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MTZ boys basketball wins two straight conference games

Kam Clark makes the steal on the ball while Carson Cuddy comes over to trap during a Braves’ 62-37 win against Charleston at Charleston.

By BLAKE FAITH
Staff Writer

The Mt. Zion boys basketball team won both of their conference games this week defeating Charleston and Mahomet-Seymour on the road.

Against Charleston, Braves’ sophomore point guard Sam Driscoll picked off right where he left off in Lincoln in Charleston. Grant McAtee found Driscoll on the right wing. Driscoll nailed the three-pointer then made a steal on the defensive end, and then fished a pass to a cutting Lyncoln Koester who made the layup and gave the Braves a 7-2 lead.

The Braves and Trojans exchanged possessions but once again Driscoll shot and scored. Makobi Adams found Driscoll once again on the right-wing, shot the three-pointer and nailed it.

“It’s something we talk about with all the guys. If you get an open look you’re supposed to take it,” head coach Dale Schuring said. “If you got a better shooter standing next to you and he’s open, then, you know you make one more pass to get a better shooter. But they all have the green light for the most part. We talk about playing to our strengths. Sam (Dricoll) probably shot a little bit better last year than most people realize. Maybe not as often, but very effectively. He’s hot right now there’s no doubt about it and it just adds to what we can do when you gotta worry about him and you already gotta worry about Lyncoln (Koester) and Carson (Cuddy), stuff like that. So, he’s doing really well right now and he’s distributing and playing defense too.”

Driscoll finished the first quarter with eight points, two steals and two assists finishing the quarter with a pass to Kam Clark for a layup that gave the Braves a 22-7 first quarter lead.

The Braves ended the first half ahead 36-15. The Braves started the first quarter with Driscoll finding Adams for a layup , but failed to score on their next five chances. During that time William Applegate nailed a three-pointer and made two layups to cut the Braves’ lead to 38-22. Applegate finished the game with a game-high 20 points.

Owen Owens then assessed and scored on the next three Braves’ possessions. On back-to-back possessions Owens found Jc Anderson for layups. Then Clark dished a pass to Owens who buried the three-pointer to put the Braves up 45-22.

The Braves finished the third quarter ahead 48-26 when Driscoll dished a pass to Owens who made the layup. The Braves would go on to win 62-37. Driscoll scored 14 points and dished five assists. Owens added 11 points for the Braves.

“I was really pleased with the first half,” Coach Schuring said. “We talked about that you have to come out and set the tone early because they play so well here and whatever advantage we might have had, it was gonna have to be early as they get their game legs under ‘em and get used to game speed stuff. So, I was very pleased with the first half, second half. I was a little disappointed in our offensive execution and our defense was okay, but it wasn’t as good as the first half either. So we had one really good half and the other one was, okay.”

The Braves improve to 5-1 overall and 3-0 in Apollo Conference play. The Braves will face Richland County on the road and then have their home opener against Monticello and another home game against Champaign Centennial.

“It’s just a matter of continuing to improve on what we perceive as things that aren’t going well tonight,” Coach Schuring said. “Our man offense still isn’t all that great and we’ve gotta continue to work on that and improve that and just prepare a little bit for what they might do. But at this point, it’s still more about us and what the opponents do.”

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