Nokomis’ match-up with Springfield Lutheran on Tuesday, Feb. 23, was everything that you have come to expect from the Redskins over the last 40 years or so.
Coach Dan DeWerff’s team received contributions up and down the line-up, with seven of the eight players on the roster scoring. Defensively, Nokomis was their typically stingy self, allowing just 27 points, with three quarters of holding the Crusaders to five or under.
And most importantly, the Redskins won, something they have done often in the past and five times in nine games this year with Tuesday’s 53-27 victory over Lutheran.
Nokomis, who is still short-handed due to injuries and Covid-19 protocols, trailed 15-11 after the first quarter, but the opening eight minutes would be the least productive quarter of the game for the Redskins, who followed with 15, 14 and 13 in the next three frames.
After giving up 15 points and six field goals in the first quarter, Nokomis held the Crusaders to just 12 points and five field goals the rest of the game.
Two different players reached double figures for Nokomis, seniors Jake Johnson and Seth Johnson. Jake would lead the Redskins with 13 points while also hauling in seven rebounds, while Seth scored ten points, highlighted by Nokomis’ only two threes, both of which came in the second quarter.
Ben Clavin stayed hot and scored nine points, going 3-for-3 from the free-throw line, while Kendall Knodle added eight points, four of which came from the charity stripe in six attempts.
Ryan Eisenbarth added in five points, all in the second quarter, while Nolan Himes and Reece Lohman finished with four apiece to finish off the win.
The victory was well-timed as it came on the heels of a 53-49 overtime loss the night before to East Alton-Wood River (EAWR).
Nokomis trailed 12-10 after eight minutes, but took a 23-21 lead into halftime. They would continue to hold the lead in the third quarter, with Jake Johnson netting six of his team-best 17 points to help give them a 36-28 advantage going into the fourth.
Evan Merritt would come up big for the Oilers in the fourth quarter and the extra frame though, scoring 13 of his game-high 19 points in the final 12 minutes as EAWR outscored Nokomis 27-13 in the final two periods to escape with the win.
In addition to Johnson, who scored in all five frames for Nokomis, the Redskins got eight from Ryan Eisenbarth off the bench and seven from Ben Clavin, all of which came in the first half.
February 22 at Nokomis
EAWR 12 9 7 17 10 53
Nokomis 10 13 13 7 6 49
East Alton-Wood River (53) - Evan Merritt 19, Spencer Slayden 10, Antonio Hardin 8, Seth Slayden 8, Ahmad Allen 5, Andrew Oliger 2, Marcus O’Dell 1. Totals:
Nokomis (49) - Jake Johnson 17, Ryan Eisenbarth 8, Ben Clavin 7, Seth Johnson 6, Nolan Himes 5, Reece Lohman 4, Kendall Knodle 2. Totals: 18 10-20 49.
Three-point field goals: East Alton-Wood River ; Nokomis 1 (Clavin 1).
February 23 at Nokomis
Spfld. Lutheran 15 4 5 3 27
Nokomis 11 15 14 13 53
Springfield Lutheran (27) - Isaac Groth 7, Wes Mullins 6, Geno Daniels 5, Pat Vespa 5, Nikko Boston 2, Caleb Stevens 2. Totals: 11 4-7 27.
Nokomis (53) - Jake Johnson 13, Seth Johnson 10, Ben Clavin 9, Kendall Knodle 8, Ryan Eisenbarth 5, Nolan Himes 4, Reece Lohman 4. Totals: 21 8-13 53.
Records: Nokomis (5-4); Springfield Lutheran (1-5).