By Lenny Sementi
Freshman Jalen Quinn was on the sideline this fall when the Warriors and Riders renewed the Cola Wars but didn’t see the field. His experience on the basketball floor was completely different. The hybrid guard/forward erupted in his first chance as a Warrior in a 54-32 Tuscola victory over the purple clad team from the south.
Quinn drove the lane for the first two buckets of the game and the only two for the Warriors in a low scoring defensive oriented first quarter that ended knotted at fours. He accounted for a game and career high 24 points, posted the first double-double of his career grabbing 10 rebounds, swiped six steals and dished out six assists popping the top on his first Cola War.
He added an offensive put back to his resume, scoring the first two points of the second quarter for head coach Justin Bozarth before his buddies went to work. Brayden VonLanken and Cade Kresin both hit big buckets down low early in the period before Jacob Kibler, Cole Cunningham, and Will Little hit threes on back-to-back-to-back possessions late, helping the Warriors to a double digit halftime lead up 23-13.
“Our base defense the last several games has been a two-three zone, we felt after the first quarter that the speed of the game was playing into Arcola’s favor as they were doing a nice job of creating long possessions against the zone,” commented the coach. “We went to man, Will’s (Little) on ball defense completely changed the pace of the game. We forced them into several turnovers and got them out of their comfort areas. In turn, it sped us up a bit on offense and made us more aggressive. The run at the end of the half with the three straight 3’s was crucial in getting us some confidence just seeing the ball go through the hoop.”
Little shined in all aspects of the game delivering seven points and five rebounds but his presence was most pronounced on defense where he added a season and game high seven steals to his season stat sheet.
The full story can be found in the Wednesday, Dec. 26 edition of The Tuscola Journal.