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Trenton, Illinois
December 10, 2014     The Sun Newspaper
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December 10, 2014

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014 Trenton Sun Page 8 - Sports The upcoming basketball season marks the 25th anni- versary of the historic run of Wesclin ' s 1989-90 basketball team, which won the only basketball state champion- ship in school history. This is part of a series of reminis- cences by New Baden native Larry Thoeming, a Wesclin graduate who followed the team throughout the season as a newspaper reporter. FRAGILE AND ELUSIVE In this, my last bit of back- ground information before getting down to the game- by-game stories of the 1990 State Champion Wesclin Warriors, I feel compelled to address a certain pair of points. First, it was whispered in some circles that the War- riors "should" have won at least two if not three State Championships during this era. Hogwash! The incred- ible "perfect storm" of condi- tions needed to win a State title is an intricate combi- nation of talent, size, luck, health, focus, and shrewd decision-making from the bench. Just one of these things can go wrong in just one game, and a "sure" State Championship team can be derailed. To wit, that great Carlyle team that won the '89 title was the same team the year before...and went nowhere. Nashville had a tremendous run in the late '90s as the Hornets went to State three years out of four...and lost in the first round each time. Coach Lusk always said that "you win with seniors," alluding to hig belief that experience was of prime importance, and that was borne out by the '90 War- riors, as all five starters were, indeed, seniors, lad- en with tons of experience in all phases of the game. The Tribe stayed healthy throughout the season, and the drama that affects every group over the course of a season was kept to enough of a minimum so as not to be a concern. Could the Warriors have won more over the four-year span? Sure, but they also Could have lost more. As I stated in last week's piece, I will always ache for those kids who lost out along the way, but I'll also maintain that Warrior fans were truly blessed to have experi- enced what they did in the charmed 1989-90 Campaign to Champaign. Secondly, basketball is a team game and no team can win if it does not play as a team. I always thought as a coach that balanced scoring was of prime importance. In fact, the best grade school team I e er coached was so balanced that each starter averaged at least ten points per game. That team went 25-8, and, incidentally was directed by a little point guard named...Tom Hund, now the AD at Wesclin. Later I learned that scoring is just one part of a suc- cessful basketball team's make-up, and possibly not the most important part. As this series continues, the gentle reader is going to read "Lusk/Brede" many, many times. The pair, after all, were All-Staters, and simply the best players on the team. But make no mis- take about it, though Brede and Lusk were the highest scorers and rebounders, that team would have gone nowhere without the contri- butions of the others. Though the Dynamic Duo got, and will con- tinue to" get, the most headlines, Mike Brink, Matt Fridley, Matt Brandmeyer, Donny Madenwald, Chad Deiters, and the others ALL were of vital importance, if for no other reason than that they battled the start- ers every night in practice. Brandmeyer, Fridley and Brink each brought unique qualities to the unit, and there could not been any success without any of them. Brandmeyer drew the bruis- ing assignment of keep- ing the other team's best rebounder away from the glass, and the hard-nosed 6'2 Warrior did just that... allowing Brede and Lusk to swoop up the rebounds. Brink ran the offense su- perbly as point-guard and was an invaluable defender. Then there was Fridley, the all-time floorburn king, akin to the Doug Muellers, Robbie Wutzlers, and other great Warrior hustlers of the past. He defended and rebounded like a dervish, and never missed the chance to come through on offense when needed the most. Deiters and Madenwald were usually first off the bench to give a starter some rest, and their contribu- tions, too, were crucial. So, if you want to think that I favor Lusk and Brede, have at it. But truth be known, each member of this unit, from the coaching staff to the last man on the bench, was absolutely a vital cog in the machine that produced the Championship. Next week: The Long Road to Glory S win two in Wesclin's girls basketball team picked up conference wins over Columbia and Freeburg to move to 3-0 in Cahokia play, 6-2 overall. The Warriors were impressive in a 59-44 win over visiting