Roundup of intercity high school boys basketball games from Nov. 20
BLOOMINGTON - University High School coach Cal Hubbard didn't forget what Aaron Schroeder can do on a basketball court.
That did not prevent Hubbard from enjoying Schroeder's emphatic reminder Monday at Shirk Center.
Schroeder, who missed all but five games of last season with a knee injury, scored 29 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as U High outlasted Normal West, 58-54, in overtime during the first round of the 36th Intercity Tournament.
In the opener, Central Catholic pulled away in the second half to upend Normal Community, 58-45. It was the season opener for all four teams.
The tournament continues Wednesday with Bloomington facing U High at 6 p.m. and Normal West meeting Central Catholic at 7:30 p.m.
U High-Normal West
Schroeder capped his big night with a rebound basket off his own missed free throw for the final margin. The 6-foot-4 senior had hit the first free throw with 3.3 seconds left in overtime.
"We couldn't guard Schroeder in the paint or on the glass or at the free throw line," West coach Brian Cupples said. "He was a ton. We had no answer for him."
Schroeder had 13 points and six rebounds in the fourth quarter and overtime.
"It was good to have him back," said Hubbard. "He had a big game. Our kids found him at key times."
An Eric McCullough jumper at the 1:03 mark of overtime gave U High a 55-54 lead. Schroeder then rebounded a miss from West's Corey Aken, who paced the Wildcats with 22 points.
"We've got pretty good size underneath and good shooters," Schroeder said. "We try to get the ball to the high post, look down low and work from there."
A frantic final minute of regulation saw John Mersch put the Pioneers in front 50-49 with a 3-pointer at the 35-second mark.
Aken responded with an off-balance 15-footer with eight seconds left as West regained the lead.
U High's Jeff Higgins then drove the length of the floor and was fouled with 1.8 seconds remaining. Higgins missed the first free throw but converted the second to force overtime.
"We had a three-point lead twice in the second half and couldn't get the stop or conversion we needed," said Cupples.
Matthew Paska added 15 points for West, while Sean Seibring and Warren Moore chipped in eight each. Moore grabbed a team-high seven rebounds.
Higgins had eights points and McCullough seven (four in overtime) for U High, which shot 48 percent from the field and outrebounded West, 27-25.
"I thought West's defense gave us all kinds of trouble. We couldn't enter the ball on offense and panicked and started dribbling the ball around," said Hubbard. "We had it won and lost several times. But our kids were tough enough to figure out a way to win."
The Saints forced 10 NCHS turnovers in the second quarter. The Ironmen, however, trailed just 28-26 at halftime.
But seven NCHS third-quarter turnovers and 8 of 12 Central Catholic shooting helped the Saints push their lead to 46-37.
"We were persistent with our pressure all night," Saints' coach Jeff Wulbrun said. "We had some kids come off the bench and give us great minutes. I thought John and Dan Curran and David Murray played some great defensive minutes off the bench."
Aaron Garriott paced Central Catholic with 16 points. Josh Brent and Brandon Dunson each contributed 15.
"It was different, but it wasn't that bad," said Garriott of facing the team he played for last season before transferring. "We knocked down some shots and Josh played good inside."
Neal Reed led NCHS, which finished with 25 turnovers, with 12 points. Travis Tuggle and Jason Vincent had nine each. Vincent hauled down a team-high seven rebounds.
"They knew we had some inexperienced guards and they put on a lot of pressure," Ironmen coach Dave Witzig said. "They did a nice job getting easy shots off their press breaker. Our defense has to get a little better. But we can take some things from this game and build on them."
Brent grabbed a game-high eight rebounds.
A defensive tackle in football who is ranked as the No. 80 prospect in the nation by rivals.com , Brent said he has narrowed his college choices to Ohio State, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin and Arizona State.
"More than likely," he said. "I'll make my decision before we go on Christmas break."