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MTZ basketball splits two games last week

Sam Driscoll fires a three-pointer in a 66-56 loss against MacArthur at MacArthur.

By BLAKE FAITH
Staff Writer

The Mt. Zion Boys Basketball team split their games this week winning its last Apollo Conference game of the season against Effingham and losing a game against MacArthur.

Against MacArthur, the Braves trailed 21-4 at the end of the first quarter. The Generals swarmed the Braves on both ends of the floor, grabbing offensive rebounds and fins hung offensively and grabbing defensive rebounds and forcing the Braves into bad shots.

The Braves started the second quarter on a 5-0 run that started with Lyncoln Koester making a free-throw and scoring a two-point basket and Brayden Trimble nailing two free-throws to make the score 21-9.

The Braves then went on a 6-0 run that started when Grant McAtee found Sam Driscoll for a finish. Then Owen Owens inserted into the game and grabbed an offensive rebound and was fouled. Owens made both free-throws and then Koester made a steal and finish at the rim that narrowed the Generals’ lead to 25-15.

“We had to get a little bit more athletic,” Head coach Dale Schuring said. “We had to be a little less one-on-one with the ball and I’m not sure we ever corrected that. The two-three zone hurt them a little bit. It did and we also cannot lose sight of the fact that Wright wasn’t out there for a lot of that, he got in some foul trouble, but we have guys in foul trouble too. So there’s a lot of things that go into it, but we kept competing and we kept battling and we got ourselves into it. The only thing I really said to them at the quarter time out was get it to 10 by half. We had it at eight, so they did what they were asked and then from there I thought we did really well.”

The quarter ended with the Generals controlling a 30-22 lead. The Braves started off the third quarter with Carson Cuddy finding Driscoll who nailed the three-pointer from the left-wing to cut the lead to 32-25.

The Generals went to Stevie Tatum who nailed back-to-back three pointers that helped the Generals push their lead to 38-27.

Late in the fourth quarter, the Braves got the game within six when Trimble found Driscoll for another three-pointer and then made a putback layup off an offensive rebound to make the score 56-50.

“I thought we battled extremely hard,” Coach Schuring said. “We played really hard. We competed and don’t think we gave an inch. Uh, we just had a bad start. The rest of the game we played ‘em even. And then I had to guess we probably outscored them in the two final quarters.”

The Generals held on to win 66 to 56. The Braves overall record improved to 27-4 overall and 12-0 in Apollo Conference play. The Braves and Generals both will be in the regional in Mattoon and that could turn into the regional final. First, the Braves will face Charleston on Wednesday in the regional semifinal.

“We talk about not overlooking Charleston and the regional because they’re finally, for the most part, healthy,” Coach Schuring said. “They’re playing really well and they’re confident. So, we’d like a shot at these guys in a week, but it’s, nothing’s guaranteed and we gotta understand it’s one game at a time.”

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