The Shelbyville Rams were in a game aganist Neoga on Friday where every point was essential, but they were unable to tally any free throws and lost, 48-43.
It was a gut-check defensive game during the 1st half. Neoga took the 1st period, 12-8, and the 2nd, 9-8. The Rams were still in it down by just five points at the break, 21-16.
Out of the locker room the Rams were on fire, scoring almost half of their points in 8:00 on a 21-14 run. That put the Rams in the lead, 37-35 to start the fateful 4th. Once again the defense set the tone and Neoga pulled away on a 13-6 run to claim the win.
It was a familiar refrain. The Rams shot just over 51% from 2-point territory, but took almost as many 3s as the did 2s and only shot 20% from 3-point territory. They also didn’t get to the line enough. They shot just three free throws and missed them all.
By contrast, Neoga made 11 free throws in a 5-point win. They also made five treys, two more than the Rams.
Shelbyville out-scored Neoga inside the arc 34 to 24 and they only were 6-points behind from the arc. It was the free throws that doomed them.
A bright spot for Shelbyville was the inside play by their post scorers. Luke McConnell was the player of the game, scoring 12 points with 7 boards, shooting 67% from the floor. McConnell made 6-of-9 shots.
Cwenton Williams followed with 11 points and six rebounds, shooting 83% from the floor, making 5-of-6 shots, including a 3-pointer. However, Williams fouled out again. Combined, McConnell and Williams shot 11-of-15 (73%). The rest of the team shot just 27.5%.
Drennian Martin, coming off a game where he made 7-of-8 3-pointers, shot 2-of-8 (25%) for six points. Five more Rams lifted 3s and went 0-for-6. Spencer Shadwell shot 3-of-9 for six points.