Just two months ago, Somonauk was “owned” by Newark. The Bobcats were handed a 20-point loss in early December by the Norsemen.
But it was the Bobcats who had the last word this time around. Marcus Alstadt and Reece Bode came up big to lead Somonauk to a 64-57 victory in the championship game of the 96th Little Ten Conference tournament at Somonauk.
The Bobcats were technically the visitors since it was the lower seed.
"The first time we played them, they pressed us and we didn’t know what to do,’’ Bode said. "This time, I thought we did a much better job of handling it."
Bode and Alstadt were both involved on the go-ahead bucket that gave Somonauk the lead for good. Bode pulled down an offensive rebound and fed Alstadt who was cutting to the basket for a layup and a 57-55 lead with 1:32 left to play.
Alstadt led Somonauk (11-11) with 20 points including 18 in the second half of a game that see-sawed back and forth from the last two minutes of the second quarter till the end. Bode finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds including three three-pointers in the second half.
"That was the worst first half that I ever played in my life," Alstadt said. "I made so many turnovers but my teammates kept telling me at halftime to shoot it and not worry about it."
With 53 seconds left in the game, the outcome seemed certain when Newark (15-8) sophomore, big-man Jack Clausel fouled out. He left the game with 21 points and eight rebounds and was providing Newark with most of its offense down the stretch.
Alstadt and Bode combined to go 5-for 6 from the line to close out the game.
"We are a completely different team than when we played them the first time," Alstadt said. "Everyone knows their role on the team now and we have great chemistry as a team."
Evan Schomer finished with 15 points and eight rebounds for Newark.