Jeff Illies stepped in front of the pass for the steal and without a second’s hesitation took it down the court for the finger roll to give his team a 24-5 lead with just over seven minutes to play in the second quarter. Suddenly the crowd erupted as the gamewas paused to announce the senior had just scored his 1,500th point.
Lidgerwood-Wyndmere went on to defeat Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley 57-36 and went undefeated in the ND-MN shootout for the second straight year. Last season, Illies scored his 1,000th career point at the holiday tournament held at the North Dakota State College of Science gym.
“Jeff is an amazing player and he said it best in that he couldn’t have done it without his teammates,” L-W coach Todd Hosford said of his four-year starter. “It is nice to have a player like him in the program, it makes the younger kids want to be like Jeff and want to play basketball. Winning the shootout is also big. I think momentum is clicking and we have a good program going.”
Hosford added the key to the week’s wins was a stout defense that held opponents under 40 points.
“We are not the greatest defensive team at times but we have the capabilities and I think it started to click throughout the shootout,” he said.