Aumann Drops The Hammer On The Vandals

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With nine and a half seconds left in the fourth quarter of the fifth place game at the Vandalia Holiday Tournament, the Nokomis Redskins had one last chance to get off a quality shot and break a 51-51 tie with the tournament’s host. What they got may not have been quality, but it was dramatic and effective.

After scoring 19 points in the first 31 minutes and 50.5 seconds, Nokomis junior Elijah Aumann saved his biggest points for those final 9.5 seconds as he hit an off-balanced fadeaway jumper from just behind the free-throw line to give the Redskins a 53-51 victory.

The play couldn’t have been what Coach Dan DeWerff drew up during the timeout that preceded the time out Nokomis took before the final chance, but the end result is what really mattered.

Aumann took the inbounds at mid-court and dribbled to the top of the key, where he passed to Ryan Eisenbarth. Eisenbarth tried to get the ball back to Aumann, who was hoping to break free after a pick set by Jake Johnson, but the Vandals defended the pass well and Aumann bobbled it briefly before regaining control.

With one dribble to just inside the three-point line Aumann created enough space to get off a shot, which hit nothing but net as the final buzzer sounded.

It was a fitting end to a back-and-forth affair that had seven lead changes in the second half and was tied at 43, 48 and 51 in the final three minutes.

The first half was similar, with Nokomis holding a 17-14 lead after eight minutes and Vandalia rallying back to go up 28-27 on a bucket by Carson Ruot at the end of the first half.

Vandalia’s Reid Well hit a three for the first bucket of the third quarter to give the Vandals their biggest lead of the second half at 31-27. Jake Johnson answered with a two for Nokomis and the lead for either team was never more than two points the rest of the quarter.

Down 38-37 going into the fourth, Nokomis regained the lead with a pair of free throws by Aumann that made it 39-38. Well knocked down a two to give Vandalia the advantage for the last time in the game, although the Vandals did tie things up three times after that.

For a while, it looked as if Nokomis might pull away from the home team, getting threes from Cooper Bertolino and Aumann and a two from Johnson to boost the advantage to 48-43 with two minutes to play. But every time the Redskins threatened to roll, Vandalia came through with a big shot to stop the momentum.

Well hit his fifth three of the game to make it 48-46, then Carson Ruot tied the contest at 48 all with 51 seconds left. Aumann stepped up again for what Nokomis hoped would be a dagger three-pointer with 37 seconds left, but Chase Laack nailed a three of his own to tie the game at 51-51 with 15 seconds left.

The Redskins would inbound the ball and get it to half court, where they’d take a time out and set up Aumann’s inadvertent heroics.

The leading scorer in the tournament, Aumann finished with 21 points for the game and 96 points for the five games in Vandalia.

Jake Johnson added in 10 points and was a key factor on the boards, while Cooper Bertolino chipped in nine, including two three-pointers. Reece Lohman (6), Ryan Eisenbarth (5) and Nolan Himes (2) also contributed to the win, Nokomis’ eighth of the season.

The Redskins will be off until Thursday, Jan. 6, when they travel to Springfield to take on the Calvary Saints.

December 30 at Vandalia

Vandalia Holiday Tournament

5th Place Game

Nokomis 17 10 10 16 53

Vandalia 14 14 10 13 51

Nokomis (53) - Elijah Aumann 21, Jake Johnson 10, Cooper Bertolino 9, Reece Lohman 6, Ryan Eisenbarth 5, Nolan Himes 2. Totals: 20 9-15 53.

Vandalia (51) - Carson Ruot 18, Reid Well 17, Chase Laack 6, Conner Ray 4, Cayden Hipsher 2, Preston Nestrick 2, Matthew Hagy 2. Totals: 20 5-7 51.

Three-point field goals: Nokomis 4 (Aumann 2, Bertolino 2); Vandalia 6 (Well 5, Laack 1).

49th Annual Vandalia Boys Tournament

Pool A: Cumberland (1-2), Macon Meridian (4-0), Okaw Valley (1-3), Teutopolis JV (3-1), Vandalia (1-3)

Pool B: Flora (2-2), Father McGivney (0-4), Nokomis (2-2), Pana (4-0), Shelbyville (2-2)

Monday, December 27

• Pana 74, Shelbyville 39

• Flora 61, McGivney 56

• Meridian 70, Teutopolis JV 59

• Shelbyville 58, McGivney 50

• Okaw Valley 36, Cumberland 31

• Pana 58, Nokomis 46

• Meridian 89, Vandalia 82

Tuesday, December 28

• Cumberland 67, Vandalia 60 (OT)

• Flora 34, Shelbyville 31

Teutopolis JV 51, Okaw Valley 44

• Pana 65, Father McGivney 52

• Meridian 76, Cumberland 54

Vandalia 62, Okaw Valley 44

• Nokomis 46, Flora 41

Wednesday, December 29

• Nokomis 66, Father McGivney 47

• Teutopolis JV 62, Vandalia 59

• Shelbyville 54, Nokomis 50

• Teutopolis JV 50, Cumberland 44

• Meridian 46, Okaw Valley 40

• Pana 50, Flora 40

Thursday, December 30

9th Place: Okaw Valley 46, Father McGivney 27

7th Place: Flora 44, Cumberland 36

5th Place: Nokomis 53, Vandalia 51

3rd Place: Teutopolis JV 49, Shelbyville 35

1st Place: Pana 71, Meridian 46

All-Tournament Team: Brenden Schoonover - Pana; Colin Schmitz - Pana; Devon Peebles - Pana; Drew Hurelbrink - Meridian; Chase Laack - Vandalia; Brody Boehm - Shelbyville; Elijah Aumann - Nokomis; Cale Roley - Okaw Valley; Jaxon Boldt - Cumberland

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