By Steve Robinson | February 6, 2009 - 10:31 pm
Posted in Category: Olympia HS, Pekin Daily Times, U-High

BasketballNORMAL – Stanford Olympia High discovered that, the longer their game at Corn Belt foe Normal University High went on, the closer the host Pioneers got to the Spartans and even closer to frustrating an Olympia offense bent on adding another victory for the season.

Although Normal U-High tried to make a run at the Spartans, Olympia kept them at bay for a 47-37 Corn Belt Conference win.

Olympia (19-4, 9-2 Corn Belt) jumped out to a 13-7 lead after one quarter, on a pair of treys by senior guard Brady Cremeens and an additional trey by senior forward Trevor Strubhar.

Each side was only able to score 11 points a piece in the second quarter, and two baskets by senior forward Luke Harbers, added to a basket and free throw by junior guard Peter Schiller, cut Oly’s halftime lead to 24-18.

OlympiaIn the third quarter, U-High clamped down on the Spartans, holding them to going 1-for-17 in that period, forcing Olympia’s defense into action throughout the period. Only junior guard Spencer Pratt was able to get a bucket for the Spartans the entire quarter, while U-High junior forward Connor Brown scored five points, including a trey in the period. Olympia entered the fourth quarter with a one-point lead, 26-25, going into the fourth quarter.

Although Strubhar scored five of Olympia’s first seven points of the fourth quarter, giving Oly a 33-27 lead, U-High (6-16, 4-7 Corn Belt) pulled within three, 33-30, on a trey by Brown with 3:27 left in the contest.

U-High junior guard Eric Robb fouled Cremeens with 2:17 left in the game, and Cremeens sank both free throws, putting Oly up, 35-33.

After each side took a time out at that point, Cremeens added to his total for the night, sinking a three, and a pair of free throws after being fouled. Those baskets pushed Oly up, 40-35, en route to their final score.

Strubhar had 15 points to lead all scorers. He was followed by 13 from Cremeens and 10 from senior forward Matt Frahm. Brown was U-High’s lone player in double-figures, finishing the night with 17 points.

U-High“I am just pleased (with the victory),” said Olympia head coach Gerry Thornton. “It was an ugly win, but it’s the kind of win that will win a conference championship, maybe (a win) that will win a regional or a sectional like we did last year.

“We’ve been begging these guys to guard all year long,” Thornton said of his team. “And, our guys guarded (U-High) pretty well. By and large, I thought our defense was pretty solid.

“They slowed the game down (and) they ran the clock,” Thornton said. “For a team that averages 65 (points) a game like us, they make us play (at) their pace.”

“I thought our kids did a real nice job on the defensive end of dictating the tempo and showing patience on offense,” said U-High head coach Bob Fitzgerald. “Our patience on offense caused them to lose their rhythm a little bit.”

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