John Curtis Daily Union Sports Editor
Shelbyville Daily Union
---- — 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.
The Rams did cut down on their turnovers, having more assists and steals than turnovers. Shadwell dished eight assists. They committed just 12 turnovers for the game, while recording 12 assists and four steals. The Rams also accounted for an impressive 37 rebounds, led by Brett Peifer with eight.
While Shelby had their two big men scoring 23 of their points, Neoga got 22 points from one player, Krikie. Krikie was a Ram killer. He made six baskets, including a quartet of treys. He also made six free throws. Baker was the only other Indian to come close to double figures. He scored nine points, including one trey and two free throws.
Neoga 48, Shelbyville 43
Ram stats: McConnell 12 (6 FGs, 0/1 FTs), 7 rebounds; Williams 11 (4-2s, 1-3 pt FGs), 6 rebounds; Martin 6 (2-3 pt FGs), 4 rebounds, 1 assist; Shadwell 6 (3 FGs, 0/2 FTs), 3 rebounds, 8 assists; Tyler Hendryx 2 (FG), 1 rebound, 1 steal; Devin Peterson 2 (FG), 2 rebounds; Zach Williams 2 (FG), 1 rebound, 1 steal; Brett Peifer 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal; Bart Kennell 2 rebounds; Jordan Smith 2 rebounds. Team FGs 20. 3-Pointers: 3 (Martin 2, C. Williams). Team FTs 0-for-3. Rebounds 37. Turnovers 12. Assists 12. Steals 4.
Neo stats: Krikie 22 (2-2s, 4-3 pt FGs, 6 FTs), J. Baker 9 (2-2s, 1-3 pt FGs, 2 FTs), L. Baker 5 (FG, 3 FTs), C. Kersey 4 (2 FGs), R. Kersey 2 (FG), Aleshire 2 (FG), Moore 2 (FG). Team FGs 16. 3-Pointers: 5 (Krikie 4, J. Baker). Team FTs 11.