State-ranked Rockets use third quarter run to get past Indians at Okawville Tourney
Hank Stewart led Du Quoin with 21 points against Okawville. (David Hill Photos)
By Doug Daniels
1351sports.com / duquoinsports.com
January 20, 2018
(Okawville, Ill.) - For the second night in a row, Du Quoin fought a high-quality opponent tooth and nail, but again came out on the wrong end of the result. The Indians were tied with the Okawville Rockets at halftime, then trailed by as many as a dozen points before closing to within two possessions on several occasions, ultimately falling 71-64 on Friday night at the Okawville Mid-Winter Tournament.
"We played a really good first half of basketball, then in the second half we kind of lost our way for a few minutes here and there and it came back to get us," said DHS head coach Justin Barrington.
The Rockets built a 14-9 lead in the early going, but Du Quoin charged back to take the lead at the end of the first quarter, 16-14, after a three-pointer from Hank Stewart and layups by Ashton Smith and Shamar Adams. Adams was making his first appearance of the new year after sitting out several weeks with an ankle injury.
The two teams traded baskets for most of the second quarter and began the second half knotted at 28-28, and it was 30-30 after a Will Woodside jumper from the corner early in the third quarter. That's when the Rockets made the game's decisive run, outscoring Du Quoin 17-5 over the next six minutes of action, hitting three three-pointers in the process and taking a 47-35 lead, their biggest of the game.
"That was the difference, they jumped out on top and we never got back to even after that," Barrington said. "We had some good looks that just didn't go down tonight."
Lamontay Daughtery helped close the Indians' deficit at the end of the quarter, slamming home an alley oop from Smith and hitting a three just before the horn, and DHS was still within striking distance down 49-40.
Two threes by Stewart in the first three minutes of the fourth quarter got the Indians to within six, only to see the Rockets bury back-to-back threes to push the lead back to twelve. Du Quoin kept fighitng, though, getting a three-point play from Josh Heape and another trifecta from Stewart, who finished with a team-high 21 points, cutting Okawville's lead down to five at 69-64.
But by that point, the clock was the Indians' biggest enemy, with only 16 seconds to play. Caleb Frederking knocked down two free throws for the Rockets with 15 seconds on the clock to put away the win for the tournament host.
Daughtery (16 points) and Heape (15) joined Stewart in double figures, and Woodside was a point shy with 9. Braeden Pursell added 4 points and Smith and Adams each finished with 2.
"There were a lot of positives tonight," Barrington said. "We almost had four guys in double figures and that's what you really want. We had a lot of balance. It was nice to get Shamar back out there and get him some action. When you come to a tournament like this, you know it's going to be a grind of a week. Wesclin and us drew playing threw nights in a row, that's part of it. We had a long evening last night, and I thought in the middle of the third quarter last night started to show on us a little bit. There are a couple of loose balls where we just weren't right there tonight."
"I think our guys see where we're at and where we can get to. These are good games to learn things, we see different scenarios."
Scheduling note: Du Quoin's game at Trico, originally scheduled for January 13, has been rescheduled for Tuesday, January 23.
(David Hill Photos - www.facebook.com/HillPhotoBooth/)