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By PHILLIP BALL
CANNELTON—Cannelton could not find its shooting stroke in the second half of a 67-58 boys basketball loss to Crothersville Friday.
The Bulldogs shot well in the first half, hitting 12 of 23 from the field for 52.2 percent to take a 36-35 halftime lead.
The second half would not be as kind to the Bulldogs as they made just 7 of 31 for 22.6 percent.
“We started settling for too many outside shots,” said Cannelton Coach Brian Garrett. “And when we did get the ball into the lane, we didn’t finish strong.”
The game was close throughout with Cannelton taking a one-point lead on a bucket by Tristan Simmons to start the fourth quarter.
Crothersville guard Brian Money scored the next four points before a rebound basket by Hunter Herzog cut the Tigers’ lead to one.
Money hit another basket to increase the Tigers’ lead to three points.
The Bulldogs missed the front end of a bonus free-throw situation before the Tigers’ Gene Hodge put the game out of reach by making 6 of 6 free throws to push their lead to nine points.
“Their two guards (Money and Hodge) killed us with dribble penetration,” said Garrett. “We gamble too much defensively going for steals and leave ourselves vulnerable.”
The Tigers hit 39.2 percent from the field compared with 35.2 percent for Cannelton. Crothersville held a 44-31 rebound advantage.
Cannelton hit 16 of 22 free throws for 72.7 percent while the Tigers connected on 24 of 37 for 64.9 percent, including 11 of 14 in the fourth quarter.
Crothersville committed 14 turnovers, two more than the Bulldogs.
Brandon Cook led 4-6 Cannelton with 18 points and three assists. Simmons added 15 points and a team-high seven rebounds. Freshman reserve Damon Powers scored nine points.
“I thought Damon played extremely well tonight,” said Garrett. “He does a lot of good things with the basketball.”
Money led Crothersville, 3-7, with 25 points and Hodge added 24. Grayson Barnes grabbed 21 rebounds and Jimmy Needler pulled down 10.
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Cannelton won the junior varsity game 47-43.
Jayden Morris and Jeff Kendall led Cannelton with 14 points each, with 12 of Kendall’s coming in the fourth quarter. Bryce Garrett added seven points.
Dakota Mount led Crothersville with 11 points.