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TELL CITY—Both coaches thought Tell City outhustled Perry Central in beating the Commodores 47-45 in the second round of the PSC Classic boys basketball tourney Wednesday.
“We didn’t play with any intensity the first half,” said Perry Central Coach Matt Carter. “We got outplayed the whole game.
“I don’t know if we ever boxed out the whole game. Our half-court defense was pretty decent, but then we didn’t finish it with the rebound.”
Said Tell City Coach John Hayes, “I told our kids in the locker room after the game that when you’re 2-5 and things don’t go the way you want them to go, it’s easy to get down. But I thought the key tonight was our kids kept playing hard even when they were five down going into the fourth quarter.
“I thought our kids played with more intensity (than the previous night).
“I thought three key plays were Sean Flannagan’s rebound basket of a free throw for a three-point play, Trent Benningfield’s steal on (Alex) Rogier at halfcourt, and a huge defensive rebound by Alex Cole when he was fouled and then hit both free throws in a one-and-one situation.”
Perry Central led 39-38 with 3:21 left when Shane Weedman went to the free-throw line for a one-and-one for Tell City.
He missed the first shot but Flannagan scored on the rebound and was fouled.
He made the free throw to put the Marksmen up 41-39.
It was still a two-point game when Cole grabbed the defensive rebound Hayes referred to.
Cole’s free throws put the Marksmen up 45-41 with 1:54 left.
Perry Central pulled within two points again on a driving basket by Clint Cassidy with 0:51 left.
Flannagan was fouled six seconds later. He missed both free throws, but the Commodores missed two field-goal attempts in the next 44 seconds.
Benningfield was fouled with seven-tenths of a second left.
After he missed the first free throw, the Commodores called timeout, knowing they could still tie the score with a three-pointer even if he Benningfield made the second free throw.
But he missed it and the Commodores were unable to get a good shot off after grabbing the rebound.
Did Hayes consider telling Benningfield to miss the second free throw intentionally to make it harder for Perry Central to have time to set up a last-second shot?
“We thought about it,” said Hayes. “But the way we shoot free throws, we had a pretty good chance of missing anyway.”
Free-throw shooting was one weakness for the Marksmen, as they hit only 9 of 19.
They outshot the Commodores from the field 46.3 percent to 40.9 percent, though.
Weedman led Tell City with 15 points and Flannagan added 11.
Senior guard Reuben Schwartz led Perry Central with 15 points on 6 of 9 field-goal shooting and 2 of 2 free throws.
“I thought he probably played as well as anyone for us tonight,” said Carter. “He played hard and got himself in some open areas and hit some shots.
“But it takes five guys playing hard to win.”
Rogier added 14 points despite battling foul trouble much of the game.
Despite some key offensive rebounds by Tell City, Perry Central won the board battle 30-22 overall.
Ian Hahus grabbed 14 for the Commodores while Weedman had eight for the Marksmen.
Tell City, 3-5, will play Owensboro Catholic for fifth place in the eight-team tourney Saturday at 3 p.m. at Heritage Hills.
Perry Central, 4-3, will play South Spencer for seventh place Saturday at 1 p.m. at Heritage Hills.