By Lenny Sementi
Tuscola’s boys basketball team remained unbeaten once more utilizing the deep ball to open up the inside upending the Fisher Bunnies on their home floor 73-56. The Warriors stepped outside the arc for nine threes in the game. Seven of those came in the first half forcing the opposition to guard the arc later in the game allowing the boys in black to attack the hoop after the break.
Cole Cunningham and Jalen Quinn led the way each adding nineteen points to the cause as head coach Justin Bozarth’s group put four players on top of the double-digit plateau this past Saturday, December 14. Cunningham was on fire from outside hitting five threes in the game four in the first half alone. The junior came up in the second quarter with numerous Warriors forced to the bench with foul trouble. He hit five of eleven from down town and seven of fifteen shots in the game and grabbed a second-best six rebounds.
Grant Hardwick joined the party early as well. The junior hit Hardwick continued his early season assault from the arc hitting three of his first four attempts all in the first seven minutes of the contest helping the Warriors build a thirteen point advantage after one 21-8. He reached the double-digit plateau by the end of one scoring ten points in the stanza. Ben Dixon hit a late two and then found his way to another two buckets in the paint early in the second frame putting the Warriors in front 33-15 entering the locker rooms. The senior ended his night with nine points a perfect four for four from the field and one of two from the free throw line.
“We had to overcome our first test of adversity early on,” stated Bozarth. “Quinn, (Jacob) Kibler, and (Nick) Williams all sat for the majority of the first half with foul trouble. We played ten guys in the half and several of them got their first varsity test in a good environment. Hardwick and Cunningham caught fire while Ben Dixon anchored our defense with his senior leadership.”
Quinn made up for lost time in the third and fourth periods. The second year starter backed up another three by Cunningham early in the third with ten points of his own in the quarter. He joined with Kibler in the fourth combining for seven points in the period all but ending any hope of a comeback for the Bunnies. Kibler was good on nine of eleven from the floor in the game and one of two from the line en-route to a season high thirteen points for the senior.
Tuscola grabbed thirty rebounds in the game dominating the boards. They shot over fifty percent from the field connecting on twenty-nine of fifty-four to remain unbeaten on the season posting win number five. They return home on Tuesday and Saturday for a date with Villa Grove Heritage and Tri Valley and will travel nth Champaign on Friday to take on a solid Judah Christian squad.
Ben Tezzi led JV coach Jacob Hilgendorf’s squad to a 51-13 victory scoring a game-high ten points. The junior guard hit four of eight from the floor including a pair of threes. Donovan Chester and Rohan Patel each donated eightpoints to the cause and James Parsley chipped in six points. Haven Hatfield was tops in the rebound department collecting six boards and combined with James Boyd for twelve points, each scoring six.