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Okawville adjusts to pick up victory against Nashville

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OKAWVILLE • The Okawville Rockets aren't necessarily equipped to double-team a hot shooter for an extended period, especially one with a strong post presence.

But the No. 5 small school in the boys basketball rankings was forced to play that hand in Saturday night's Washington County rivalry game against Nashville.

"We really didn't want to go that route," Okawville coach Jon Kraus said after his team's 69-63 victory. "We haven't practiced it much and we were hesitant, but we had to find something to change what we were doing."

What the Rockets (13-2) were doing was watching Brogam Kemp completely dominate them in the paint. The forward scored 15 of Nashville's 18 points in the first quarter, with his left shoulder post move proving too much Okawville.

The Rockets held strong thanks to the shooting of Noah Frederking, who ranks in the top 15 in the area in scoring but continued to be outmatched in the paint. Thus the double-team, and an all-guard lineup that created problems for Nashville coach Brad Weathers.

"They're a tough matchup for us," Weathers said. "Especially when they go to that all-guard lineup, we have to figure out who our big kid will guard. You really have to give credit to Noah Frederking and Shane Ganz, who hit big shots for them."

Kemp was limited in the second half, scoring just six points. Nashville (10-5) opened up its offense to counter the double-team, with Ryan Brink leading the way. Nashville's regular-season leading scorer was held to just two points last week in a defeat to Breese Central, but had a bounce-back game here.

"He didn't really have an off night, they just took that away from us and made us go to other guys like what happened against Central," Weathers said.

Kemp accumulated a game-high five fouls, including a needless one off an inbounds pass with 80 seconds remaining and the Hornets trailing by seven. Brink took three shots during Nashville's final offensive possession but couldn't make any of them as the Rockets pulled away after a big Josh Madrid 3-pointer.

"We've got some kids that can score and have a lot of different weapons," Krauss said. "As the game went on, it was just a matter of who was going to get two or three stops on the defensive end."

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