PC’s rebounding, press sack Tell City

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Sports Editor

TELL CITY—Perry Central used strong rebounding and pressure defense to overcome cold outside shooting and beat Tell City 61-41 in the second round of the PSC Holiday Classic boys basketball tourney Friday.
The Commodores hit 42.9 percent from the field overall. But they were 4 for 17 from three-point range and 16 of their 23 two-point baskets came from within 5 feet of the basket, including six directly off offensive rebounds and three directly off Tell City turnovers.
“I thought we had some really good looks from three-point range but we shot really poorly on threes,” said Perry Central Coach Matt Carter. “And we didn’t get to the free-throw line as much as we should.”
The Commodores’ most consistent mid-range shooter was reserve center Dillon Hubert. He entered the game with the score tied 4-4 and hit his first three shots to give the Commodores a 12-9 lead at the end of the first quarter.
One of those baskets was on a rebound, but he also hit from 12 and 17 feet out front.
“He’s a great mid-range shooter,” said Carter. “Every time he shoots from 15-18 feet, we’re surprised when it doesn’t go in.”
Perry Central led the rest of the way, though Tell City stayed close most of the first half, pulling within two points on a three-pointer by Matthew Watts with less than two minutes left in the half.
The Commodores scored the last six points of the half, though, and the first six of the third quarter to build a 36-22 lead.
After they missed their first seven three-point shots, Tanner Cassidy hit one late in the first half.
Abe Schwartz then made a steal and a 5-foot shot and Derek Thomas hit 1 of 2 free throws to conclude the first-half scoring.
Andrew Huber hit a 14-footer to start the third-quarter scoring and Schwartz added two layups off Tell City turnovers.
The Marksmen committed 14 turnovers, which is lower than average for them. But five came in the first 2:32 of the third quarter.
“I thought we did a good job against their press until the last two minutes of the second quarter,” said Tell City Coach Brent Owen.
Then “their pressure pushed us off the (three-point arc). When you’re not starting your offense at the three-point line, passes get longer and it’s harder to hit cutters.”
The Marksmen hit only 31.8 percent from the field and took 19 fewer shots than Perry Central thanks to the Commodores’ 41-28 rebound advantage and five fewer turnovers.
“I don’t think we blocked out as well as we should have and I thought they beat us to some rebounds we could have run down,” said Owen.
Fatigue may have been a factor, as Perry Central had more depth.
“We played 11 kids tonight,” noted Carter.
He added, “I thought both teams played really hard.”
Owen agreed with that, saying, “I was pleased with our effort.”
Schwartz led Perry Central’s balanced attack with 11 points. Hubert and Dacota Schaad each added 10 and Cassidy scored nine.
Cassidy grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds. Thomas added six rebounds and three steals.
Watts and Brian Arnold each scored 10 points to lead Tell City. Grant Sanders grabbed seven rebounds.
Perry Central, 6-1, was scheduled to play South Spencer in the championship game Saturday.
Tell City, 1-7, was scheduled to play Crawford County in the third-place game Saturday.