The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

February 8, 2013

Trojans rally to beat Pats


COVINGTON, Ind. — There were no superstars who dominated when the Seeger boys’ basketball team traveled to face Covington. Instead, the game came down to execution by different individuals at different points in the contest.

The game started as if it might be a blowout by the hosts as they jumped out 7-0 en route to an 18-6 lead with 1:29 left in the first quarter.

Seeger got some good looks at the basket in that span, but the ball would not go down.

“We attacked the basket, but we didn’t finish,” said Seeger coach John Collins. “We flipped up shots instead of going hard to the basket.”

When the Trojan lead reached those dozen points, things began to tip the other way. It was the hosts who could not find the basket, while Seeger began to roll.

“We gave them too many easy shots in the paint except in that second quarter,” said Collins in describing how his team temporarily turned the tide. “And then we started attacking the way we should.”

The Patriots went on a 15-0 run to take a 21-18 lead as the Trojans did not score for almost seven minutes. One key to the Seeger comeback was the play of Caleb Orahood. The senior made several good defensive plays, scored and dished out assists to trigger the run.

At the half, Seeger was up 22-21 and Covington was without the services of its usual high scorer Jordan Ahrens who went down with an injury in the second quarter and would not return.

Covington coach Kent Chezem responded by challenging his players during the intermission and the squad seemed to take his message to heart.

“I’m really happy how we came out after the half,” he said. “I was really pleased with our effort, especially defensively.”

After his team gave up five quick points to start the third quarter to Isaac Foxen, they shut down the Patriots for the next six minutes, allowing the visitors only two points while scoring fourteen of their own to lead 35-29.

Seeger did not give up and began to reel in the Trojans as the fourth quarter started. They closed to within three at 38-35 with 4:11 to go, but then came what Chezem said, “might be the play of the game.”

Gage Hegg stole the ball for the Trojans, raced the length of the court, head faked the defender who was chasing him and made a reverse lay-up, drawing a foul to go with it.

Hegg made the free throw to make the margin six points. In the next three minutes, Seeger would continue to send him to the line and he kept knocking down free throws.

He made four of the five he earned and then scored with a lay-up on a pass from Alex Frechette to help counter a trey from the Patriots.

“Gage is a competitor,” said Chezem. “He got his opportunity tonight and made the most of it.”

The lay-up by Hegg put the Trojans up 46-40 and the team played out the final minute to get the 49-44 win.

Covington kept taking the ball inside and scoring, said Collins. If the Trojans missed, they often drew a foul and went to the line from where they hit 17 of 25 compared to five of ten for the visitors.

“I’m always trying to get us to play 32 minutes,” said Chezem, “But tonight I guess it was only 24. However, I really liked our ball movement and shot selection and our defensive effort was great.”