 0 0-0 2, Kitowski 2 2 0-0 10, Kash 5 0 2-2 12, McGovern 0 0 2-2 2, Spotanski 4 0 0-1 8, Kubiak 0 0 1-2 1.
2FG-12, 3FG-7, FT-5-7, PF-13.
Fouled Out - None.
Technical Fouls - None.

The host Pioneers had and excellent week, considering what transpired a season ago with this program.

After winning just three games last season.

Trico beat that total in just five days, going 4-1 in the event to take home the second place trophy.

They topped New Athens on Saturday night behind 22-points from Trevor Bollmann and eight points each from Scott Jausel and Jackie Smith.

New Athens (2-3) was led by Drew Schatte with 16-points while Nick Parker added six.

The Falcons used a 25-7 third quarter advantage to put out the Meteors flame in the opening game of the final session Saturday night.

Jason Snell and Jamone Lipsey paced Elverado (2-3) with 13 and 10 points. Marissa (0-5) got 11 markers from Eddie Runyon and nine from Brian Hayden.

Adam Eggemeyer led a trio of Steeleville Warriors on the 10-player All-Tourney team. Tyler Tiemann and Travis Schaber of Steeleville; Adam Kitowski and Jon Kash of Waltonville; Drew Schatte and Nick Parker of New Athens; Jackie Smith and Trevor Bollmann of Trico; and Jason Snell of Elverado.