Schluter delivers in clutch for champion Spartans
CHAMPAIGN — St. Joseph-Ogden sophomore Brent Schluter's 16 points after the first half capped an 11-point comeback as the Spartans beat Momence 64-59 in overtime Saturday to win the school's first Sangamon Valley Conference tournament title since 2008.
After requiring overtime to get past CPCI on Friday night, the Spartans again needed an extra four minutes to claim the championship.
"Momence is too good for this to be an easy game," SJ-O coach Brian Brooks said. "We feel fortunate to come out on the right side both nights. Our kids didn't quit."
After each of the first two quarters only three points separated the teams.
At the beginning of the second half the Redskins began to separate. They established a lead of 11 points with 1 1/2 minutes left in the period.
But SJ-O responded.
In the third Schluter came off the bench and cleaned up inside, scoring four points in 35 seconds to bring the gap to seven. At the buzzer, Louis Acklin hit an off-balance shot from 30 feet away to draw SJ-O to 43-39. With that the Spartans (17-6) were on a roll.
"When we got on that run we felt like they weren't going to stop us," Schluter said. "But give them credit, it was a real dogfight."
After Schluter buried two free throws and another hook shot to draw SJ-O within two, Nate Michael (14 points) drove through the Momence defense and evened the score at 45 with 4 1/2 minutes to play.
In the extra period Schluter was clutch, scoring six of his game-high 21 points.
"With their athleticism they were able to body him up and make shots difficult. Brent did a better job, made quicker moves in the second half," Brooks said. "It opens up the outside when Brent can finish down low. I thought that was key."
Aaron Woller's steal and layup put SJ-O ahead 61-56 with 30 seconds to play.
PBL 47, CPCI 32. In the third-place game, Gauge Snider scored 17 points, Tanner Harris 14 and Dakota Zenner 10 to lift Paxton-Buckley-Loda.
Alex Rabe led CPCI with 11 points.