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By LARRY GOFFINET
HUNTINGBURG—Perry Central hit 57.1 percent from the field and forced 20 turnovers to beat Tell City 78-39 in the first round of the Southridge boys basketball sectional Tuesday.
The Commodores, 19-3, will play Southridge in the semifinals Friday at 5:30 p.m. Perry County time.
They trailed 11-9 with 31⁄2 minutes left in the first quarter Tuesday. Then they got hot from three-point range and later got a lot of layups off steals, drives or offensive rebounds.
Tanner Cassidy and Dacota Schaad hit consecutive three-pointers to end the first-quarter scoring. Those baskets started an 11-0 run that gave the Commodores the lead for good.
Derek Thomas scored on a rebound and hit a three-pointer on the next possession to cap that 11-0 streak.
After Casey May hit 1 of 2 free throws for Tell City, Perry Central went on a 17-0 run to increase its lead to 37-12 with seven seconds left in the first half.
That streak started with an Andrew Huber three-pointer and also included a 17-footer by Schaad.
But the Commodores’ other four field goals in that streak were layups, with three of them coming off steals. Schaad also hit two free throws after being fouled on a shot after a steal.
Tell City committed 15 turnovers in the first half.
Due to the Commodores’ quickness, “their pressure is really hard for us to simulate in practice,” said Tell City Coach Brent Owen. “They are a very fundamentally sound, well coached basketball team.”
“I thought our defensive pressure stayed consistent all four quarters,” said Perry Central Coach Matt Carter.
Tell City played a 2-3 zone defense in the first half. “The second half we had to try to do some things we can’t do—press and pick up full court man-to-man,” said Owen.
“They started in a zone and we did a nice job moving the ball (the Commodores had 20 assists) and knocked down some perimeter shots,” said Carter.
“We figured in the second half they would have to go man,” he added. “And we did a nice job cutting hard to the basket, and when they overplayed us we were getting all the way to the rim.”
Thomas led Perry Central with 18 points on 5 of 9 field-goal shooting and 6 of 8 free throws.
Huber added 15 points and Cassidy had 11 points, seven rebounds, seven assists, three steals and no turnovers. Schaad had eight points and four steals.
Matthew Watts led Tell City with 22 points. Brennan Malone and Reese Miller each grabbed five rebounds.
“Watts hit some tough shots,” said Carter.
Tell City finished the season 4-16.
Perry Central played without starting guard Abe Schwartz, who has an ankle injury. He did go through warm-ups, as “we wanted him to get it loose and then put some ice on it,” said Carter.
Whether he plays Friday “will probably be a game-time decision,” said Carter.