By Jeff Motz
Lincoln Prep Sports.com
Lincoln----It took an 8-1 run in the final two minutes of the 2nd quarter for the Sterling boys basketball team to pick up some steam and take charge of the Lincoln Lutheran JV. From there, Sterling capitalized off of turnovers and fouls committed by the Warriors to win the Parkview Christian Holiday Tournament boys championship by the final of 62-44 Friday night at Parkview.
Jets center D.J. Thiel scored 6 of his 9 points in the late quarter run before halftime. From the free-throw line, Sterling shot under 50% in the first half after drawing fouls on three key Lutheran players. After leading 25-23 at halftime, the Jets took off to a 29-23 lead in the 3rd quarter, off of baskets from Zach Lempka and Jake Saathoff. Lutheran got to within three of Sterling at 33-30, before Saathoff hit two free throws to spark a 7-3 run to finish the quarter at 40-33.
Sterling outscored Lutheran 22-11 in the final quarter to win the tourney championship. Early on, it was Lutheran who came out hot early in the first quarter. Isaiah Bockelman and Conner Shelton were thorns in the side of the Jets, as their defense and run and gun transition game helped Lutheran to a 9-0 run and a 17-8 lead, before the Jets finished the quarter on a 4-0 run.
Luke Tewes helped Lutheran extend their lead to 20-16 halfway through in the 2nd quarter off a three-pointer.
Three Sterling players scored in double figures, including Lempka who led all scorers with 18 points, Nieveen scored 13 points, mostly by going 9 of 13 from the free throw line and Saathoff added 10 in the win. Lutheran was led by Jayson Haessler and Michael Tewes with 9 points each. Both Tewes' along with Jesse Tobey and Eric Beckman each fouled out of the game. Three key players for the Warriors were in foul trouble in the first half.
Sterling improves to 5-3.
Sterling: Zach Lempka 18, Brandon Nieveen 13, Jake Saathoff 10, D.J. Thiel 9, Jese Salberg 6, Devin Heusman 2, Klay Heusman 2, Austin Magill 2
Lincoln Lutheran JV: Jayson Haessler 9, Michael Tewes 9, Connor Shelton 8, Jesse Tobey 6, Luke Tewes 6, Isaiah Bockelman 4, Ethan Walz 2.
Sterling Girls 45, Freeman JV 14
Turnovers proved to be the sticking point of this game, as the Lady Jets capitalized off of 20 forced and unforced turnovers in the first half and never looked back. Sterling led 17-2 after one quarter and 27-4 at the half.
Kala Weber led the Jets with 10 points, while McKenzie McAuliffe added 9 points in the win. Sterling improves to 4-5 with the Tourney title.
Sterling: Kala Weber 10, McKenzie McAuliffe 9, Courtney VanGroningen 6, Kaylee Agena 5, Stephanie Heusman 4, Jamie Erickson 4, A.J. Magill 4, Kelci Lowmack 2, Madeline Daehling 1.
Freeman: Breanna Jurgens 3, Aubrey Banks 3, Shelby Mason 3, Amanda Tosko 2, Amanda Wusk 2, Marissa Page 1.