BV storms past Orion to Warkins title, ending Chargers' run of five straight titles

Posted Online: Dec. 29, 2012, 10:14 pm
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By Terry Duckett,
ERIE -- The Orion boys' basketball team's bid for a sixth straight championship at the Cliff Warkins Memorial Cardinal Classic was lost in a Storm Saturday night.

Behind a game-high 19 points from All-Tournament standout Parker Neuhalfen and a rugged defensive stand in the fourth quarter, the Bureau Valley Storm were able to break away to a 51-39 victory over the Chargers, snapping Orion's run of five consecutive Warkins championships and giving BV a title in its first tournament appearance.

"I thought BV outplayed us and outcoached us in the second half,'' Orion coach Brent Hutton stated. "They were definitely more efficient on offense, and that's why they won.''

Sparking the Storm (12-7) offensively was sophomore guard Parker Neuhalfen, who was joined on the All-Tournament team by teammate Hunter Klemme. Neuhalfen scored 10 of his 19 points in the second half, including seven in the fourth quarter to help BV pull away after Orion (11-6) closed a seven-point deficit down to 35-34.

"When we got our first win (last Saturday), that felt good, and we kept on rolling from there,'' said Neuhalfen. "We didn't play well (in Friday's loss to Riverdale), and that made us feel beatable after feeling like we couldn't lose. We knew we had to come out tonight and play 100 percent.''

Orion senior guard Dylan Schultz hit four 3-pointers and finished with 18 points to cap a Most Valuable Player performance. He knocked down a trio of treys in the second period to help stake the Chargers to a 19-18 halftime lead. However, Schultz nearly matched the combined offensive totals of the other 10 Orion players.

"Anybody that scouts us knows that Dylan's going to get the ball a lot, so we have to find other guys to step up and score more,'' said Hutton. "That's something we need to keep working on, but I still believe in this team. This launches us into the second half of the year, and we're going to get better.''

Wethersfield 60, Stockton 57 (3rd place):Down by 11 points after the first quarter, the Wethersfield Flying Geese (12-2) dug in their heels, took a 47-42 lead into the final eight minutes and held off the Stockton Blackhawks to prevail behind a game-high 21 points from All-Tournament junior Trevor Lay, with Kegan Jacobson chipping in with 13 points.

Mercer County 61, Riverdale 41 (5th place):The Mercer County Golden Eagles (8-5) finished with four straight wins after losing to Orion in their pool-play opener last Saturday. Led by All-Tournament standout Tanner Matlick's 12 points, plus 11 from Tyson Nylin and 10 from Zach Aldinger, they pulled away from Riverdale (7-8) in the second half after holding a 26-15 halftime lead.

"I wasn't happy with our first half; we didn't rebound well and played some sloppy basketball,'' said Mercer County coach Brian Hutton, "but again, our defense has to be recognized. We don't have that super kid who lights it up every night, so everything we do starts at the defensive end.''

Cole Solomon (12 points) and Drew Beale (10) both hit double digits for the Rams as their All-Tourney choice, Jared Richmond, was held in check with just eight points.

Erie 65, Knoxville 51 (7th place):The host Erie Cardinals (11-7) ended their Warkins run on a high note, with All-Tournament pick Jacob Johnston's 18 points sandwiched in between strong outings from Connor Saad (19 points) and Rhett Stover (17) as they used a 15-4 second-period run as the springboard to victory.

"The thing that was the most exciting is that our guys bounced back, executed what we wanted them to do, and did the little things well,'' said Erie coach Ryan Winckler, whose squad held the Blue Bullets' All-Tourney choice, Andrew Hale, to nine points.

West Carroll 57, Morrison 49 (9th place):Closing a five-point halftime deficit to 40-39 entering the fourth quarter, the Morrison Mustangs (4-14) couldn't complete the comeback as the West Carroll Thunder held on behind Trevor Jones' game-high 16 points. Brock Deter led the Mustangs with 10 points.


Local events heading

  Today is Monday, Sept. 1, the 244th day of 2014. There are 121 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: We are informed by J.H. Hull that the reason the street sprinkler was not at work yesterday settling the dust on the streets, was because one of his horses was injured.
1889 -- 125 years ago: Bonnie McGregor, a fleet-footed stallion owned by S.W. Wheelock of this community, covered himself with glory at Lexington, Ky, when he ran a mile in 2:13 1/2. The horse's value was estimated as at least $50,000.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Troops are pouring into Paris to prepare for defense of the city. The German army is reported to be only 60 miles from the capital of France.
1939 -- 75 years ago: The German army has invaded Poland in undeclared warfare. Poland has appealed to Great Britain and France for aid.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Publication of a plant newspaper, the Farmall Works News, has been launched at the Rock Island IHC factory and replaces a managerial newsletter.
1989 -- 25 years ago: Officials predict Monday's Rock Island Labor Parade will be the biggest and best ever. Last minute work continues on floats and costumes for the parade, which steps off a 9:30 a.m.

(More History)