Wildcats hold off Tell City

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By Larry Goffinet

MOUNT VERNON—Turnovers and missed free throws hampered Tell City’s comeback in a 61-50 boys basketball loss to Mount Vernon Friday.

The Marksmen fell behind 13-4 in the first 6:45. Wyatt Newman, a 6-foot-1 junior guard, scored 11 points for Mount Vernon in that stretch.

He got them mostly on jumpers from 15-20 feet, including one three-pointer, but he also made a fast-break layup in that streak.

“We were so concerned about (Ryan) Ploetz (the Wildcats’ 6-foot-5 center) that we just didn’t find Newman,” said Tell City Coach John Hayes.

“But we knew he could shoot. When we scouted them against Washington, he was the one they ran sets for for threes.

“Later we went to a little box-and-one on him for a while and that was pretty effective—he only got one more field goal.”

The Wildcats led the rest of the way, though.

After a rebound basket by Tell City sophomore Trent Gunn cut their lead to two points, the Wildcats scored the last 11 points of the second quarter—all on drives or free throws—to build a 28-15 halftime lead.

Andy Chinn hit two three-point baskets and a free throw (he was fouled on one of the three-pointers) in the last 44 seconds of the third quarter to cut the gap to five points.

The Marksmen cut it to five points and had the ball a couple other times but committed turnovers.

They cut the gap to four points, 44-40, with 5:01 left on consecutive driving baskets by Chinn and Sean Flannagan.

But the Wildcats spread the floor to make Tell City foul the rest of the way.

They hit 17 of 21 free throws in a 4:54 stretch before missing two with three seconds left—when the outcome had been decided.

Tell City, on the other hand, hit only 4 of 10 free throws in the last 5:50.

Chinn led the Marksmen with 20 points. He hit 8 of 13 from the field, including 3 of 5 from three-point range, despite being tightly guarded throughout the game by a defender who never sagged off him to help on anyone else.

“He’s just so much better at creating his own shot than he was last year,” said Hayes. “But we’d like for him not to have to create as much as he had to tonight.”

Newman led the 4-3 Wildcats with 15 points while Ploetz was held to six.

Hayes called the Marksmen’s 22 turnovers “too many.” But he was pleased that they improved their rebounding, particularly at the offensive end.

“We had seven offensive rebounds and they had two,” he noted. “The last five games we’ve been giving up 11 offensive rebounds and getting only two.”

Shane Weedman and Jamal Noland each grabbed five rebounds for the Marksmen.

Tell City, 4-6, will visit South Spencer Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

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Tell City won the junior varsity game 49-44 as Flannagan scored 14 points.

Weedman added 11 points and eight rebounds and Nick Kleaving scored eight points for the 5-4 Marksmen.