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By CLAY CUNNINGHAM
REO—Tanner Cassidy scored 18 points and Perry Central held South Spencer to 12 of 35 field-goal shooting in a 43-32 boys basketball win Saturday night.
After the Rebels jumped ahead 6-0 in the first quarter, the Commodores outscored them 24-14 the rest of the half to take a 24-20 lead.
Though they shot just 6 of 20 from the floor in the first half, the Commodores hit four three-pointers. Three of them were by Dacota Schaad, who scored all nine of his points in the second quarter.
Perry Central’s defense took over in the second half, contesting nearly all of South Spencer's shots. The Rebels hit just 5 of 20 from the floor in the second half and finished more than 25 points below their season average. Leading scorer Dakota Risse scored 10 points but hit just 3 of 12 from the field.
Rebel Coach Josh Davis called Perry Central’s defense “relentless” and added, “They’re a one-loss team for a reason.”
With the Commodores hitting just 14 of 38 themselves, Coach Matt Carter said their defensive performance was “absolutely the difference in the game.”
“I told the kids beforehand, ‘You’re not always going to shoot as well as you’d like,’” Carter said. “But as long as you defend well for four quarters, you’re going to have a chance to win.”
Despite the struggles from the floor, Perry Central had a good night at the foul line, hitting 11 of 15.
Cassidy led the team with eight rebounds. He and Abe Schwartz each made a game-high three steals.
The win was the Commodores’ 10th in a row, improving their record to 13-1. South Spencer has dropped three straight and is 9-7.
The Commodores are 6-1 against opponents from the Southridge sectional, with two wins coming against South Spencer.
While aware defeating potential postseason foes can only help, Carter said, “Anybody in our sectional is capable of beating anyone. I don’t think any coach in that sectional is worried about their guys taking anyone for granted.”
The Commodores will host Northeast Dubois tonight at 7.
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The JV Commodores rallied from eight points down in the fourth quarter but fell short 63-57 in overtime.
Michael Schwartz led 12-1 Perry Central with 18 points and Alton Cummings added 16.