Stewart-led Trojans ousts Eddies from tournament

Gunn has 514 wins in 37 seasons.

Posted on March 4, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.

EDWARDSBURG — Keith Kurowski has built an identity for Sturgis High School boys basketball in his five years as head coach.

The Trojans succeed with defense, rebounding and toughness.

Those qualities were on display Monday night in a 54-39 win against Edwardsburg in the first game of the Class Edwardsburg District.

Chance Stewart, a junior who has verbally committed to play quarterback at the University of Wisconsin, muscled for a career-high 32 points to go with 21 rebounds and Sturgis (12-8) held the Eddies (15-6) to 11 of 48 shooting from the floor, including 8 of 29 in the second half, in earning the right to play Paw Paw (11-9) in the second semifinal on Wednesday, March 6. The first game at 6 p.m. pits Three Rivers (5-15) against Vicksburg (12-8). The district final is slated for 7 p.m. on Friday, March 8.

“You’ve got to stop people before you can be good,” said Kurowski, who watched his team hold Edwardsburg to a season-low point total and 23 below the Eddies’ average. “I can’t say enough about our defensive effort.”

In a rough-and-tumble game, Edwardsburg senior and Central Michigan University signee Josh Kozinski was held to 10 points — 13 under his average.

“There was a lot of physical contact,” said Eddies coach Dan Gunn. “That’s the way the game was called.”

A 9-0 third-quarter run helped Sturgis break open a close game.

“It was too much Stewart,” said Gunn of the 6-foot-5, 210-pounder who had 11 points and 13 rebounds by halftime. “He’s a man. He does a nice job inside.”

Stewart came in averaging 17 points per contest after establishing a career mark with 31 points in the regular-season finale against Bronson.

“We established our inside presence early,” said Kurowski. “They didn’t have an answer for Chance Stewart.

“We rode him tonight.”

Jalen Cox, the Trojans’ No. 2 scorer on the season with 16 points per game, did not start while nursing a bone bruise. Eduardo Portillo netted six points as the second-leading scorer for Sturgis Monday.

For the most part, Gunn was not displeased with his team’s offensive choices.

“We made a lot of good shots that just didn’t go in the basket,” said Gunn. “When we pressed (on defense), we put ourselves back in the game.”

With Stewart canning 10 points, Sturgis ran out to a 12-4 lead by the end of the first quarter.

The Eddies cut the gap to 19-14 by halftime as senior Patrick Harvey and freshman Dante Razzano tallied four points each for the hosts.

It was 34-29 when the Trojans went on their decisive point streak. Stewart scored six points in the third period with two free throws then 15 points with nine foul shots in as many attempts in the fourth quarter.

Kozinski scored five of Edwardsburg’s 13 points in the fourth quarter.

Razzano wound up with eight points for the Eddies.

Graduation will take all five Monday starters for Edwardsburg — Kozinski (the school’s all-time leading scorer with 1,577 points), Harvey, Matt Griesinger, Eric Richardson and Jason Schimpa.

“Our seniors brought a little bit of respect back to Edwardsburg basketball,” said Gunn, who owns a career record of 514-318 in 37 seasons overall and is 60-45 in five for the Eddies. “That’s something to be proud about.”

Class B Edwardsburg District


Sturgis 54, Edwardsburg 39

Edwardsburg — Eric Richardson 1-6 0-0 3, Patrick Harvey 1-6 4-4 6, Matt Griesinger 2-3 0-0 4, Josh Kozinski 3-14 3-4 10, Jason Schimpa 1-5 2-2 4, Dylan Hulett 0-4 2-3 2, Dante Razzano 3-10 2-4 8, Joe Queener 0-0 0-0 0, Grant Szalewski 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 11-48 (.229) 15-19 (.789) 39.

Sturgis — Chance Stewart 9-18 14-17 32, Eduardo Portillo 3-3 0-0 6, Carl Limburg 1-2 1-2 3, Tyler Bennett 1-1 0-0 2, Patrick Haas 1-4 2-2 5, Jalen Cox 2-10 0-0 4, Jack Scheske 1-1 0-0 2, Tyler Ater 0-0 0-0 0, Nick Rehm 0-0 0-0 0, Kerry Vaughn 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 18-39 (.461) 17-21 (.809) 54.

Scoring By Quarters

Edwardsburg 4 10 12 13 — 39

Sturgis 12 7 13 22 — 54

3-point goals: Edwardsburg (2-27) — Richardson 1-4, Kozinski 1-8; Sturgis (1-6) — Haas 1-2.

Rebounds: Edwardsburg (25) — Harvey 5, Gaideski 5; Sturgis (40) — Stewart 21, Haas 5.

Turnovers: Edwardsburg 14, Sturgis 19.

Fouls: Edwardsburg 19, Sturgis 15. Fouled out — Bennett (1:58, fourth quarter).

Officials: Fred Fenrick, Terry Fosdick, Bryan Wild.

Records: Sturgis 12-8, Edwardsburg 15-6.

Next: Three Rivers vs. Vicksburg, Paw Paw vs. Sturgis, Wednesday, March 6, in semifinals of Class B Edwardsburg District, 6 p.m. and following.

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