By Lenny Sementi
Cerro Gordo’s boys basketball team came into historic TCHS Gymnasium this past Monday, January 17 and escaped with a thrilling last-second one point victory. The two area heavyweights and state ranked teams traded leads the entire way including four times in the final two minutes of the 52-51 barnburner.
The Quinn brothers Jalen and Jordan combined for 40 of Tuscola 51 points and were the only two in black and gold to tally points in all four frames. Jalen hit an early three ball and Jordan a runner but points were tough to come by in the first quarter with the Broncos capturing an early 13-7 advantage at the first buzzer. The elder of the two Jalen hit another three in the second scoring 14 of his game-high 28 points in the stanza. Jordan hit one of his own, as did Josiah Hortin helping the Warriors to a 27-26 lead entering the half.
Cerro Gordo attacked the middle of the Warriors defense out of the break, erupting for 18 points in the third while holding the home team to ten taking a seven-point lead into the final eight minutes of the game 44-37. Coach Justin Bozarth inserted James Parsley into the defensive rotation entering the last stanza and the move worked as the senior held the Broncos’ Tyson More scoreless in the final eight minutes of the game after scoring 17 points in the first three quarters. Parsley hit the boards hard grabbing five rebounds and was also tops in the steal department swiping a game-high five in the non-conference affair.
Haven Hatfield stepped outside for a three to open the fourth and the Quinn’s hit back to back to back threes late with Jordan throwing up a go ahead dagger with just waning seconds to make it 51-50 Warriors. Cerro Gordo answered with a runner at the 16 second mark and made it stick collecting the win.
Jalen Quinn was good on six of six from the line, twice finishing off an and one but was the only Warrior to reach the charity stripe. The stat columns were a virtual dead heat between the two squads but the points in the paint after the break carried the Bronco’ in the stretch run.
“That was a good high school basketball game, that we unfortunately, came up on the short side of,” stated Bozarth. “We waited too long to start competing at the highest level. We were really good in the fourth quarter until about the last minute and a half. As a team (coaches and players), we made about five mistakes in the last 1:30 that we’d all like to have back.”
The Quinn’s both hit double-digits a few days later on Saturday afternoon in a run away running clock 66-29 win over Danville Schlarman. Jalen led all with 19 points, 14 of which came in the first period that included a six for six effort from the free throw line. The super senior is now just 15 points shy of the coveted 2,000 point mark and will make a run at the milestone on Tuesday versus Arthur Christian at East Prairie’s gymnasium. Jordan ended his night with ten points and five rebounds.
He had three steals in the first also, joining with Hortin and Parsley who also had three as the Warriors turned the Hilltoppers over ten times in the stanza. Schlarman went just one of 12 from the field in the second allowing the Warriors to run away and had collected win number fifteen on the season.
Hortin contributed eight points to the stat sheet while Parsley added seven points to the totals. Chris Boyd and Jackson Barrett were solid off the bench tallying a combined ten points.