JOHN CURTIS - Daily Union Sports Editor
SHELBYVILLE, IL. — Shelbyville Moulton knocked off host Nokomis Friday night, 41-35, to win the annual Nokomis 8th grade tourney for the first time in school history.
Nokomis started the game like they were playing at home and headed to a championship destiny. They cashed in twice from the arc and made all four free throw attempts for a 14-11 lead.
Turner Pullen kept the Rams close with six of his 10 points in the 1st on two buckets and 2-of-2 at the line. Payton Howell and Cade Watson added solo twos and Tylr Gottfriedt made a free throw.
Howell grabbed the torch for Shelby in the 2nd, hitting a two and a three. Watson converted a 3-point play at the line and Pullen scored again. Brett Spears made a free throw for another 11-point period.
The Ram defense kicked in in the 2nd and started to make a difference. They hled Nokomis to just seven points and took over the lead at the break, 22-21.
Watson took the Ram reins in the 3rd. He made two buckets and 1-of-2 at the line for five points. Howell struck again from the arc, Gottfriedt scored and Mason Cameron added a free throw for the third 11-point quarter in a row.
The Ram defense held the home team to just six points in the period and extended their lead to six points, 33-27.
Nokomis tried to make a run in the 4th, but the Rams matched them and denied the hometown celebration with the 6-point win.
Watson and Pullen had solo twos Howell made both ends of a 1 and 1 and so did Gottfriedt.
Shelbyville'd defense was key, but so was their rebounding. Shelby garnered 26 rebounds in the title win.
Shelby also played a clean game. Nokomis only got to the line for 10 free throws, making seven. Shelby got to the line for 17 free throws, making 11. Free throws made the difference in the game.
Shelbyville 41, Nokomis 35
Ram stats: Payton Howell 12 (2-2s, 2-3 pt FGs, 2/2 FTs), 3 rebounds; Cade Watson 12 (5 FGs, 2/3 FTs), 6 rebounds; Turner Pullen 10 (4 FGs, 2/2 FTs), 7 rebounds; Tyler Gottfriedt 5 (FG, 3/4 FTs), 7 rebounds; Mason Cameron 1 (1/4 FTs), 3 rebounds; Brett Spears 1 (1/2 FTs). Team FGs 14 (2-3s). Team FTs 11-of-17. Rebounds 26.
Nokomis stats: Sabol 8 (4 FGs), Engelman 7 (1-2, 1-3 pt FGs, 2/2 FTs), Barnes 6 (2 FGs, 2/3 FTs), Ransdell 5 (1-2, 1-3 pt FGs), Chausse 4 (FG, 2/2 FTs), Marley 3 (FG, 1/3 FTs), Watson 2 (FG). Team FGs 13 (2-3s). Team FTs 7-of-10.