By Lenny Sementi
Tuscola’s boy’s basketball team doubled up on victories this past weekend. Head coach Justin Bozarth’s squad came out on the right side of the scoreboard on back-to-back days upending Warrensburg Lathem 58-38 on Friday night before running away from Shiloh-Tri County on Saturday afternoon 80-32. Tuscola remains unbeaten, securing wins number three and four on the season.
Senior Cole Cunningham got the ball rolling at Warrensburg scoring five of his 11 points in the first frame but it was not enough as the host Cardinals took a 10-9 to the bench at the first buzzer. Cunningham and his sophomore brother Easton both hit three’s early in the second and Jalen Quinn followed with a trey of his own helping the Warriors to a double-digit advantage midway through the stanza. Quinn then finished off a 21-2 run by Bozarth’s bunch with an and one making it 30-13 at the break.
Grant Hardwick opened the scoring in the third for Tuscola with a pair of old-fashioned threes, which ultimately led to a 44-23 lead heading into the final eight minutes of action. The senior ended the night with 20 points on five of ten from the floor and a near perfect nine of ten from the charity stripe. Quinn also landed on the double digit plateau adding ten points to his season stat sheet while also finding his way to a game-high five assists, six steals and nine boards. Haven Hatfield was just one shy with nine points.
“We went on a great run in the middle of the first half to get out to a comfortable lead, commented Bozarth. “Coming out of the half we weren’t sharp as we could have been but were able to maintain a 20 point lead, but it never felt like we really put them away. Grant was tough all night finding a way to the free throw line and converting at the hoop. Easton Cunningham, Thomas Brown, and Rajan Patel gave us great minutes off the bench.”
Quinn was the man with the plan 15 hours later scoring ten of his game-high 27 points in the first quarter in the victory over the Titans. Cunningham and Hardwick jumped on board as well adding five and four respectively as the Warriors opened up a 24-7 lead after one and then ran away and hid. Quinn put eight more in the book in the second and Hardwick tacked on six of his own all but securing the victory by the break.
Hardwick ended the day with a double-double accounting for 14 points and 12 boards. Cunningham put 12 points into the official book while Hatfield, who had six rebounds and James Parsley donated seven points apiece on the offensive end. Patel scored a career-best five points off the bench all in the fourth frame.
“Warrensburg was our first true road trip and we felt like we started off slow,” stated the coach. “But on Saturday against Tri County, we finally started a game like we felt we should. Our energy and aggressiveness was great for the entire four quarters. Every guy on the roster scored for us and the defense was great. The guys definitely took the Titans out of their comfort zone.”
JV head coach Jacob Hilgendorf’s group collected a pair of wins as well beating Warrensburg 52-28 on Friday and Tri-County 50-22. Freshman point guard Josiah Hortin erupted for a career and game-high 18 points against Warrensburg stepping outside the arc for four three balls. Easton Cunningham hit a pair of treys to open the game, scoring eight points total while sophomore Robert Fancher joined the three parade in the third quarter en-route to seven points.
Parsley led all against the Titans dropping in a game high 14 points. Freshman Jordan Quinn was next in line with eight points, followed by E. Cunningham with seven points and Hortin with five points.