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Rebounding propels Tell City past Cannelton

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By LARRY GOFFINET
Sports Editor

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TELL CITY—Brennan Malone had 15 points, 13 rebounds, four assists and three steals as Tell City beat Cannelton 58-45 in a boys basketball season opener Saturday.
Malone hit 5 of 6 from the field.
He led the Marksmen in every category but free-throw shooting, where he hit only 5 of 12. But he and Tell City’s other big men hit them in the last 2 1⁄2 minutes when the Bulldogs fouled them to try to get the ball back.
Cannelton pulled within 49-40 on a 5-foot driving shot by Elijah Littles with 2:28 left.
Malone was fouled six seconds later. He was 3 for 10 at the line to that point but made both to increase the Marksmen’s lead to 11.
Cannelton pulled back within nine on a three-pointer by Tristan Simmons with 1:40 left.
Then the Bulldogs fouled Reese Miller, who had not been to the line in the game. He also hit both to seal the outcome.
Cannelton outshot Tell City from the field 46.3 percent to 42.0 percent and was hitting 50.0 percent until missing some hurried three-pointers while trying to get back in the game in the closing minutes.
But the Marksmen got nine more attempts from the field thanks to their 38-21 rebounding advantage.
“We talked about rebounding leading up to the game because we knew they were an undersized team,” said Tell City Coach Brent Owen. “I’m proud of our effort on the boards.”
Grant Sanders grabbed six rebounds to back Malone. Quinn Duke, the Bulldogs’ only starter over 6 feet tall, led them with six rebounds.
Littles, a quick senior forward/guard, led Cannelton with 19 points on 8 of 11 field-goal shooting and 3 of 3 free throws.
“We’ve been waiting for that for four years,” said Cannelton Coach Brian Garrett. “I’ve been on him from the start of practice (to look for his shot more aggressively).”
“We wanted to keep Littles in front of us and I thought we did,” said Owen. “But he made some tough pull-up jumpers.”
Littles did beat his man on drives at times but Tell City’s help defense alertly came over on him. Then he would pull up for a 5- to 10-foot shot.
He scored inside on an assist from Simmons to pull the Bulldogs within two, 40-38, to start the fourth quarter.
But Tell City guard Trent Zuelly, who sat out most of the first half in foul trouble, scored the next five points on a 17-footer and a three-pointer.
Drew Mowery, who also had some foul trouble in the first half, was Tell City’s second leading scorer with 12 points.
Neither team shot free throws well most of the game, with Tell City hitting 50.0 percent and Cannelton 30.8 percent.
Tell City will visit Forest Park Saturday at 7 p.m. Cannelton will host Perry Central Friday at 7:30 p.m.
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Tell City won the JV game 53-30 as Hunter Rowe had 14 points, six rebounds and four assists.
Matt Zabel added 13 points, Zach Ziegelgruber 11 points and six rebounds, and Gant Miller nine points.
Caleb Cravens led the Bulldogs with seven points and Bryce Garrett added six.