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Commodores claim PSC title in triple OT

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By Larry Goffinet

TELL CITY—Ian Hahus scored 19 points in the overtime periods as Perry Central beat Boonville 83-77 in triple overtime to win the eight-team PSC Holiday Classic basketball tourney Tuesday.

Hahus finished with a career-high 29 points on 8 of12 field-goal shooting, including 3 of 5 from three-point range, and 10 of 10 free throws.

He also grabbed a career-high 15 rebounds and had three assists.

Perry Central built a 12-0 lead in the first five minutes and seemed in control most of the game, never trailing until 3:08 left in regulation.

The taller Pioneers made some strong inside moves to go on an 8-0 run, though, and built a 54-51 lead with 2:38 left in regulation.

Perry Central tied the game on a 17-footer by Hahus and a rebound basket by Rogier, sandwiched around Boonville’s hitting just 1 of 2 free throws, to force the first overtime.

Hahus hit an 18-footer in the final minute of that period to force a second overtime.

Hahus scored seven points in the second overtime, giving the Commodores leads three times. But Boonville tied the score again on a baseline drive by Randy Helfert.

Hahus hit two three-pointers to give the Commodores leads in the third overtime and then put them ahead for good, 76-74, with an inside basket with 1:25 left.

After Boonville missed two three-point shots, Hahus grabbed a rebound and was fouled.

He made both free throws with 0:52 left to increase the Commodores’ lead to four points.

Reuben Y. Schwartz then made a steal and T.J. Lamon hit 3 of 4 free throws in the last 36 seconds to seal the outcome.

Perry Central held Boonville to 8 of 29 field-goal shooting in the first half but the Pioneers hit 25 of 47 after the intermission. The Commodores struggled to stop them, switching several times between zone and man-to-man defenses.

“I don’t think either one was very effective, and we tried everything we had,” said Perry Central Coach Matt Carter. “They had some athletes and they had some size on us, and they made plays.”

The Commodores overcame those plays, though, thanks to good ball movement (they had 21 assists on their 27 field goals) and Hahus’ clutch shooting.

Carter said none of Hahus’ baskets down the stretch came on set plays for him.

“They were just part of our motion stuff. He did a good job reading screens and got his hands and feet ready to shoot as he came off the screen. And he did a good job reading how he was being guarded to get himself open.”

Carter said he thought Hahus passed up some good shots earlier. But Hahus said he had no qualms about taking them in the pressure-packed overtimes.

“They set a down screen for me and nobody jumped out. They pinned them down on the block and I had all day. I figured I was open so I might as well shoot.”

Alex Rogier scored 21 points and Reuben A. Schwartz 17 to back Hahus.

Those two each grabbed nine rebounds to help the Commodores to a 39-35 edge on the boards.

“We’re all three around 6-foot, so we all try to hit the boards hard,” said Hahus.

Reuben A. Schwartz also made three steals and had four assists. Lamon and Reuben Y. Schwartz each had six assists.

Helfert, a 6-foot-3 senior forward, had 19 points and nine rebounds for Boonville, 2-7.

Carter said this game was reminiscent of last year’s double-overtime victory at Southridge because “both teams were on the ropes several times in both games.”

But he called this the biggest win of his two-year head coaching career “because it came in a championship game, and we haven’t had any of those for a while.”

This was the Commodores’ first tourney title in 10 seasons.

Perry Central, 6-2, will host Forest Park Jan. 10.