Okaw tournament title for MMS seventh graders

The Monticello Middle School seventh grade boys’ basketball team completed its run through the Okaw Valley Conference tournament last week, defeating Meridian 26-22 in the championship game to earn the title.

Thomas Swartz scored eight points and pulled down eight rebounds for the Sages who outlasted the Hawks in a back-and-forth contest Thursday.

Triston Foran added five points and one steal.

Monticello advanced to the championship game behind victories against Central A&M (33-25) and Argenta (47-27).

In the tournament semifinals Jan. 10 against Central A&M, the Sages were paced by Tanner Buehnerkemper’s 11 points, one steal and one block while Joey Sprinkle added nine points and 13 rebounds.

Monticello fell behind 24-18 at the end of the third quarter but rallied with a 15-1 fourth quarter run to sneak into the championship game.

Swartz finished with eight points in the game.

The Sages put forth a balanced scoring effort against Argenta as Sprinkle scored eight points, Trevor Fox and Peyton Scott six apiece and Malachi Manuel five in the quarterfinal victory.

The Sages earned two big wins before the conference tournament.

Monticello defeated Unity 45-9 on Jan. 5 behind Swartz’ 10 points, four rebounds and two steals. Manuel added eight poitns, Ben Cresap had six points and four steals while Payton Scott chipped in with five points and two assists.

Two days earlier, the Sages used an 8-4 fourth quarter advantage to defeat Charleston 40-38 on the road.

Buehnerkemper and Fox had 10 points each while Cooper Mitze and Swartz reached double figures in rebounds with 17 and 12, respectively.

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