MONTICELLO — During Monticello’s first six games of the season, Nick Stokowski led the team in scoring. He usually led the Sages in multiple categories as he and his younger teammates began the season 1-5.
The senior forward needed help, and it’s starting to come — along with the wins.
Stokowski led the Sages in scoring again with 22 points, but he got big contributions from 6-foot-8 senior Maclaine Stahl (12 points, 11 rebounds) and sophomore Noah Freemon (career-high 19 points) to earn a 74-59 victory against Blue Ridge in a rematch of the 2012 Holiday Hoopla championship.
“The kids are getting fired up. They’re seeing their own potential,” Monticello coach Kevin Roy said Thursday.
Freemon went 7 of 12 from the field, including 3 of 4 from behind the arc.
Monticello shot 10 of 20 from three-point range.
“He has no idea what he can do,” Roy said of Freemon. “He’s just a solid player. We try to encourage him and encourage him, and he stepped up huge for us (Thursday).”
Stokowski said he could get used to performances like that.
“It’s awesome,” he said. “We’re starting to hit some threes out there to really spread out the middle.”
Will Duggins led Blue Ridge (6-5) with 25 points.
The Knights’ Michael Plunk finished with 13 points.
“He was a focal point for us defensively. Everybody on the court had to be aware of where he was at and when he was going to the basket,” Roy said.
Tuscola 60, GCMS 28. Brothers Nick and Zach Bates scored Tuscola’s first 18 points and combined for 28 as the Warriors bounced back from a lopsided morning loss.
Clayton Turner added 11 points and Josh Knight grabbed a game-high eight rebounds to go with six points in the win.
“We played (Thursday) morning and just didn’t have any energy. We didn’t play very hard,” Tuscola coach Matt Franks said. “I thought our energy was so much better the second game, so I was really happy with that.”
James Fairfield and Tyler Crinshaw led GCMS with eight points apiece.
Ridgeview 51, Neoga 37. Junior William Tinsley scored 11 of his team-high 12 points in the second quarter to lead the Mustangs.
Christian Fannin notched 11 points for Ridgeview, and Luke Ward had seven points, eight rebounds, three assists, two blocks and two steals.
Sangamon Valley 68, Argenta-Oreana 53. Keegan McHood (25 points) and Konnor Damery (19 points) combined for 44 points, but the Bombers couldn’t rally.
Argenta-Oreana gave up 20 points off 20 turnovers.
Monticello 56, Tuscola 42. Senior point guard Daniel Caldwell led the Sages with 17 points and three steals and held Tuscola to 27 percent shooting.
Caldwell hit three three-pointers and finished 6 of 13 from the field. Stahl joined Caldwell in double figures with 15 points in 10 minutes, while Freemon added nine in Monticello’s second win of the season.
The Sages led by as many as 25 points in the second half.
Nick Bates led Tuscola with 16 points and three blocks.
Blue Ridge 58, GCMS 50. Plunk (game-high 27 points) led a 10-0 fourth-quarter run to help the Knights fend off the Falcons.
Plunk hit 17 of 19 free throws, including an 11-for-12 effort in the final quarter. Chase Zimmerman added 12 points.
Fairfield and Ross Royal had 10 points apiece to lead a balanced GCMS effort.