Shelbyville boys basketball emerged from a close first half to take a 10-point lead in the 3rd quarter over Neoga on Friday night. Neoga nullified that lead in the 4th to hand the Rams a 4-point loss, 63-59.

Trevor Roy started the game with a singular performance, scoring 16 of Neoga’s 18 points to lead the Rams by two points. Roy made a pair of triples and then five 2-point shots driving to the paint and scoring.

That pace slowed, but Roy still finished the game with 31 points, counting a 10-point 4th quarter.

Roy opened the game with a 3, but Shelby’s Leo Logue answered with a deuce, then Ethan Clark nailed a 3 for the lead, 5-3. Logue stroked his own 3 and the Rams were up 5, 8-3. After a Ram miss, Roy sank his second triple, 8-6.

A loose ball went to Neoga and Roy scored on a put back for the first tie of the game, 8-8. Shelby missed and Roy took the board coast to coast with little opposition, 10-8, Neoga. Kade Kull responded with a deuce, for the second tie, 10-10.

Banning came right back to break up Roy’s monopoly. Kull missed a shot and Roy went base line for 2, 14-10 Indians. After a time-out and a Ram miss, Roy score again and again for an 8-point lead, 18-10.

After a couple of empty trips both ways, Kull scored on a put back. Neoga turned it over and Nichols sank a two. Neoga traveled and the Rams tried to play for one shot. They took the clock from 44 seconds to under 9 and Kull scored to trail by two after one quarter on the strength of a 6-0 run, 18-16.

There was a technical foul on the Rams to start the 2nd period. McClure made two free throws and Neoga got the ball. They turned the ball over and Kull drew a foul. He made both free throws. Banning scored inside and Neoga was up 4, 22-18.

Nichols picked Neoga’s pocket and Kull scored at the other end. Neoga missed and Kull got the board. Logue launched a 3 at the Ram end, for the lead, 23-22. Roy was fouled and a made 1-of-2 free throws for the third tie, 23-23.

Loose balls, misses and turnovers killed some time. The Rams got a 5 second inbound call on the them. Nick Titus was fouled and made one free throw. Bryant came down and scored and the Rams had the lead again, 25-24.

Ragged play led to Nichols scoring on a runner for a 3-point Ram lead after an 11-4 run, 27-24. Trenton Moore made a free throw, but Nichols launched a long 3, 30-25.

Shelby played for one shot again. They ran clock from 49 seconds and dished for 2 for a 7-point half-time lead. The Rams had a 16-5 run in the 2nd to lead with 5 players scoring, 32-25.

The Rams started with the ball and Nichols drove and scored and got the foul. He missed the throw, 34-27. Moore got a dish and scored, but Nichols scored again inside. Leading by 7, 26-29, Logue buried another bomb for aforementioned, 10-point, Ram lead, 39-29.

That’s when Paci McClure showed up. He had two points at that point. He would finish with 17. McClure hit a three. Shelby missed a Roy re-emerged and scored, 39-34. Nichols gave the Rams a boost with a long 3, 42-34.

Almost 2:00 later, McClure scored inside, 42-36. Shelby missed and Titus was fouled. He made both shots, 42-38. Shelby tried to hold for one shot, but the third time was not a charm.

There was 58 seconds left in the 3rd. They trimmed it to 32 seconds and turned it over. Neoga missed a 3 and Shelby go the board then lost it. Banning got the ball and scored to reduce the one-time 10-point lead to just 2 heading into the 4th period, 42-40.

Shelby battled to halfway through the 4th, then lost the edge. McClure opened the 4th with a 3 for the Indian lead, 43-42. Nichols responded with a two to reclaim the lead, 44-43. Roy made 1-of-2 foul shots for the 4th tie of the game with 6:30 to play, 44-44.

Kull was fouled and made 1-of-2 for the Ram lead, 45-44. Roy scored after a teammate missed, 46-45 Neoga. Every score was a lead change for awhile. Logue hit from downtown and the Rams were up two, 48-46.

Neoga gave up the ball without scoring, but the Rams missed and Roy brought it for a 3-point play, to take the lead with 3:05 remaining, 49-48. It was the last of 11 lead changes in the game.

Neoga got a steal and Roy scored, 51-48. Shelby missed a shot and Roy was fouled. He made both free throws, 53-48. Neoga was called for travelling and Nichols came down and nailed a triple for a 2-point game, 53-51.

Shelby got a steal, but turned over the sure score and Roy took it the other way for a 2, 55-51. Bryant scored for Shelby, 55-53. Moore made 1-of-2 foul shots, then Kull scored for a 1-point game, 56-55.

McClure was fouled and made both shots., 58-55. Kull was fouled and made both shots with 22 seconds in the game, 58-57. McClure was not denied the ball and he got fouled. He made both, 60-57.

Shelby missed and McClure got to the line yet again. He made two shots for a 5-point lead, 62-57. Kull scored to make it a 3-point game. McClure was fouled once more, with 1.4 seconds left. He made 1-of-2 for the 4-point win, 63-59.

Shelbyville outscored Neoga from the floor 51 to 44, including 7 treys to Neoga’s four. However, Neoga shot 28 free throws and the Rams just seven. Neoga made 19 and Shelby 5, a 14-point Neoga edge at the line.

Braden Nichols led Shelby in scoring with 19 points. He made 8 buckets, five in close and a trey hat trick. Kull scored 17. He made six 2-pointers and 5-of-6 at the line. Logue was the third Ram in double figures with 14 points. He nailed a quartet of treys and a solo deuce.

Shelbyville (4-9) was to play at Newton on Saturday, then host Altamont on Tuesday and Sullivan on Friday. Neoga was 9-4 after the win.


Neoga 63, Shelbyville 59

Shelby 16-16-10-17--59

Neoga 18-7-15-23--63

Ram stats: Nichols 19 (5-2s, 2-3 pt FGs, 0/1 FTs), Kull 17 (6 FGs, 5/6 FTs), Logue 14 (1-2, 4-3 pt FGs), Bryant 4 (2 FGs), Clark 5 (1-2, 1-3 pt FGs). Team FGs 22. 3-Pointers: 7 (Logue 4, Nichols 2, Clark). Team FTs 5-of-7.

Neo stats: Roy 31 (10-2s, 2-3 pt FGs, 5-of-7), McClure 17 (1-2, 2-3 pt FGs, 9-of-10 FTs), Banning 6 (3 FGs), Moore 6 (2 FGs, 2/7 FTs), Titus 3 (3/4 FTs). Team FGs 20. 3-Pointers: 4 (Roy 2, McClure 2). Team FTs 19-of-28.

John Curtis can be reached at

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