Sophomore forward gives Saukees extra punch in season-opening victory

Posted: Nov. 26, 2013 4:50 am Updated: Dec. 17, 2013 5:15 am

Herald-Whig Sports Writer

PITTSFIELD, Ill. — Reese Ramsey showed flashes of being an important piece of the Pittsfield boys basketball team's puzzle.

While Pittsfield senior guards Eli Petty and Wayde Smith attacked the rim and set up on the perimeter, Ramsey was underneath doing dirty work. The 6-foot-2 sophomore forward scored 11 points and grabbed seven rebounds to help Pittsfield beat Illini West 64-47 Monday night in pool play during the seventh annual Pittsfield Turkey Tournament at Voshall Gymnasium.

"(Opponents) don't know what we're going to do," Ramsey said. "Sometimes we're going to sit outside, sometimes Wayde is going to get his shots and Eli is going to get his. If I can chip in, it spreads the court out. They don't know who is going to score."

Smith and Petty benefitted greatly from Ramsey drawing more attention. Smith finished with 31 points and nine rebounds, while Petty had 14 points.

"That's what we're hoping to have," Pittsfield coach Brad Tomhave said. "It was nice to see some of the varsity kids get their first minutes and get the jitters out of the way and score the ball when they had to. We have to have that. We need different guys to step up every night."

Smith, Petty and Ramsey staked the Saukees (1-0) to an 11-0 lead. Smith made two baskets before Petty nailed a 3-pointer and a jumper. Ramsey then made a layup.

Illini West (0-1) scored its first basket when Nate Palmer made a 3-pointer with 1 minute, 9 seconds remaining in the first quarter. The Chargers struggled to get their offense going and finished 6 of 28 on 3-point attempts.

Nolan Ard and Colton Mellinger led Illini West with 14 points apiece.

Ard is one of two players on the Illini West roster who played on the varsity last season.

"It's a lot different playing varsity speed against a well-coached Pittsfield team at home," Illini West coach John Hughs said. "I think we played a little bit scared on offense and not comfortable. Pittsfield had a lot to do to with that, too."

After Illini West cut the lead to 13-6 on a 3-pointer by Bryor Grotts with less than a minute left in the first quarter, Pittsfield went on another run sparked by Smith.

After a free throw from Cameron Herring and layup by Petty, Smith made a layup and 3-pointer to push the Saukees' lead to 21-6. The Chargers never cut the lead to less than 10 points after that.

Pittsfield kept the pressure up on defense and led 32-15 at halftime.

"We all the have ability to score," Smith said. "Eli came out hot. Reese came out shooting and had a game we expected him to have."

In the tournament opener, Cody Hildebrand scored a game-high 28 points as Payson Seymour rolled to a 71-37 victory over Western.

The Indians limited the Wildcats to one field goal in the second quarter while building a 34-12 halftime lead.

Hildebrand knocked down 13 field goals -- all inside the 3-point stripe -- as the Indians made just one 3-pointer.

Lance Buhlig added 13 points for Payson, while Izack Hively led Western with 17 points.

Macomb beat Alton Marquette 50-49 in the tournament's other game.




Today's Edition