St. John’s Sauers grabs 2nd straight LIT title; Seeking back-to-back ILSAA titles this weekend


Last weekend was full of middle school basketball here in Jackson County, as St. John’s Sauers took its second straight Lutheran Invitational Tournament title.

The Raiders defeated St. Peter’s Columbus and Lutheran Central of Brownstown before downing Emmanuel St. Michael Ft. Wayne to seize the victory.

Raiders head coach Adam Brooks spoke on the experience over the weekend.

“The whole tournament means a lot to us here at Sauers,” Brooks said. “To win back-to-back is special and has only happened once in our school’s history.”

Ross Bevers scored 16 points in the win over St. Peter’s, while Alex Hobson added 11 in the 37-22 win. Hobson then scored 21 in the win over Emmanuel, Bevers added 16 for the Raiders and Will Hackman scored 9. Kade Schepman ended with eight in the victory.

Sauers took the win over Emmanuel 54-41 before Hobson scored 13 more in the 41-31 win over Lutheran Central. Bevers added nine with Schepman scoring eight in that win.

Hobson, Bevers and Schepman all spoke about the Lutheran Invitational Tournament win.

“I thought I played pretty good throughout the weekend,” Hobson said. “We played really good as a unit. We moved the ball well and played good defense. My favorite part was the winning, of course.”

“The championship was my favorite part,” Bevers said. “I also thought we played well as a team. I also had my best game rebounding the ball.”

“My favorite part of the tournament was going out there in the final game and getting the win,” Schepman said

Hackman and Korbyn Bane, the team’s other starters, were asked about their favorite part of being on this Raiders team.

“We pick each other up and always encourage each other,” Hackman said.

“We have really great coaching, and our guys won’t quit,” Bane said. “I enjoy the energy we bring to each game.”

Coach Brooks appreciates the hard work his team has done all season long to get to this point. He spoke about his favorite thing about this year’s team.

“The effort, determination that they possess,” he said. “The willingness to want to get better. They weren’t satisfied with just being a part of the team last year. They were willing to practice and take the coaching. It wasn’t always easy, but I love the resilience of this group of young men.”

The team will now prepare for the ILSAA State Tournament, which begins on Friday. St. John’s will take on the Concordia Fort Wayne Cubs at 7:30 p.m.

The game will take place at Concordia Lutheran Schools in Fort Wayne.

Players were asked about what they were looking forward to in the 2023-24 tournament.

“I’m looking forward to see how we do,” Bevers said. “I think we have a good chance to do well.”

“We just want to go out there and play our best ball,” Hackman said.

Coach Brooks mentioned they hadn’t looked into the Cubs too much at this point. But that won’t remain for long.

“I haven’t had a chance to get into a deep enough look at them yet,” he said. “I think they’re a pretty good basketball team, and we’re going to do some more research on them in the coming days. Hopefully, we’ll be able to repeat as state champions.”


Brock Rueger, Owen Killey, Trigg Sweany, Korbyn Bane, Branson Ault, Kade Schepman, Max Sommers, Will Hackman, Noah Lambring, Briar Ault, Wyatt Wesner, Ross Bevers, Cole Brooks and Alex Hobson

Coaching staff

Adam Brooks, Chris Lambring, Chase Klinge, Chandler Lambring

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