Newark, Princeton Fall at Riverton
Second half dooms both Norsemen and Tigers in losses to Williamsville and Breese Central
By Rick Nausner
Northern Illinois Sports Beat Contributor
RIVERTON – Two of the area's best small school teams showcased their talent down
south at the Riverton Shootout on Saturday. Both Newark and Princeton left with losses;
both coming as a result of disappointing second halves.
Williamsville 66 – Newark 46
Newark, ranked No. 8 in the state in Class 1A, ran into a buzzsaw when they faced
Williamsville, ranked No. 4 in 2A. Williamsville's halftime adjustments were key in leading
them to a 66-46 win over Newark.
Newark (21-3) jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the first quarter with two baskets from Kyle
Anderson and one from John Avery. After being shut out for the first four minutes of the
game, Nick Roscetti hit a three-pointer at the 4:00 mark. A layup by Anderson with 3:36
left in the first quarter put Newark up 8-3. Roscetti then hit a jumper, and then Travis
Combs put back his own rebound, was fouled and finished off the three-point-play at the
line to tie the game at 8-8. For the remainder of the quarter, the teams exchanged
baskets. A jumper by Brad Wagner with five seconds left in the quarter gave Williamsville
(22-3) a 14-13 lead.
The two teams continued to exchange baskets until the last three minutes of the second
quarter. Tied at 21, Wagner knocked down one of two free throws and Josh Gentile
knocked down a three with 1:51 remaining in the quarter as Williamsville took a 25-21
lead into halftime.
Williamsville came out on fire to start the third quarter, going on a 15-3 run to go up 37-
24. Wagner had eight points in the run, including two three-pointers. Combs, Gentile and
Tanner Schultz also had baskets. Newark, at the 1:50 mark of the third quarter, got its first
basket from Brett Anderson, but on the next possession Wagner knocked down a three to
give Williamsville its biggest lead of the game at 40-24.
Newark closed the quarter with four straight points from Kyle Anderson, but trailed 40-28
at the end of it.
The key to the game was when Williamsville switched from a 1-2-2 zone to a 2-3 zone
after halftime. It seemed to confuse the young Norsemen as they were not able to do
much against the 2-3. When asked about the adjustments he made at halftime that turned
the game around, Williamsville coach Brian Graven responded, “It seemed to really allow
our boys to get more deflections and turnovers.”
Williamsville started the fourth quarter on a 7-0 run with a three from Schultz, a layup from
Hunter Welch and two free throws from Combs to extend the lead to 47-28 with 6:01
remaining in the game.
Wagner finished with six assists, five steals and had 13 points for Williamsville.
When asked what the keys were that allowed Williamsville to control the second half,
Wagner responded “Hustle the ball and stop (Kyle) Anderson.”Also, when asked what his
team's goals are for the playoffs, he responded, “To win regionals and get by Auburn.”
Breese Central 50 – Princeton 37
Princeton, ranked No. 5 in Class 2A, faced No. 6 Breese Central in the night cap of the
Shootout. Breese's size was the big difference in winning 50-37.
Princeton (21-2) started the game on a 9-1 run with a layup from Ryan Vrana, a three-
pointer from Brock Schmidt and two baskets from Michael Murray. David Weigeman got
Breese its first basket of the game with 1:45 remaining in the quarter. The teams
exchanged baskets to end the quarter with Princeton leading 12-7.
In the second quarter, Princeton got back-to-back layups from Vrana and Jalen Dressler
with 7:30 left to give Princeton a 16-7 lead. From there, Breese (24-3) started to establish
its inside presence with their four big men: the 6'7” Wiegeman, 6'6” Brandon Book, 6'5”
Garrett Gaffner and 6'5” Keaton Scheer.
Breese would then go on a 18-9 run, dominating the paint with three baskets each from
Wiegeman and Gaffner. After Wiegeman got his last basket of the second quarter on a
nice drive to the basket with 1:20 left, the game was tied at 25, which would be the score
The third quarter started like the second quarter ended with more offense from
Wiegeman, who hit a three and had a jumper in the lane. Gaffner also added a layup at
the 6:39 mark of the quarter to give Breese a 32-25 lead. Princeton got a basket from
Vrana at the 4:55 mark to get Princeton to within five at 32-27.
From there, Breese continued to take advantage of its big men and dominated the paint
with all four getting a layup to put Breese up 40-29. They went on an 8-2 run while giving
Breese its biggest lead of the game. Vrana answered with two baskets to close the
quarter with Princeton trailing 40-33.
The fourth quarter was more of the game as Breese played the game to its liking. They
went on a 8-2 run with three layups from Gaffner and one basket from Book. Princeton
got its first field goal of the quarter with 1:27 remaining from Murray.
When asked what the key adjustments were at the half to turn the game in their favor,
Breese coach Stan Eagleson responded, “To get the ball in the post versus the 1-3-1
Wiegeman had 21 points to lead Breese. When asked what the key was in the game,
Wiegeman responded, “Defensive pressure and establish our dominance in the paint.”
When asked about the team's goals were for the playoffs, he said, “State championship!”
Rick Nausner is a Northern Illinois Sports Beat contributor. He can be reached in care of
NISB at Northernillinoissportsbeat@yahoo.com. --- Talk about what's written on our
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