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Big second half seals in deal in Cola Wars

By Lenny Sementi
As it always seems the Cola Wars lived up to the billing this Tuesday, December 21. Tuscola’s boys basketball team blew open a dog fight after the first two frames with a big second half securing the 44-28 win over their rivals from the south. Senior Jalen Quinn scored the Warriors first ten points of the third quarter kick starting the offense helping coach Justin Bozarth’s team close out the non-conference victory. 

Defensively Quinn and the boys in black slammed the door on Arcola’s offense, limiting the Riders to under double digits in all four stanzas. Both teams struggled to score early with both teams failing to find double-digits in the first frame. Quinn and Easton Cunningham both stepped outside the arc for a three helping the Warriors to a 9-8 advantage after one. 

The Warriors limited the Riders to one less in the second stanza and Quinn’s younger brother Jordan finished off an old fashioned three as well as both ends of a one and one putting Tuscola up by four at the break 19-15. He reached the double-digit mark scoring ten points on three of five from the floor and a near perfect four of five from the free-throw line. 

The elder Quinn bookend a 12-2 run at the start of the third with an old-fashioned three and a deep three at scoring 13 of his game-high 25 points in the period. He was good on ten of 22 from the field and two of four from the line while accounting for five rebounds, four assists and two steals. 

Tuscola tightened the noose on the defensive end the rest of the way giving up just 12 points in the final 14 minutes of the game collecting the Cola War victory. Preston Brown ended his night at the top of the rebound column banging his way to a game-high 13 rebounds. 

A few days later on Thursday the rims weren’t as kind after the break. Tuscola twice went up by double-digits but were unable to close the deal in a 44-40 loss at Okaw Valley. Just four Warriors found their way into the official scorebook with Jalen Quinn leading the way scoring in all four periods tallying 20 points including two threes. One of them came in the second just prior to back-to-back deep balls by Haven Hatfield leading to a 26-19 Tuscola advantage at the break. Hatfield ended his day with eight points on two of three from three point land. 

The Timberwolves took the air out of the ball after the half and a two for eight effort from the arc proved to be costly for the Warriors. That and a 16-point run by the home team that spanned the final three minutes of the third stanza and the first four minutes of the fourth was just too much to overcome for Bozarth’s bunch dropping just their second game of the year moving to 8-2 on the year.  

Brown donated eight points to the cause on four of six shooting and was tops in the rebound category for the second straight game sharing the nod with Quinn. The two seniors grabbed eight boards each in 32 minutes of action. Cunningham checked in with six points on a pair of threes.

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