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TELL CITY—Strong rebounding and improved defense carried Perry Central past Tell City 65-40 in the semifinals of the PSC Holiday Classic boys basketball tourney Saturday.
Perry Central will play Boonville for the championship of the eight-team tourney Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Tell City will face Tecumseh in the battle for third place at 5 p.m. All Tuesday games will be played at Tell City.
Perry Central Coach Matt Carter was not satisfied with his team’s defense in Friday’s first-round win over Corydon.
But after Saturday’s game he said, “This was probably the best effort we’ve had on defense all year, as far as communicating and making (Tell City scoring leader Andy) Chinn earn everything.
“He still got 17 points but we didn’t give him any easy shots.”
Chinn was the only Marksmen to score in double figures, and the team was held to 39.0 percent field-goal shooting.
Perry Central also continued its strong rebounding of late while Tell City’s recent slump on the boards continued.
The Commodores outrebounded Tell City 40-27 after getting outrebounded 31-24 in their season-opening loss to the Marksmen.
Ian Hahus grabbed 14 rebounds, Reuben A. Schwartz 11, and Alex Rogier eight for the Commodores.
Chinn and Jesse Stow led the Marksmen with five rebounds apiece.
Schwartz provided the bulk of the Commodores’ offense, though he started the game in a shooting slump.
He hit two consecutive three-point shots in the first minute of the second quarter to give the Commodores the lead for good, 17-11.
Those were his first two field goals of the game and he hit only 3 of 13 from the field in the first half.
But he made 5 of 7 in the second half and finished with a game-high 23 points, leading both coaches to praise his persistence.
“He’s relentless,” said Carter. “He’s going to play just as hard whether he misses his first eight shots or makes his first eight.”
“He’s a good player,” said Tell City Coach John Hayes of the 6-foot-2 senior forward. “I’d love to have five of him because he never quits.”
He finished 5 of 8 from three-point range. And the Commodores scored on offensive rebounds on two of his missed threes, with him getting one of those baskets himself.
The Commodores made four rebound baskets in the first half, including T.J. Lamon’s just before the halftime buzzer, to build a 31-21 lead.
“We didn’t execute boxing out and we didn’t attack the glass like we should,” said Hayes.
“They just outplayed us tonight,” he added. “We let them do whatever they wanted to do. We didn’t do any of the things we talked about in the shoot-around today.”
Rogier finished with 15 points, Hahus 13, and Lamon 10 as the Commodores had four scorers in double figures for the third time in four games.
Perry Central improved to 5-2 while Tell City fell to 4-4.