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Cannelton hosting own 3-team tourney Saturday

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By Larry Goffinet

CANNELTON—Cannelton will host the Bulldog Invitational, a three-team, round-robin, boys basketball tourney, Saturday.

The Bulldogs will face Columbus Christian in the first game at 10 a.m.

That will be followed by Columbus Christian vs. New Harmony at 1:30 p.m. and Cannelton vs. New Harmony at 6:30 p.m.

Should each team finish with a 1-1 record, point differentials will be used to determine the tourney champion.

Cannelton won the first Bulldog Invitational last year when it was a four-team tourney. Bethel Christian Academy of Kentucky joined this year’s three teams then.

But the Blue Flames are not participating this year and “I couldn’t find a fourth team,” said Cannelton Coach Brian Garrett.

After upsetting Bethel Christian in the first round last year, Cannelton beat New Harmony 50-37 for the title.

New Harmony is the favorite in this year’s tourney, though, after beating Cannelton 57-33 Dec. 11.

The Rappites enter the tourney with a 5-4 record and played without their starting point guard in a 56-42 loss to Tecumseh.

The Rappites are led by 6-foot-5 senior center Robert Perry, who had 22 points and 13 rebounds in the win over Cannelton three weeks ago.

He has a good shooting touch and was 6 for 6 from the free-throw line in that game.

“He’s pretty good,” said Garrett. “He does a real nice job staying on his feet (instead of jumping to try to block a shot—and possibly fouling) if you attack him. But if you fall back, he’ll block your shot.”

Three other Rappite starters return from last year:  6-1 junior forward Andrew McDaniel, 5-7 junior guard Blayne Worman and 5-8 senior guard Wes Scherzinger.

Rusty Seymour, in his second year as the Rappites’ coach, has rebuilt the program to the point that they have a good chance for their first winning record in years. His father, J.R. Seymour, is his top assistant.

Columbus Christian enters the tourney with the best record at 8-2. But except for Indianapolis Herron’s junior varsity team, all the teams the Crusaders have faced have been from other small Christian schools.

The Crusaders are “not as big as last year,” said Garrett., as they have only one player taller than 6-1.

Cannelton enters the tourney still searching for its first victory.

“Shooting—that’s our problem right now,” said Garrett. “I think we rush a few.”

He noted that Cody Lawalin and Ethan Herzog are his only perimeter players with much varsity experience, so he believes the Bulldogs will start shooting better once they relax and realize they don’t have to rush shots.

“It’s going to be a work in progress,” said Garrett.