Kelly makes history as Rams take fifth

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By Andrew Harner

ST. ELMO – It was one of the finest 3-point shooting displays in the history of Illinois.

Ramsey senior Ryan Kelly made 11 shots from beyond the arc last Saturday to set a new St. Elmo Holiday Tournament record, and he is tied for ninth all-time in Illinois, according to www.ihsa.org’s record book.

All of those shots helped lift the Rams to a 63-38 victory against Cowden-Herrick in the fifth-place game of the 54th annual SEHT.

“That was pretty incredible,” said Rams coach Rodney Hunt.

Kelly, who has shown an ability to shoot 3-pointers in spurts throughout his career, at one point in the third quarter made a trey on six of seven straight possessions as part of an 18-5 run that left the Rams ahead, 45-21, and extended an 11-point lead.

His 11 shots broke the tournament record of eight, set by Ramsey’s Derek Gibson in 2004, and fell five short of tying the state’s all-time record of 16, set by Sycamore’s Andy Thomas in 1993.

Kelly is the 11th player in state history to make 11 in a game.

“He’s had a rough couple of years, but he hasn’t let it get him down,” Hunt said. “He got the payoff tonight as a senior.”

The 5-foot-9 guard will play a vital role in determining how well Ramsey does in the second half of the season, and his record-breaking performance could be the boost he needs to get his game going in the right direction.

Hunt said he remembered seeing Kelly’s shot seven years ago when Kelly was in fifth-grade, and knew that he could become a special shooter.

But no one ever expects a barrage like he put up.

“We witnessed something special,” Hunt said. “The kid is a good shooter, but he has been off the past couple of years.

“I saw him shoot the ball in the fifth-grade, and was waiting for something along those lines to show up,” he said. “I didn’t expect anything like this, but it was fun to watch.”

Senior Tylor Knisley added 10 points and a team-high eight assists, seven rebounds and four steals to help the Rams (4-5) lead for all but one early possession of the game.

Ramsey surrendered just 12 first-half points to the Hornets (3-8), allowing the Rams to hold a nine-point lead despite a poor shooting effort.

Kelly exploded for 18 of Ramsey’s 24 points in the third quarter, turning the game into a blowout, and he continued to be left open as he added three more 3-pointers in an 18-point fourth quarter.

Colton Burrus had a team-high 12 points for Cowden-Herrick, which secured all four of its 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, but only scored three points off of 15 Ramsey turnovers during the game.

“It’s not the trophy we wanted,” Hunt said, “but I appreciated the boys coming back after playing our worst game of the year against Beecher City (last Wednesday) to give me several good quarters in the next two games.”

Box score
Saturday, Dec. 21
Ramsey 63
Cowden-Herrick 38
C: 7-5-9-17—38
R: 9-12-24-18—63
Points: Kelly, 35; Knisley, 10; Michael Camez, 6; Carter Hunt, 4; Brady Reiss, 3; Kyle Adermann, 2; Carson Thomas, 2; Tristan Wesselman, 1.
Rebounds: Knisley, 7; Adermann, 6; Camez, 6; Adam Casey, 3; Kelly, 3; Team, 3; Hunt, 1; Michael Lay, 1; Wesselman, 1.
Assists: Knisley, 8; Adermann, 3; Hunt, 2; Thomas, 2; Kelly, 1; Lay, 1.
Steals: Knisley, 4; Kelly, 3; Camez, 1; Thomas, 1.
Block: Wesselman, 1.
Record: 4-5
Points: Burrus, 12; N. Sandiford, 7; Barnes, 5; Blackerby, 5; M. Sandiford, 3; Evans, 2; Lorton, 2; Nohren, 2.
Record: 3-8