By Lenny Sementi
Tuscola’s boys basketball team squared off one more time before Christmas and delivered head coach Justin Bozarth’s gift a few days early by beating a good Cerro Gordo team 66-58. The two teams traded leads 10 times in a physical first half that saw senior Cade Kresin deliver eight points in the final nine mintues en-route to an 11-point outing, that included a team best eight rebounds.
Jalen Quinn led all with 23 points on 8 of 14 from the floor and garnered a game high seven steals. Next up was Brayden VonLanken with 13 points on 6 of 6 shooting, while Jacob Kibler added 10 points to his season totals. Will Little hit 3 of 6, including a three for seven points. Last year’s defensive player of the year showed why he earned the accolade disrupting the Broncos’ offense most of the game swiping four steals. The Warriors were good on 50 percent from the floor but lost the rebound war corralling 25 to the visitors’ 28.
Quinn got the ball rolling taking a Bronco miss the length of the court for a layup. CG followed with a three, but VonLanken fired right back with one of his own, and the back and forth battle was waged. Kresin found classmate Will Little slashing through the middle for a bucket early and late in the frame, and Kibler came up big with an offensive put back, helping the Warriors to a two-point lead after one, up 19-17. Cole Cunningham and Kresin banged in the paint and found their way to the charity stripe combining to go 5 for 6, then Little found both Kibler and VonLanken late in the half pushing the Warriors in front by four at the break 31-27. It was a lead they would never relinquish. Each time the Broncos threatened Bozarth’s boys had an answer.
Quinn took the fight to the lane in the third, scoring three times inside 10 feet then found both Kibler and VonLanken for buckets after diving inside, fueling a 12-4 run that put the Warriors up 43-31 with two minutes left in the third. CG fired back with a pair of threes and a 10-2 run of their own, cutting it to three entering the final eight minutes of action with Tuscola on top 44-41.
The full story can be found in the Wednesday, Jan. 2 edition of The Tuscola Journal.