By Lenny Sementi
Four points separated the Tuscola boys’ basketball team and St. Teresa, and the margin of difference may just have been two three balls by senior Warrior post Brayden VonLanken.
The big man stepped outside the arc in both the third and fourth quarter for threes on his way to a game high 17 points. He was good on 5 of 9 from the field in the game and 2 of 3 from three point land leading the way to a 50-46 victory over the Bulldogs on their home floor.
Tuscola upended St. T just four days earlier in the third place game of the Central Illinois Conference Tournament and backed up the victory relying on defense and rebounding. Cade Kresin was once more the catalyst for the Warriors’ defending the paint, and Will Little patrolled out front as the Warriors forced the Bulldogs into 18 turnovers, 13 of which were the direct result of steals. Little was tops in the thievery department adding six steals to his season rap sheet. He also delivered on offense hitting three threes and scoring nine points, all of which came in the first 16 minutes of action.
“We were really pleased with the outcome of the St. T game,” stated Warrior bench boss Justin Bozarth. “It’s hard to beat anyone two times in a row let alone a team of St. T’s caliber.”
Tuscola also topped the home squad on the boards as well grabbing 22 rebounds to the Dogs’ 16. Jalen Quinn was one short of a double-double grabbing a game high nine rebounds while scoring 12 points on 5 of 9 from the floor and 2 of 3 from the free throw line. VonLanken banged his way to five rebounds, two on the offensive end both were quickly put back for points.
Little hit his first trey to knot the game at sevens with a 1:55 left on the clock in the opening frame, then tied it at nines on a feed to VonLanken for a bucket inside on the next possession. Jacob Kibler then sealed the deal on an 11-9 lead after one by taking a steal coast to coast for a layup to beat the buzzer.
The full story can be found in the Wednesday, Feb. 13 edition of The Tuscola Journal.