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By LARRY GOFFINET
CANNELTON—Cannel-ton used a strong pressing defense to rally from seven points down with 6 1/2 minutes left in regulation and beat Wood Memorial 67-64 in overtime in boys basketball Wednesday.
Wood Memorial committed 31 turnovers, including 10 in the fourth quarter and four in overtime.
Brandon Cook made a steal and a layup with four minutes left in regulation to pull Cannelton within three points of the Trojans, 52-49.
He hit 3 of 4 free throws in the next 1 1/2 minutes to tie the score.
The teams basically traded scores the rest of regulation.
The Trojans’ Conner Sevier hit 1 of 2 free throws to score the first overtime point. But Cook replied with a three-point basket from the wing to give Cannelton the lead for good.
Tristan Simmons hit 1 of 2 free throws and a rebound basket to build the Bulldogs’ lead to five with two minutes left.
Cook finished with 25 points and seven steals. Simmons added 20 points and team highs of 10 rebounds and six assists.
Hunter Herzog added eight rebounds and Elijah Littles grabbed six.
Sevier, a 6-foot-4 sophomore center, led Wood Memorial with 28 points. Travis Fleisher added 10 points and 10 rebounds.
The slightly taller Trojans outrebounded Cannelton 41-37 and outshot the Bulldogs from the field 44.9 percent to 37.5 percent.
Cannelton committed six fewer turnovers than the Trojans, though, and hit four more free throws, though neither team shot well at the line. Cannelton made 22 of 40 and Wood Memorial 18 of 33.
“We mised a lot of free throws—that’s something we’ve got to work on,” said Cannelton Coach Brian Garrett. “It shows that we’ve not been in a situation where we won a close game.”
He thought his players’ conditioning was a key to the outcome.
“We played at such a very fast pace, but I think they were more tired down the stretch than we were.”
They forced the fast pace by pressing full-court from the start. Garrett had said the previous week that he would probably press only sparingly.
After this game he said, “We just put the press in Monday. I thought maybe we needed to do something to dictate the pace.
“Overall I was pleased with the effort. We need to cut our turnovers down by 10, though (the Bulldogs committed 25).”
The game was the season opener for both teams.
Cannelton will visit Perry Central Friday at 8 p.m.