Lions defeat Bulldogs

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Sports Editor

SELLERSBURG—Some early Cannelton turnovers helped Rock Creek build a 27-12 lead and defeat the Bulldogs 70-55 in boys basketball Friday.
Cannelton committed 21 turnovers and the Lions scored layups directly off three of them in building their 15-point lead in the first 10 minutes.
But the rest of the game the 2-18 Bulldogs played the 13-9 Lions evenly.
“There was a stretch in the first quarter and one in the third quarter where we got to playing a little too fast for our own good,” said Cannelton Coach Brian Garrett. “But overall I think we played extremely well.
“When we slow down and we move the ball, we can get any shot we want.”
Cannelton got especially strong contributions from the three reserves it used as they combined for nearly half the team’s points.
Michael Miller and Bryce Garrett each scored nine points, with Miller hitting 3 of 3 three-point shots. Jayden Morris added eight points and a team-high eight rebounds.
“Bryce and Michael Miller both stepped up and had big games, and I thought Jayden played well,” said Brian Garrett.
Cannelton pulled back within nine points, 31-22, with three minutes left in the second quarter on Miller’s second three-pointer.
But Rock Creek scored the next nine points on a rebound basket, an inside basket off a loose ball, a 14-foot baseline shot, and a three-pointer.
The Lions outshot the Bulldogs from the field 45.7 percent to 42.3 percent and outrebounded them 38-29.
“We missed a lot of shots in the paint,” noted Garrett. Rock Creek’s blocked shots or threats of blocks with 6-foot-8, 6-7 and 6-6 players frequently in the lineup (though none of them started because it was senior night) was likely a factor.
“We’re not going to see anybody that athletic and tall in our tourney,” said Garrett.
Elijah Littles led Cannelton with 13 points, including 7 of 9 free throws, as he took the ball to the basket aggressively.
The rest of the Bulldogs shot only one free throw.
No one had more than two steals or two assists for the Bulldogs. They did have 12 assists, though—one of their higher totals.
Though only eight fouls were called on the Bulldogs, two of their top players, Tristan Simmons and Quinn Duke, were limited by each picking up two fouls in the first 5:20.
Senior forward Devin Burt led Rock Creek with 17 points and 6-8 junior Gedeon Nzombi grabbed eight rebounds.
“There were a couple of plays in there where Rock Creek got all the 50-50 balls,” said Garrett. “We’ve got to get those, be sound defensively, and limit offensive rebounds (the Lions had 11) in the sectional.”
Cannelton will play Northeast Dubois in the Tecumseh sectional Friday at 6 p.m.
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Rock Creek won the JV game 55-18.
Caleb Cravens led Cannelton with six points.