By Lenny Sementi
Head boys basketball coach Justin Bozarth’s squad rolled into the postseason on a three-game win streak and left their post season opener with moving the needle to four with a 76-22 drubbing of Heritage this past Saturday. The state ranked Warriors moved to 25-6 overall behind a balanced offensive attack to put twelve players in all into the official scorebook with senior Jalen Quinn leading the way with a game high 21 points.
He was a perfect seven for seven on shots inside the arc and hit two of four outside of it scoring 15 points before the break. Four separate players knocked down at least one trey in the opening stanza and six total in the game. Josiah Hortin, Colton Musgrave and Easton Cunningham joined Quinn from three-point land early giving the Warriors a commanding 35-3 lead after one.
“Always good to start off the postseason on the right foot,” commented the coach. “We got out of the gates early which was a goal of ours and turned them over to lead which led to scoring opportunities.”
Chris Boyd and senior Thomas Brown reached double digits as well scoring ten each while Hortin and Jackson Barrett added six points to the mix. Musgrave and senior James Parsley were right behind accounting for five a piece. Tuscola turned the ball over just two times in the game verse 24 by the Hawks leading to a lopsided scoreboard and a running clock in the fourth quarter. With the victory top seeded Tuscola moves on to semi-finals of the Arcola Regional and a date with LaSalette out of Georgetown.
Bozarth’s bunch collected their last two regular season wins earlier in the week, downing a good Neoga team 46-37 on Tuesday and Central Illinois Conference foe Sullivan on Friday 53-25. The Warriors jumped out to a 13-2 lead early on the back of three treys by Quinn and built a big lead entering the final stanza withstanding a late run by the Indians.
Quinn was good on three of five from outside and six of nine total from the floor scoring a game high 15 points. He came up just one shy of a double-double grabbing nine rebounds, while delivering five assists and swiping three steals. Little Brother Jordan was next in line with 11 points. He and Preston Brown both added a three ball to the stats. Cunningham hit a pair of three’s in the first half also and made three of four in the game adding nine points to the totals scoring in three of the four periods.
Hortin and the younger Quinn both went deep in the first frame at Sullivan and the Warriors limited the Redskins to just 8 points in the first 16 minutes of action in the blowout win. Jalen Quinn and Cunningham both knocked down threes in the second and Quinn scored 20 of his 21 points in the middle to lead the way. Hortin was next on the scoring list with eight points to his credit. Cunningham ended his night with seven points, including two threes and Jordan Quinn accounted for five points.
“It’s been a goal of ours to be peaking and playing our best basketball heading into regional’s,” Bozarth said. “With a four game win streak, we feel like we are hitting our stride at the right time and hope to continue to get better for an exciting stretch run.”