SHELBYVILLE, IL. —
Last year, the Shelbyville Moulton Ram 8th grade lost both their games against Central A&M. They circled Thursday's date when they would host A&M and exacted revenge winning by 24 points, 47-23.
As 7th graders, A&M playing at home bullied the Rams in their first meeting a year ago. In the 2nd meeting, the Rams just didn't play well and fell again. On Thursday, it was the Rams that were quicker and more aggressive. Central A&M was coming off a disappointing loss to Sullivan and the funk continued.
A&M couldn't buy a basket early and never got on track from outside. Their big man Beau Branyon, nimble-footed and a better shot than Shaq, carried them inside, but still missed more shots than normal. Branyon was held to just 10 points. Riley Black was injured for a while and Tate Paradee was injured and left the game. That didn't help when A&M was trying to get back on track.
Shelbyville didn't really heat up the nets from outside either, except for two 3-pointers from Payton Howell. After missing some point blank lay-ups early, the Rams settled down and the rout was on.
Turner Pullen scored a game-high 22 points, making good decisions and using quick feet to out-nimble Branyon and get to the rim for 10 buckets. Tylr Gottfriedt was a little erratic on offense, but in the 2nd period he helped fuel a 20-8 run getting frequent flyer miles to the charity stripe. Gottfriedt cashed in, making 7-of-8 free throws and finishing with 11 points.
Shelbyville earned seven trips to the foul line, making 11-of-14 (78.5%), while A&M got there just four times, all Branyon, and he was 4-of-8 (50%).
Gottfriedt won the opening tip and the Rams were off 'n runnin.' Cade Watson went right to the rim and was fouled. He split a pair and Shelby was up 1-0. Branyon was fouled and he made 1-of-1. That would be the only tie of the game and Shelby would never trail.