Stuart tosses in 18 points to lift KouGars to easy win
By Jason Shoot
Joey Stuart, a Class C all-state selection a year ago,
looked like anything but his typical dominant self in KG's
first two games at the District 9C basketball tournament
this past weekend.
That all changed last night.
Stuart, who had been just 9-for-37 from the field in the
KouGars' two earlier tournament games, scored a game-high 18
points to lead KG to a 64-42 win over Blue Sky in the
tournament's challenge game at the Havre High gym.
The win propelled KG into the Northern Divisional
tournament in Lewistown, where the KouGars will first face
District 8C champion Highwood Thursday night.
KG lost a disappointing game to Rocky Boy in the tournament
title game on Saturday, but rather than mope around Sunday
and enter last night's game unprepared and unmotivated, the
Kougars did exactly the opposite.
"Everyone came prepared," Stuart said. "This team has a lot
of heart. To come back and beat a team that beat us at the
end of the year like that (a 59-44 Eagles win on Feb. 16)
shows what kind of a team this is."
Stuart made clear very early in the contest that he wasn't
going to settle for a boatload of outside jumpers. Instead,
the 6-foot junior crashed into the lane, setting up much
"My shot hasn't been falling in the tournament, but I'm a
shooting guard and I have to do that," Stuart said.
After Blue Sky's Brent Petrick scored with a layin to close
the KG lead to 19-18 with 3:20 left in the second period,
Stuart recorded consecutive baskets the latter resulting
in a three-point play the old-fashioned way that pushed
the KouGars' advantage back to six at 24-18.
Blue Sky would get no closer than six points the rest of
KG, which led 28-21 at halftime, slammed the door shut on
the Eagles in the third quarter, putting together a 17-2 run
that gave the KouGars a big 45-23 lead. Stuart scored seven
points during the crucial spurt.
"Joey came to play today," KG coach Charlie Robinson said.
"(The Eagles) weren't going to deny him. He could hit
20-for-20 any game instead of 5-for-20. He just never quits
T.J. IronBear also made his presence felt with 11 points on
5 of 6 shooting, as well as a game-high 11 rebounds.
Jack McKinley paced the Eagles with 14 points, but he
scored just six points after a big first-quarter output of
BLUE SKY (42) Lipp 2-6 1-1 6, Petrick 1-4 0-0 2,
Hutchinson 2-10 1-2 6, Petersen 1-2 0-0 2, Toner 1-4 0-0 3,
Ma. McKinley 0-3 0-0 0, Mi. McKinley 3-7 0-1 6, Schnitzmeier
1-4 1-2 3, Jurenka 0-1 0-0 0, Wells 0-0 0-0 0, Groth 0-1 0-0
0, J. McKinley 6-12 2-2 14. Totals 17-54 5-8 42.
KG (64) Donoven 0-0 2-2 2, Rambo 0-0 0-0 0, Simenson 3-5
1-5 7, Stuart 7-15 4-6 18, Crites 3-8 0-0 7, Larson 4-7 0-2
8, Thackeray 1-1 1-4 3, Kapperud 1-1 3-4 5, Marshall 0-1 0-0
0, Melby 1-2 0-0 2, IronBear 5-6 2-3 12, Sterner 0-0 0-0 0.
Totals 25-46 13-26 64.