The championship game is set for the Class 1A Galva Regional boys basketball tournament.

The championship game is set for the Class 1A Galva Regional boys basketball tournament.

Top-seeded Annawan will meet Princeville for the regional crown tonight (Friday, Feb. 23) in the GHS gym. The winner advances to the Ottawa Marquette Sectional and plays the winner of the Serena Regional at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 27. 

Annawan earned its trip to the title game with a 68-47 win over Ridgewood in Tuesday night’s semifinal, while Princeville held off Galva 43-40 in overtime in Wednesday night’s semifinal clash.


Annawan rolls past Ridgewood

Ben Buresh led the Braves with 16 points, followed by Owen Landwehr 14, Julian Samuels 13 off the bench, and Brendon Shaw and Dylan Thurston with 10 points each. Landwehr also dished out seven assists, including three to Buresh in the first quarter as Annawan raced to a 17-6 lead.

“He’s (Landwehr) improved a lot on that and on recognizing where the defense is coming from and then finding the open man,” said Annawan coach Alex Coppejans. “And Ben does a nice job of that as well. The more unselfish we play, the better team we become. We love to play unselfish basketball and those two lead the way.”

Sparked by a 12-point second quarter from Briar Greenman, the Spartans pulled within 34-28, but Annawan closed with two buckets to push its lead to 38-28 at the break.

The state-ranked Braves (26-3) stretched the margin to 55-42 after three quarters and locked down the win in the final eight minutes.

“They’re a really good offensive team,” Coppejans said of Ridgewood. “It was gonna come down to if we could string together stops and we started doing that in the fourth and that’s when things started to open up.”

Greenman wrapped up his high school career with 20 points, while Travis Kane and Max Nuckles chipped in with 10 apiece. Ridgewood exits at 15-14 on the year.


Princes prevail in OT

Princeville arrived in the title game by surviving an overtime defensive scuffle with the host Wildcats.

Galva took its first lead since early in the third quarter when Cooper Hoxworth scored with 3:16 left in the game to give the Wildcats a 36-35 edge. Hoxworth split one of two free throws at the 1:20 mark to push the margin to 37-35, but Princeville pulled even on a Justin Janssen steal and score with just under a minute to play.

The Wildcats had the ball in the waning seconds of regulation, but Hoxworth was whistled for an offensive foul on a drive to the hoop with 3.7 seconds remaining. Princeville freshman Cole Daily bounced a desperation shot from just inside half court off the rim, and it was on to four minutes of free basketball.

Janssen scored on an offensive rebound, and free throws from Janssen and Daily gave Princeville a 41-37 lead with 1:21 left in overtime.

Hoxworth answered with a three-point play at the 1:13 mark to pull Galva within 41-40.

Cody Thole calmly converted a pair of free throws with 24 ticks left to make it 43-40 Princes. 

Galva’s Mason Kaiser misfired on a 3-pointer from near the top of the key with 10 seconds remaining, but the Wildcats came up the offensive rebound after a scramble. The ball ended up in Kaiser’s hands again, but his three from the corner bounced off the rim at the buzzer.

Hoxworth scored the first six points of the game, only to see Princeville counter with seven straight to lead 7-6 at the quarter. Neither team led by more than two points in the second quarter until Galva’s Peyton Sopiars drilled a trey at the halftime buzzer to give Galva a 19-16 lead at the break.

Galva went more than five minutes without a bucket to start the second half as Princeville surged in front 25-19. The Wildcats trimmed the deficit to 25-24 after three quarters on a 3-pointer from Ethan Peterson and Hoxworth run-out layup off a Princeville turnover.

Hoxworth led all scorers with 20 points, including nine points in the fourth quarter. Janssen led Princeville with 14 points — all coming in the second half and overtime.

Galva dropped its final seven games of the season and checks out at 18-12.


Greenman sets AlWood scoring mark

With 35 points in Monday night’s opening-round win over Stark County, Briar Greenman became the all-time leading scorer in AlWood High School history. He eclipsed the mark of 1,473 points set by 1982 graduate Joel Esters. With his 20 points Tuesday against Annawan, Greenman finished with 1,506 career points.


Monday night at Galva Regional

Ridgewood and Princeville earned semifinal berths with opening-round wins.

The Spartans topped Stark County 77-57 and Princeville held off LaMoille-Ohio 55-49.


ROWVA-Williamsfield ousted

Tucker Sams poured in 30 points for ROWVA-Williamsfield, but the Cougars fell to Orion 63-56 in the opening round of the Class 2A Rockridge Regional Monday night.

R-W trailed 32-25 at the break and fell behind 40-30 in the third quarter, but closed the frame with a 12-2 run to pull even at 42-all going into the final eight minutes. Orion answered with a 21-14 push in the fourth quarter to squash R-W’s rally.

Sams was the lone Cougar in double figures as R-W closes the season 14-18.


(Matt Carlson, Kewanee Star Courier sports editior, contributed to this story.)