JOHNSONBURG â€“ The Rams got 27 total points from their two departing seniors on Senior Recognition Night en route to a 47-45 victory over visiting St. Marys.
Facing a 1-point deficit after three quarters of play, the Rams were able to claw their way back to secure the win.
Despite giving up a score to St. Marysâ€™ Jordan Weinzierl to open up the fourth quarter with the Dutch on top 36-33, Johnsonburg head boysâ€™ varsity basketball coach Bill Shuey said he did not count his team out of the contest.
â€śI thought we were still in the game, we didnâ€™t have many turnovers so we were taking care of the ball and anything can happen,â€ť Shuey said. â€śWe executed pretty well in the fourth quarter and got some nice layups.â€ť
Facing a 3-point deficit, Johnsonburg senior Louie Imbrogno hit a shot at the 7:21 mark of the fourth quarter to cut the lead to one point. After a miss from the Dutch, Johnsonburg senior Joe Holmberg hit a 3-pointer with 6:05 on the clock to go up 38-36. Holmberg led all scorers with 15 points while counterpart Imbrogno followed with 12 on the night.
On the ensuing possession, St. Marysâ€™ Ryan Uhl responded 34 seconds later to knot the score at 38-all before the Ramsâ€™ offense showed up for one more spurt.
Johnsonburgâ€™s Cole Peterson hit a jumper inside the paint to take a 40-38 lead with 5:17 to go; after a miss on the other end, Quinn Luhr hit an easy layup under the hoop with just over four minutes in the game. Luhr would find himself all alone under the basket again just 29 seconds later to give the home team a 6-point advantage at 44-38.
â€śWe wanted a good shot and we had penetration on the baseline for a nice dish,â€ť Shuey said.
Weinzierl was fouled on the other end and hit successive free throws to cut the lead to four points; St. Marys eventually regained possession as Uhl set a nice screen for teammate Justin Quiggle, who banked home his third 3-pointer of the night to cut the lead to 44-43 with 2:33 to go.
â€śIt was a good game, well played by both teams and it couldâ€™ve gone either way,â€ť Shuey said. â€śI think we spoiled that 6-point lead a little bit but St. Marys made some good shots.
â€śBoth sides played hard.â€ť
Clinging to a 1-point lead, Imbrogno hit a big shot with 1:30 on the clock to set the lead at three points, 46-43.
Quiggle hit a 2-point field goal with 1:01 to go to cut the lead to one point again, 46-45. After a foul on the other end, Imbrogno hit one free throw to give the Rams a 2-point lead with 31.6 seconds to go.
â€śWeâ€™re looking to win the game, going for the win,â€ť said St. Marys head boysâ€™ varsity basketball coach Mark Guido following his teamâ€™s loss. â€śWe dug a hole early and a couple of our starters struggled [Wednesday night] to get it going.
â€śItâ€™s the second time weâ€™ve gone to a tough place to play and got into a hole, and we just couldnâ€™t get out of it.â€ť
After a timeout, the Dutch were unable to find a clean shot and regrouped with just over seven seconds to play. On the restart, Quiggle was unable to find an open shot and threw up a 3-pointer that banked off the front of the rim.
â€śJohnsonburg improved each time we played them and if you pay attention to the scores in the paper, and weâ€™ve taped them a few times since the last time we played them in the tournament, we could see they got better and better every night,â€ť Guido said. â€śTheyâ€™re a well-coached team, they outplayed us [Wednesday night] and they deserved to win.â€ť
St. Marys started off with the lead throughout the first quarter and led by as many as six points following a 3-pointer from Quiggle, who had two in the first quarter and another in the fourth quarter. But the Rams battled back on back-to-back field goals from Holmberg, including a 3-point play with 18.2 seconds left in the first quarter to knot the score at 10-all. An Imbrogno layup with 3.7 seconds remaining gave the Rams a 12-11 lead after the first quarter.
Imbrogno opened up the second quarter with a 3-pointer to extend the home teamâ€™s lead to 15-11; Holmberg was later fouled on a 3-point try and knocked home two free throws to push Johnsonburgâ€™s lead to 21-16. Holmberg followed with three more 2-point field goals before the half to put the Rams up 27-18. St. Marysâ€™ Brian Vollmer was fouled with 3.2 seconds left on the clock, made the first but missed the second-- teammate Ryan Mancuso grabbed the rebounds and scored on a short jumper to send the visitors to the locker room facing a 27-21 deficit.
The Dutch battled back in the third quarter and cut the lead to five points with a 3-pointer from Rocco Harshbarger. Teammate Ryan Hockman was later fouled with 3:16 on the clock and sank both tries to cut the deficit to just three points. Mancuso then hit back-to-back 2-point field goals to close out the third quarter on top 34-33.
The Rams were able to outscore St. Marys 14-11 in the fourth quarter for the 47-45 home victory.
â€śIt was most definitely different from the first two games and you can see that the kids have improved a lot,â€ť Shuey said. â€śOur two seniors [Joe Holmberg and Louie Imbrogno] have contributed immensely to the program over the years and I thank them for their support.
â€śTheir leadership will be missed after this year but theyâ€™re true competitors and Iâ€™ve enjoyed being around them.â€ť
St. Marys 45
Justin Quiggle 4 0-0 11, Jordan Weinzierl 2 5-6 9, Ryan Uhl 2 3-3 7, Ryan Mancuso 3 0-0 6, Dylan Reigel 2 0-0 4, Rocco Harshbarger 1 0-0 3, Ryan Hockman 0 2-2 2, Jimmy Werner 1 0-0 2, Bobby Vollmer 0 1-2 1. Totals: 15 11-13 45.
Joe Holmberg 6 2-4 15, Louie Imbrogno 5 1-4 12, Quinn Luhr 3 2-2 8, Cole Peterson 3 0-1 6, Mitchell Holmberg 2 0-0 4, Mike Shuey 1 0-0 2. Totals: 20 5-11 47.
3-point field goals: St. Marys 4 (Quiggle 3, Harshbarger). Johnsonburg 2 (J. Holmberg, Imbrogno).
Score by quarters
St. Marys 11 10 13 11 45
J-Burg 12 15 6 14 47
The Johnsonburg junior varsity squad defeated St. Marys Area by a 44-41 score. St. Marys finishes the year at 8-14.
The Rams took a 14-9 first-period lead. They outscored St. Marys 10-6 in the second period to take a 26-15 halftime lead.
Both teams scored 12 third-period points. The Dutch outscored the Rams 14-7 in the fourth quarter, but Johnsonburg held on for the 44-41 win.
St. Marys scoring: Justin Beimel 1, Kyle Gaton 3, Caleb Bennett 8, Nate McFadden 2, Brett Lanzel 2, Sam Guido 11, Brandon Vollmer 5, Logan Gilmore 4, Shajuan Carrero 5.
Johnsonburg scoring: Grumley 10, Sheldon 10, Kocjancic 12, Vallone 4, Shreffler 7.