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Big fourth quarter earns Warrior boys a shot at the crown

By Lenny Sementi
Jalen Quinn blew open a tight ball game in the semi-final of the Central Illinois Conference tournament this past Tuesday, February 1 with a 13-point fourth quarter. The top seeded Warriors earned a spot in the championship game with a 73-44 victory over a good Clinton squad outscoring the Maroons 26-5 in the final eight minutes of action. The senior scored a game high 25 points in the game 21 of which came in the final two stanzas. 

Coach Justin Bozarth’s bunch shared the ball early, running out to a 19-6 lead at the end of one behind a pair of six point runs fueled by the deep ball. Senior Preston Brown opened the contest with a three and Jordan Quinn hit one late in the frame as all five Warrior starters found their way into the scorebook in the opening act. Brown ended his night hitting four of five from the floor in the game and was perfect from the charity stripe en route to a 12-point evening, ten of which came in the first half. 

“It was a game of runs in the first half,” stated the coach. “They were playing with a ton of confidence after upsetting St. Teresa in the first round. We started fast, turning them over and scoring in transition and then let them get back into the game in the second quarter with some defensive breakdowns.” 

Josiah Hortin joined the party outside the arc in quarter number two but it was Clinton’s turn to chase in on the long ball. The fifth seeded Maroons connected on four three’s closing the gap and doubling Tuscola’s offensive output in the period entering the break down by just two 30-28.  

The Quinn brothers went to work in the third both hitting threes combining for 13 points in a 13-3 run putting the black and gold in front for good. Tuscola caught fire in the second half connecting on 16 of 21 from the field in the 16 minute span.  

Jordan joined his brother and Brown on the double-digit plateau adding 14 points to his season totals. The younger Quinn also was tops in the rebound department recording a double-double grabbing a game-high nine boards. Hortin was a near miss tallying points in three of the four frames delivering nine points and was strong on the defensive end swiping a game-high five steals. 

“We played really well in the second half,” commented Bozarth. “It started with good defense especially on the ball that led to us pushing the ball well in transition. We shot it at a really high percentage too but a lot of that can be attributed to moving the basketball well and taking high percentage shots.”

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