By Lenny Sementi
Tuscola’s boys basketball team handed the Unity Rockets their third loss of the season this past Tuesday, January 11, adding a big time 61-47 non-conference road win to their season resume. Threes’ were wild with the Warriors hitting five treys in the second half alone, add to that a pair of old fashioned threes and ten total threes for the boys in black in the game.
Jalen Quinn stayed with the theme, scoring a game-high 33 points, including what else but five threes of his own. He was strong in all aspects of the game tallying five rebounds, four assists, two steals and two blocks. Next up with nine points apiece were Preston Brown and Josiah Hortin who tallied all of them in the final ten minutes of the game. Haven Hatfield and Jordan Quinn donated the final ten points, scoring five apiece.
Tuscola jumped out to an early 13-3 lead early following a four-point play by Quinn and extended it to a 22-8 advantage at the first buzzer on the back of an 8-2 run late. Unity charged back hitting five threes of their own in a 20-point second quarter cutting the lead to five entering the breakdown 33-28.
Hortin stepped outside the arc for the first points of the third. Brown, Quinn and Hatfield went deep as well in the frame on the only four makes of the frame. Unity responded with a pair of 6-point runs closing the gap to three entering the final eight minutes action down 48-45. The two area heavyweights traded buckets early in the last stanza but that all ended in the final three minutes of the contest. Brown hit a big bucket down low, Hortin and Quinn converted and one’s on back to back possessions and Bozarth’s boys collected their 13th win of the year thanks to an 11-point run to close out the game.
“This may have been our most complete four quarters of the year,” stated the coach. “It was a game of runs and we weathered each of Unity’s. Jalen was a monster but in the second half it took a total team effort that kept making great play after great play.”
They backed it up a few nights later on Thursday at home upending Central Illinois Conference foe Shelbyville 49-38 in a low scoring affair. Four Warriors entered the scorebook in the opening period running out to a 14-10 lead with Jordan Quinn and Hortin leading the way, each hitting a three and scoring five each in the stanza.
James Parsley stirred the pot in the second on both ends of the floor for coach Bozarth. The senior guard forced a ten second call and then backed it up with a three on the other end pushing it to 23-15 Warriors. Hatfield then added to the lead with a three at the buzzer putting Tuscola in front by 11 entering the break.
“James was huge for us off the bench tonight,” Bozarth commented. “We were relatively flat for the majority of the game but each time he came in, he sparked us with his defensive energy. On top of that, he had a huge offensive rebound for a lay up and two threes at timely moments. He made the most of his time on the floor.”
Tuscola answered a Ram surge with one of their own, fueled by the Quinn brothers. Jalen took a steal coast to coast for a bucket and Jordan drilled a three in the waning seconds giving the Warriors a seven-point advantage entering the fourth. The black and gold slammed the door on the victory with a smothering defense that gave up just two field