NORMAL - Aaron Schroeder left with ice on the back of his right knee. Drew Miller had an ice pack on his right knee as well. Tyler McNeely was walking gingerly after taking a hard fall.
Friday night's Corn Belt Conference game was one of attrition for University High School's basketball team.
Still, the Pioneers came away with a 46-32 victory over Olympia at the U High Gym, thanks largely to the second-half play of reserves Matt Anderson and Sean O'Malley.
The 6-foot-5 Anderson had all of his six points and five rebounds after the 6-4 Schroeder went down midway through the third quarter. O'Malley also entered the game in the third period, and pumped life into the Pioneers at both ends of the floor.
"We don't really have a very good team identity yet, so you give kids a chance and see what happens," U High coach Cal Hubbard said.
"I thought Matt Anderson stepped up and did a nice job for Aaron. And Sean O'Malley did a really good job of moving the ball on offense, and he also kept the ball out of the high post defensively, which we hadn't been doing."
Their efforts helped U High (2-3, 1-1) extend a 31-28 lead after three quarters to 42-30 with three minutes left. Anderson had four points in the 11-2 surge.
It was capped by a free throw from McNeely, who Hubbard said "did a good job of picking up our intensity and knocking some balls loose."
However, the 6-1 senior was injured with 1:34 left when he was fouled on an attempted layup and crashed to the court.
"It was scary looking," Hubbard said. "He's had lower back problems before, and I think he landed on his tailbone and his back. We'll see what happens."
The Pioneers don't have much time to heal. They play a nonconference game at Decatur St. Teresa at 7:30 tonight.
Schroeder scored a team-high 12 points despite missing time in the first half with a twisted ankle and in the second half with his knee. He returned briefly in the fourth quarter and sank a jump shot during the pivotal run.
Miller, a senior guard, added 10 points, while guard Seth Doran had a team-leading seven rebounds.
"A lot of guys played well tonight," Miller said. "That was good. 'Team' is what we have to be about here this year because obviously we don't have one star player."
Olympia (3-1, 0-1) was led by senior guard Alex Frantz with 17 points. Frantz sank 5 of 9 shots from 3-point range.
However, the Spartans were 6 of 18 overall from beyond the arc, leading to a 34 percent shooting night (11 of 32). U High made 18 of 38 for 47 percent.
"We didn't make some shots that we hit in our first three games," Olympia coach Paul Swanson said. "We suffered from some two- and three-minute lulls. Against good teams, you can't do those things.
"But I can't fault us on effort. We just have to be a little more opportunistic and we have to find a way to score. We didn't get much inside tonight."
Olympia led 15-9 in the second quarter before six points by Schroeder keyed an 8-0 U High run. The Pioneers led 19-17 at the half.
U High was 7 of 10 from the free-throw line while the Spartans went 4 of 10.
"Some of those (misses) occurred at a point where we could have kept contact with them," Swanson said. "To their credit, they made the shots and we didn't."