Columbia on Thursday, somewhat less so in surviving Freeburg 48-40 on Mon- day. Zoe Christopher came off the bench and scored 22 points to spark Wesclin's win over Columbia last week. Carly Haukapp and Kenzie Kellogg joined her in double figures with 14 and 10 respec- tively. Cami Meddows added five, and Carrie Rakers and Mayghen Mugele four each to complete the Wesclin scor- ing. Rakers scored 13 on Monday as Wesclin used a balanced attack to come back from a 25-21 halftime deficit and take out Freeburg. Christopher net- ted 11 and Haukapp and Mugele 10 each for the Warrriors. Kenzie Kellogg scored four. Wesclin senior Zoe Christopher scored 22 in a home win over Columbia last week. Lorrie Morgan The Christmas Show Sunday, December 14, 3:00 p.m. Lorrie's performance at KC will feature songs from her "Merry Christmas From London" album as well as traditional Christmas songs and career hits. For Season of Entertainment Ticket Information Contact Us: 618.545.3223 ~ ~ www.kaskaskia,edulsoe Wesclin junior Jarad Steenbergen scored 15 points to lead the Warriors against Nashville. After opening its Thanksgiving Tournament with a pair of impressive victories, Wesclin's boys basketball team ended it with a pair of losses. The Warriors lost on Friday to Nashville, ranked the top Class 2A team in the state at the time, and on Saturday came up short against a Madison team that had struggled in the tournament. Wesclin broke to an early lead over Nash- ville on the strength of its three-point shoot- ing, but ultimately couldn't keep pace with a much larger Hornets squad in a 54-44 loss, Jarad Steenbergen scored 15 to lead Wesclin, while Justin Goff added nine, Jared Timmer- mann eight, Brendan Bernhardt seven, and Jake Stephens five. The Warriors never got things going against Madison in the tournament finale, using a closing flourish to lose by ten, 71-61. Justin Goff scored 22 in the losing effort, and Jared Timmermann added 15. Jake Stephens scored nine, Jarad Steenbergen eight, Brendan Bern- hardt five, and Darrell Combs two to close out the Wesclin book. TOURNEY NOTES: Wesclin junior point guard Jarad Steenbergen was named to the All Tournament Team... Columbia got off the mat after loing to Wesclin and won the tournament, beating Nashville in a double overtime thriller Saturday night. Both teams finished with one loss, and Columbia took the title based on its head-to-head win. All four Wesclin bowling teams bowled in a pair of matches last week, going on the road to face Althoff at St. Clair Bowl and Dupo at Cahokia Bowl. ALTHOFF The varsity boys lost their match, with Trevor Alexander and Kyle Baumgartner both breaking the 500 mark for their series. Alexander rolled a high game of 200 in fashioning a 559 series, while Baumgartner rolled a consistent 178-180-181-539 set. Blake Kohlbrecher rolled a high game of 187. The varsity girls won their match convincingly behind Kat- lyn Bateman's 474 series, which included a match-high game of 191. Kelsey Knopp rolled a 426 series, and Aspen Lohman 411. Hannah Christmann had a high game of 164. The junior varsity boys won their match, led by Sam Hamil- ton's 434 series, and high games of 184 from Bryan Knopp, 175 from Tim Brunker, and 179 from Mike Holtgrave. The junior varsity girls won un- opposed by Althoff. Brooke Albers rolled a 361 series, and Bailee Ci- notto had games of 105 and 103. DIJPO The varsity boys won their match with a consistent perfor- mance, as Trevor Alexander put together a 579 series, and Kyle Baumgartner rolled a 530 set. Jesse Bedolla had a high game of 192, while Trevor Alexander's 224 singlet was the high game of the match. Tyler Alexander rolled a high game of 182. The varsity girls picked up their second consecutive win, with all five bowlers surpassing the 400 series smark. Aspen Lohman's 499 led the way, followed by Sally Brunker (468), Katlyn Bateman (450), Kelsey Knopp (427), and Hannah Christmann (42,4). The jayvee boys won behind games of 186 and 173 from Bryan Knopp, 172 from Cameron Kapp, and 171 from Mike Holtgrave. The junior varsity girls lost their match. Makenna Rapien rolled a 307 series that included a high game of 107. Alexis Maki rolled a high game of 104 in a 298 series. 0I Wesclin Middle School's basket- ball team maintained at 7-7 with a win and a loss last week, beat- ing O'Fallon Carriel 64-30 and losing a one-pointer to Triad, 40- 39. Nate Brede poured in 24 points in the win over Carriel. Gavin Bil- bruck added 19 and Jacob Brown 11 for Wesclin, while Parker Dur- gin scored five, Christian Chavez three, and Grant Heier two. Brede scored 22 in the loss to Triad. Bilbruck scored eight, Brown five, and Parker Durgin and Brandon Durgin two each for the junior Warriors. WESCLIN CHEERLEADERS IN ACTION.