Chargers nip Tell City thanks to defensive lapses by Marksmen

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By Larry Goffinet

TELL CITY - Pike Central took advantage of some Tell City lapses on defense and beat the Marksmen 65-64 in overtime in PAC boys basketball Thursday.

On paper the game appeared to be a huge mismatch in Tell City's favor. The Marksmen entered the game with a 13-5 record while Pike Central was 5-11 and had won just one PAC game - that by one point.

The Chargers had lost at home by 33 points to Southridge, a team Tell City beat on the road.

But the Chargers outshot Tell City from the field 52.4 percent to 43.4 percent and won the rebound battle 28-25.

They hit 5 of 9 three-point shots while Tell City made 5 of 23.

The Chargers built a 26-18 halftime lead. Then Tell City played a strong third quarter, outscoring them 19-10 to take a one-point lead.

There were seven lead changes and six ties the rest of the way.

Evan Rothgerber hit a three-pointer from the top of the key to put Tell City up 64-63 with 12 seconds left in overtime.

Pike Central then worked the ball across midcourt and called timeout with five seconds left.

Tell City Coach John Hayes said he told his players then to deny the inbound pass to Pike Central scoring leader Trent Barrett.

But Barrett got the pass, drove into the lane, and hit a 5-foot shot in the final second to give the Chargers the victory.

"He's a good player and made a great shot, but he never should've got it," said Hayes.

Barrett, a 5-foot-10 senior guard, finished with a game-high 27 points. He hit 9 of 15 shots from the field, including 4 of 6 from three-point range, and 5 of 6 free throws.

The Chargers swung the ball quickly from side to side to get Barrett open for three-point shots.

"We said in practice our weak-side (defender) was not supposed to go beyond a certain point on the floor," said Hayes. "But several times he did and when they swung the ball no one was within 20 feet of Barrett when he shot."

Hayes wasn't exaggerating about how open Barrett was, or how open Cody Frederick was on the one three-pointer he hit from the corner.

Tell City's full-court press helped force 22 Pike Central turnovers, including 13 in the second half. But the Chargers also beat it for layups three times in the first half.

"In the first half they beat it because we didn't do the things we'd talked about," said Hayes. "Our middle guys were creeping up too far, leaving only one guy to defend the basket.

"They played harder than us and moved the ball quicker than us. We didn't even deserve to go to overtime."

Barrett hit two free throws to put Pike Central up 51-46 with 0:43 left in regulation.

After Ryan Zuelly scored on a drive for Tell City, Cody Lee missed a free throw for Pike Central.

That enabled Tell City to tie the game on a three-pointer by Andy Chinn with 0:25 left.

Pike Central then committed a turnover on the inbounds pass, giving Tell City the last shot in regulation. But the Marksmen missed a 5-footer in the lane.

Zuelly led Tell City with 22 points - 21 in the second half. Joseph Kohnert added 18 points and nine rebounds.

Tell City fell to 3-3 in the PAC.

The Marksmen will host Heritage Hills Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

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Tell City won the junior varsity game 35-18 as Jordan Rhodes scored 10 points.

Jesse Stow had four assists and Ben Stiles grabbed three rebounds for 11-7 Tell City.