Unity tops Sages for OVC tourney crown
DECATUR — Unity claimed its second consecutive Okaw Valley Conference tournament in nail-biting fashion Saturday.
The Rockets held on to beat Monticello 65-60, ending the Sages' eight-game winning streak.
"It was great for these guys," Unity coach Bill Ispen said. "We said defensively is where we had to get it done. We gave up 28 in the first half and came back with a 20-point third quarter. I said keep them to 55 and we only gave up 60. I think that's what won us the game."
The win didn't come without some tense moments. Unity hit just 4 of 9 free throw attempts in the final 3 1/2 minutes, letting an eight-point lead dwindle to three before closing out.
Junior Matt Restad was the late-game savior, going 4 of 4 from the free throw line in the final 30 seconds.
"That's great to see a kid want the ball," Ipsen said. "He wanted to take those free throws. He made some tough catches in the corner on the inbounds. It was great to see him step up like that."
Restad filled in late for senior guard Taylor Black, who fouled out with five minutes remaining after scoring a team-high 22 points.
After taking a 28-28 tie into the break, Unity opened up a 12-point lead with a 14-2 run in the third quarter.
Monticello cut it to eight before the fourth and outscored Unity 21-14 in the final nine minutes.
"I give credit to our guys and their determination," Monticello coach Kevin Roy said. "We came out and applied more pressure to try to get some turnovers. The kids played their heart out. I'm proud of their effort."
Monticello's Nick Stokowski led all scorers with 24 points and Daly O'Brien chipped in 13. Matt Kruse had 12.
The Rockets also picked up 14 points from Aaron Larson and Alex Thorson.
Sullivan 47, Argenta-Oreana 45. The Redskins overcame an eight-point deficit after three quarters in rallying past the Bombers.
Trailing 38-30, Sullivan outscored A-O 17-7 in the final period behind Micah Plank's six points and Tanner Typer's five.
Plank finished with a game-high 18 points. Gage Eller paced the Bombers with 11 points.