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By LARRY GOFFINET
HUNTINGBURG—Linton-Stockton used a strong inside game to hit 63.9 percent from the field in a 75-65 first-round boys basketball regional win over Perry Central Saturday.
All 20 of the Miners’ two-point field goals came from within 8 feet of the basket—18 of them from within 6 feet.
Their first 10 baskets all came from within 6 feet as they built a 27-23 lead with 2:33 left in the first half. Most of them were on drives in the half-court game, though two came on fast breaks, including the last one of that stretch as Perry Central committed its 10th turnover of the half.
How did the Miners get inside so often?
“They set some ball screens up top with their guards and we did a poor job communicating on them early,” said Perry Central Coach Matt Carter. “And then when we got help, they made some nice bounce passes. “They were a little better off the dribble than I thought. They’re an excellent basketball team and I thought they executed well.”
Though they were close to the basket, not all of the Miners’ shots were easy ones. Right-handed Bryant Jackson hit a running 6-foot left-handed hook shot early, a sign that maybe things weren’t going to go Perry Central’s way.
That put the Miners ahead 6-5. But Perry Central came back to take the lead two more times on baskets by Dillon Hubert, one on a rebound and one a 17-foot baseline shot. Linton replied with a 10-0 run to build a 17-9 lead with 2:25 left in the first quarter, though. Drives by Ryan Woodward and Josh Dieball, a transition layup by Jackson, and two inside baskets by Beau Eaton—one on which Perry Central’s help defense was late—fueled that run.
Linton never trailed again, though Perry Central rallied to tie the game two more times, the last at 23-23 on a baseline drive by Andrew Huber with 3:38 left in the first half.
Then came two more inside baskets by the Miners and a three-pointer by Woodward to put them up 30-23.
Perry Central’s Trent Schraner answered with his own three-pointer. He scored a career-high 17 points and had four assists and no turnovers. “I thought he played an excellent game,” said Carter.
Jackson then hit a three-pointer out front and Woodward scored a three-point play on a drive and free throw to put the Miners up 36-26 with 1:04 left in the half.
They led by at least seven the rest of the way.
“We could never put several stops together and score on consecutive possessions to get an 8-0 or 10-0 run like we usually do,” said Carter. “We thought we could move the ball a little quicker than we did and get behind their zone, but they covered the halfcourt well in that zone.
“I thought early we settled too much for jump shots. In the second half we did a better job getting the ball inside.”
Foul trouble hurt the Commodores in the second half, though, with three starters eventually fouling out. Hubert hit a three-pointer to pull them within nine points late in the third quarter. But seconds later he headed to the bench with his fourth foul.
He re-entered the game with 5:09 left but fouled out on a ticky-tack call on a rebound battle with 2:49 left.
Perry Central had four scorers in double figures as Huber scored 20 points, Hubert 14, and Austin LeClere 11 to go with Schraner’s 17.
LeClere grabbed 10 rebounds and Hubert seven as the Commodores tied the taller Miners on the boards 27-27.
Jackson, the only returning starter from last year’s state runner-up team, led 20-6 Linton with 21 points.
Perry Central finished the season 18-6.