JOHN CURTIS - Daily Union Sports Editor
SHELBYVILLE, IL. —
Shelbyville 7th grade basketball (13-4), the winners of six in a row, opened the conference tourney on Saturday as the #2 seed against a game Meridian #7 seed. It was a back and forth affair, but the Rams were able to hold on down the stretch to advance, 36-30.
Shelby took a 2-point lead early as Tylr Gottfriedt scored twice and Turner Pullen once. Meridian answered with two solo twos and trailed, 6-4 heading to the 2nd.
Meridian pushed back in the 2nd, as Getz, the game’s leading scorer got started from the arc. He cashed in twice and Doss scored twice from 2-point range for 20 points. The Rams got three more scores from Gottfriedt for 10 of his team-high 16 points in the 1st half. Cade Watson added two free throws and that left the teams tied at the break, 14-14.
The 3rd period Ram run made all the difference. Out of the locker room, Gottfriedt scored three more times, Payton Howell sank a triple and Turner Pullen converted a 3-point play. Watson got to the line again and made 3-of-4 shots to cap the 15-3 Ram run in the 3rd. Meridian only got a deuce and 1-of-2 at the line in the 6:00 period.
Leading 29-17, the Rams were in the catbird seat. The Ram lead held up despite Getz going off for 12 points in the final 6:00. He had a trey and a deuce, made two foul shots, then another two and another triple. Hurelbrink split a pair at the line for the other Meridian point in the 4th.
That would have been enough to nip the Rams, but the Rams also scored in the 4th to stave off the upset. Howell was the line in the sand, making a deuce, then another trey. Brett Spears also made both ends of a 1-and-1 to seal the deal.
Gottfriedt shot 72.7% from the field (8-of-11) in his 16-point performance. Howell shot 50% from the field for his eight points, 2-of-3 from the arc.
Shelbyville 36, Meridian 30
Ram stats: Gottfriedt 16 (8 FGs), Howell 8 (1-2, 2-3 pt FGs, Pullen 5 (2 FGs, 1/3 FTs), Watson 5 (5/6 FTs), Spears 2 (2/2 FTs). Team FGs 13 (2-3s). Team FTs 8-of-11.
M'dian stats: Getz 19 (2-2s, 4-3 pt FGs, 3/6 FTs), Doss 6 (3 FGs), Johnson 4 (2 FGs), Hurelbrink 1 (1/2 FTs). Team FGs 11 (4-3s). Team FTs 4-of-8.
After the Saturday win, the Rams headed into the Wednesday semifinal against Clinton. It was a close game throughout. But, the Rams gradually pulled away for the win, 34-27.
The Rams had balanced scoring and a balanced attack in each period. That steady balance got them the win.
Gottfriedt led Shelby again with eight points, including a trey. Watson followed with six points, Summers had six points and Howell had six points from two late 3-pointers.
Shelby led 7-5 after the 1st and still by two at the half, 14-12. They upped their lead to three points after the 3rd, 23-20, then finished with a 7-point cushion at the buzzer.
Quinn Martz, Daythan Summers, and Cade Watson got the Rams started with solo twos each and a Gottfriedt 1-of-2 at the line. Clinton had a lone trey and two free throws.
Clinton had another solo trey in the 2nd and two twos. Watson, Gottfriedt and Turner Pullen scored in the 2nd. Pullen added 1-of-2 at the line to match the Clinton out-put and still lead by two at the break.
Clinton hit a trey and two deuces again in the 3rd, plus a free throw. Shelby did one better. Summers scored twice and Watson and Gottfriedt added solo twos. Pullen had another free throw to keep the Rams ahead, 23-20.
Down the stretch Clinton made another trey and two deuces to finish with 27 points. Shelby stayed on track and upped their production. Gottfriedt launched a triple and Howell launched two triples. Mason Cameron scored and the Rams pushed the margin of victory up to seven points at the buzzer.
The Rams (15-4) were to play the conference tourney title game on Thursday against top-seeded Monticello.
Shelbyville 34, Clinton 27
Ram stats: Gottfriedt 8 (2-2s, 1-3 pt FGs, 1/2 FTs), Watson 6 (3 FGs, 0/2 FTs), Howell 6 (2-3 pt FGs), Summers 6 (3 FGs), Pullen 4 (FG, 2/4 FTs), Cameron 2 (FG). Team FGs 14. (3-3s). Team FTs 3-of-8.
Clint stats: Ryan 9 (3-3 pt FGs), Reynolds 5 (1-2, 1-3 pt FGs), Westfall 5 (2 FGs, 1/2 FTs), Baker 2 (FG, 0/2 FTs), Hospelhorn 2 (FG), Rauch 2 (2/2 FTs), Smith 2 (FG). Team FGs 10 (4-3s). Team FTs 3-of-6.