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By LARRY GOFFINET
TELL CITY—Crawford County used a strong inside attack to nip Perry Central 62-61 in overtime in the first round of the PSC Holiday Classic boys basketball tourney Friday.
The Wolfpack hit 51.9 percent from the field, with all but one of their 27 field goals coming from within 9 feet of the basket.
Perry Central hit only 41.8 percent from the field and also hurt itself at the free-throw line.
The Commodores hit only 10 of 18 free throws and had another one they actually made erased because a referee said the shooter crossed the line before it hit the rim.
The Commodores also got outrebounded 33-23, including 20-11 in the second half.
Still thanks to strong pressure defense, they were in position to win the game until a controversial foul call against them with 1.3 seconds left in overtime.
Both teams had good quickness and pressed throughout the fast-paced, physical game.
Perry Central’s pressure seemed to wear down the Wolfpack, who used only seven players, a little bit late in the game.
The Commodores made 11 steals, including one by Trent Schraner that led to a 12-foot basket by Andrew Huber to tie the game 58-58 with less than two minutes left in overtime.
Crawford County re-gained the lead on a driving basket by Ranger Caffrey.
But a free throw by Huber and a 7-foot post-up basket by Dillon Hubert put Perry Central up 61-60 with 0:08 left.
After a timeout, Crawford County guard Brandon Cate pushed the ball upcourt and drove to the baseline. There Perry Central was called for a foul with 1.3 seconds left.
“I didn’t know if it was (a foul) or not,” said Perry Central Coach Matt Carter. “It looked to me like he was about to run out of bounds under the basket and got bailed out.”
It was the kind of foul not usually called at that point in the game.
Cate did not appear to be in the act of shooting, but since Perry Central had more than 10 fouls in the half he automatically received two free throws.
He hit both to put the Wolfpack ahead by one, and Perry Central missed a backcourt desperation shot at the buzzer.
Still Carter blamed his team’s interior defense and lack of rebounding more than the foul call for the loss.
“They beat us off the dribble pretty repeatedly,” he said. “I thought we did a poor job defending the basket most of the game.”
Except for a little 1-3-1 half-court trap late, Perry Central played man-to-man defense throughout.
Carter said he eschewed a zone because “we knew Caffrey could get hot and Thomas has been hitting a lot of threes lately.”
As for the rebounding, “we talked about that at halftime,” said Carter. “I thought they were outworking us for some loose balls.”
Austin LeClere led 5-1 Perry Central with 13 points.
Hubert and Dacota Schaad each added 11 points and Huber had 10.
Hubert grabbed eight rebounds and Schraner had five assists.
Center Ethan McMonigle scored 16 points on 8 of 10 field-goal shooting and pulled down 12 rebounds for the 6-0 Wolfpack. Cate also scored 16 points.
Perry Central was scheduled to play Tell City in the consolation round Saturday and will play in either the fifth-place game against South Spencer at South Spencer today at 3:45 p.m.