By Lenny Sementi
Tuscola’s boys’ basketball team lost a pair of post players prior to entering the week. They were then dealt a dose of the flu which eliminated two more front court players for Friday’s game limiting the options of head coach Justin Bozarth. The Warriors came out firing in both games but ran out of steam late and fell to a strong Central A&M squad 79-53 to start the week, then came up short against Clinton 64-44 later in the week.
Tuesday, Jan. 16
Tuscola 53; Central A&M 79
Tuscola jumped out to a 12-3 lead four minutes into the contest thanks to offensive barrage from outside the arc. Dalton Hoel was the first to tickle the bottom of the net, Tyler Meinhold hit back-to-back treys, and Will Little and Hayden Cothron each hit one of their own giving the Warriors a two-point, 17-15 lead at the first buzzer.
Cothron hit one more early in the second, but turnovers slowed the offense. A&M forced miscues on seven straight possessions and scored on all of them posting a 16-point run that put them in front for good by scoring 32 points in the stanza contributing to the 47-24 score at the break. The Warriors climbed back into the game with a 20-point third quarter pulling to within ten of the lead 58-48. The surge was bolstered again by the deep ball with Meinhold and Little hitting two each, while Braydon VonLanken added one of his own to the stat sheet.
The home team fired back with an up-tempo offense scoring in transition posting a pair of eight-point runs securing the Central Illinois Conference victory. Meinhold led the Warriors with 14 points on 5 of 12 from the field, including four threes. Little was next up with a career high 12 points on a perfect 4 for 4 effort from beyond the arc. Luke Sluder was tops on the rebound list with 11 boards to his credit including seven in the third quarter alone.
Tuscola fell in a thriller in the JV contest 36-33. Noah Woods led all with 12 points in the game. Max Wyninger was next up with seven points, while Ben Dixon added six and Nick Williams five.
The full story can be found in the Wednesday, Jan. 24 edition of The Tuscola Journal.