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Cold night too much to overcome for Warriors boys basketball

By Lenny Sementi

Win number 15 on the year was put on hold this past Friday evening for Tuscola’s boys basketball team. The Warriors couldn’t overcome a cold night shooting falling to a strong Shelbyville squad 52-31 in their Central Illinois Conference opener moving to 14-2 on the year ending a 12-gave win streak.

Tuscola connected on just 4-shots in the first half, 2 each in both the 1st and 2nd frames. Kam Sweetnum and Parker James were the only players in black and gold to score before the break. The Warriors defense kept them in the game limiting the visiting Rams to just a pair of the threes in the first eight minutes of action but the rims heated up in the 2ndfor Shelbyville utilizing a 21-point outburst pushing a 6-4 lead after one into a 27-9 advantage at the break. The visitors were solid with the ball turning it over just 5-times in the first 16-minutes and held a double-digit advantage on the boards grabbing 15 in each half.

“We struggled out of the gate offensively and couldn’t get shots to fall early,” stated the coach. “Fortunately, we felt like we played really well defensively for the 1st quarter, keeping us in the game. But, as the game wore on, our lack of offensive success started to affect our defensive mentality. It’s one of the things we talked about after the game that we have to make sure we consistently guard for 4 quarters because that will give us opportunities to win games even on our worst shooting nights.”

Tuscola, who hit just 12 of 42 from the field, including a 3 for 22 effort from outside the arc found their way to double-digits in final two stanzas but it was not enough as the Rams answered Warrior buckets with buckets of their own to seal the deal on the win.

Sweetnum and Jackson Barrett hit from outside in the 3rd and 4th quarter respectively en-route to a combined 13-points. Sweetnum was the only player for coach Justin Bozarth to reach double-digits adding 10-points to his season stat sheet.

The Rams grabbed 15 rebounds in each half, securing 13 more than the Warriors and turned it over just 5 times in the first half. Sweetnum led the way on the boards for Bozarth hauling in 7. James brought in 5-boards and scored 7-points while Colton Musgrave and Josiah Hortin tallied 4-points each.

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