Beyond the Boxscore: Oswego coach enjoys homecoming

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Dec. 3, 2017 12:15 am Updated: Dec. 3, 2017 12:27 am

This is as close to a homecoming as Chad Pohlmann likely ever will get as a high school basketball coach.

Born in Hannibal, Mo., when his father, Greg, was coaching at South Shelby High School in Shelbina, Mo., Pohlmann is in his first season as the Oswego boys coach and was still in search of his first victory when the Panthers came to Blue Devil Gym on Saturday night.

Thanks to a 3-pointer by sophomore Jack Kahoun with 1.2 seconds remaining, Oswego knocked off Quincy High School 56-55 with Pohlmann's family, including his father, in attendance.

"My dad used to come over here and watch Sherrill Hanks run his camps and he brought his boys over here to play in the summer leagues," Pohlmann said. "To get my first win here as a boys coach, it's fun for the family. All I heard as a kid was the Quincy Blue Devils and all about the gym and everything. It was pretty special."

Greg Pohlmann coached both the boys and girls basketball programs at South Shelby in the 1970s, guiding the Lady Birds to a 30-0 record and the state championship in 1974. South Shelby beat Wheeling 42-40 at Lamkin Gymnasium on the Northwest Missouri State University campus in Maryville, Mo.

After coaching at South Shelby for a handful of seasons, Greg Pohlmann got out of coaching, took a job with Aldi and moved his family to the Chicagoland area. Chad Pohlmann played at and graduated from Lincolnshire Stevenson before playing collegiately at Carthage College.

After serving as as assistant coach for several years when his teaching career began, Pohlmann was hired as the Oswego girls basketball coach in 2007. In eight seasons, he led the Panthers to a 149-87 record and guided the 2009-10 team to a school-record 29 victories and fourth place at the Class 4A state tournament.

He resigned as the girls coach in April 2015 and joined the boys staff as an assistant coach. Last May, Pohlmann and former Oswego coach Matt Borrowman switched spots, with Pohlmann replacing Borrowman as the head coach and Borrowman staying on as an assistant.

Borrowman is a native of Barry, Ill., and coached the Panthers in his own homecoming at Blue Devil Gym in 2015.

The Blue Devils won 64-49 that night. This time, the homecoming worked out better for the one coming home.

"Starting out the season with a heck of a schedule, to come in here and get that win is just awesome," Pohlmann said.


Looking to regain his rhythm

With senior point guard Aaron Shoot sidelined, Quincy junior guard Jaeden Smith has been forced to assume the point guard role and it has impacted his offensive game.

Smith, who was named the MVP of the 47th annual QHS Thanksgiving Tournament, went 11 of 29 from 3-point range and was averaging 18.3 points per game. However, in losses to Moline and Oswego this weekend, Smith went a combined 1 of 14 from 3-point range and was limited to 13 total points.

He shook off his shooting woes and went 7 of 8 from the free-throw line against Oswego. He also had four assists and two steals.

"I talk to Jaeden a lot," Quincy junior guard Jirehl Brock said. "Jaeden and I go way back playing together. That's my best friend right there. I just try to keep him up. Sometimes he gets really hard himself and I try to stop him from doing that. We know he'll bounce back."


Shoot making progress

Shoot missed both games this weekend in order to give his sprained left ankle time to recuperate. Injured during the Blue Devils' victory over Providence St. Mel in the season opener, Shoot missed the Friday game against Chicago Dunbar in the QHS Thanksgiving Tournament but returned to play a couple minutes in the second quarter of the championship game against St. Louis Northwest Academy.

He had been wearing a walking boot, but Shoot was out of the boot Saturday night.

Quincy coach Andy Douglas said he hopes Shoot will be able to suit up next Friday when the Blue Devils travel to Rock Island Alleman.


Continuing to produce

Because Quincy relies heavily on its guard play, senior forward Ben Amos tends to be the forgotten man.

His numbers suggest no one should forget about him. Ever.

Amos scored in double figures for the fourth time in five games, finishing with 12 points on 6-of-11 shooting against Oswego. Amos also grabbed seven rebounds and blocked two shots as he continues to develop into Quincy's most consistent threat.


Perimeter woes

The Blue Devils averaged nine made 3-pointers per game heading into the weekend. The made just six in losses to Moline and Oswego. Quincy went 6 of 35 from 3-point range -- that's just 17.1 percent.