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home : sports : sports June 24, 2016

12/11/2012 2:02:00 PM
Panthers tame Tigers to win Shrine Game
Oblong’s boys’ basketball team won their third straight Shrine Game trophy with a 75-57 victory over rival Hutsonville-Palestine. (Josh Brown photo)
Oblong’s boys’ basketball team won their third straight Shrine Game trophy with a 75-57 victory over rival Hutsonville-Palestine. (Josh Brown photo)
Sports Editor

Big games often feature big performances, which is exactly what happened Friday night in the annual Crawford County Boys Shrine Game at Lincoln Trail College.

A dominant performance from Oblong's Anthony Johnson lifted the Panthers to a 75-57 victory over rival Hutsonville-Palestine for the third straight time in the annual meeting at LTC.

Johnson scored 24 of his game-high 33 points in the first half, helping the Panthers build a 38-26 lead at halftime, which they were able to maintain through much of the second half en route to the victory.

Johnson's point total was the third-most ever in a Shrine Game, behind only Hutsonville-Palestine's Ryan Roberts, who had 38 in 2007 and Palestine's Jack Pifer, who poured in 61 in 2000.

"Anthony knocked down some shots early and that got everyone else going," OHS head coach Brent Harper said. "He is so skilled and can do everything on the floor, but he also keeps his teammates involved. He knows he needs the other four guys out there helping him to be successful."

Johnson did get the help he needed from his teammates, with two others in double figures and another with nine, giving the Panthers the balance they needed to fend off a scrappy Tigers's squad.

"We are starting to get where we need to be," Harper said. "We had three guys in double figures and almost four. If we get that every night, we are going to be tough to beat. Hutsonville-Palestine is a good team. They play hard and shoot the ball well. We wanted to bring the trophy home and keep it, but I told the kids they had to be ready to play ball and they did."

"Their experience showed tonight," HHS-PHS head coach Travis Titsworth said. "Oblong played a good game, kept their poise early and we came out a little in awe of the whole event at the start, which was the one thing I was worried about. We had some spurts, but when you play solid teams, you have to play 32 solid minutes."

Oblong jumped on top early on jump shots by Collin Meese and Johnson, but consecutive hoops by Hutsonville-Palestine's Landon Williams evened the score at 4-4 with 4:20 left in the opening period. After a free throw by Johnson, Tyler Heflin scored to put the Tigers in front for the first time, 6-5, with 3:33 remaining. The teams would trade baskets before Johnson buried a three-pointer with 2:10 to play, giving OHS a 10-8 lead and they would not trail again. Johnson's long-range basket ignited a 9-1 run by the Panthers to give them a 16-9 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Johnson hit two more three-pointers to start the second quarter to extend the OHS lead to 22-9, before Hutsonville-Palestine's Graham Alspach stopped the bleeding with a basket to make the score 22-11 with 6:39 to go. A basket by Alspach got the Tigers to within nine with 4:33 left, but baskets by Chase Mendenhall and Meese pushed the OHS lead back to 30-17 with 3:37 remaining.

However, Hutsonville-Palestine answered with a 9-2 run, capped by a three-pointer from Heflin, to close the gap to 32-26 with 1:43 to go, but Oblong scored the final six points of the half, including a putback by Kurt Knollenberg with 2.5 seconds left to give the Panthers a 38-26 advantage at halftime.

After a basket by Meese to start the third quarter, Hutsonville-Palestine would score the next five points to pull within nine, 40-31, with 6:17 remaining, but they would not get any closer the rest of the way. A 12-4 run by the Panthers a few minutes later gave them their biggest lead of the game to that point, 55-37, with 2:37 left and they would hold a 57-42 advantage heading into the fourth quarter.

Oblong would put the game out of reach with a 12-2 run to start the fourth quarter, making the score 69-44 with 3:43 left for their largest lead of the game. Hutsonville-Palestine would go down swinging, as they countered with a 10-1 run to close the gap to 70-54, but only 2:06 remained after that run. The Panthers reserves entered the game at 1:37 mark and Hutsonville-Palestine's came on shortly thereafter and the Panthers celebrated another Shrine Game victory.

"We needed to play smart basketball and play our game and we did," Harper said. "Our defensive intensity has been there all year and has even gotten better the last couple of games. It creates a lot of offense for us. We also rebounded a lot better than we have been."

"I was pleased with the effort," Titsworth said. "We did a lot of quality things. I am proud of the way they battled. They played hard until the final buzzer."

In addition to his game-high point total, Johnson also recorded six rebounds, five assists, two steals and one blocked shot. Meese totaled 14 points, four rebounds, four steals and four assists, Gerald Richardson posted 10 points, 13 rebounds, five steals and two assists, Mendenhall netted nine points and seven rebounds, Kyler Fear chipped in three points and one rebound, Knollenberg contributed two points and six rebounds, Jared Mayhew added two points, three rebounds and one steal and Tyler Woods scored two points.

"Collin stepped up again and had a nice game," Harper said. "Gerald is getting more comfortable away from the basket and played with more energy tonight. He is capable of playing at that level all the time."

Hutsonville-Palestine was led by Heflin with 19 points, including five three-pointers, eight rebounds and two steals, while Alspach posted 10 points, five rebounds and two assists. Williams pitched in with 10 points, two rebounds, two steals and one assist, Dylan Webster totaled seven points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals, Joe Eckert contributed five points, four rebounds and one steal, Cole Wesner added four points and one rebound and Kienan Knecht had two points, two rebounds and one blocked shot.

"Heflin had a nice game," Titsworth said. "His range isn't just at the three-point line. Landon gave us a spark early, Kienan gave us some good minutes and Cole did some good things."

Oblong (7-2, 3-0 LIC) will play at Newton Friday for a LIC contest at 6:15 p.m.; Hutsonville-Palestine (5-4, 1-2 LIC) will start a busy week when they play host to Dugger, Ind., Tuesday at 5:15 p.m. The Tigers will also play a LIC contest at Cumberland Friday at 6:15 p.m., then will host Noble for a varsity-only contest for Homecoming Saturday at 7 p.m.

32nd Annual Crawford County

Boys Shrine Game

At Lincoln Trail College, Robinson

Oblong 16 22 19 18 - 75

Hutsonville-Palestine 9 17 16 15 - 57


Brody Allen 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, Tyler Woods 1-1 0-0 0-0 2, Gerald Richardson 2-7 2-4 0-2 10, Michael Brown 0-2 0-2 0-0 0, Collin Meese 6-10 0-2 2-4 14, Anthony Johnson 6-9 4-8 9-10 33, Alec Jacobs 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, Kurt Knollenberg 1-4 0-2 0-0 2, Kyler Fear 0-0 0-0 3-4 3, Chase Mendenhall 4-5 0-0 1-3 9, Keaton Neeley 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, Jared Mayhew 0-0 0-0 2-2 2, TOTALS 20-38 2FG, 6-18 3FG, 17-25 FT, 75 TP.


Blake Newlin 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, Treyver Ferguson 0-1 0-0 0-0 0, Mikey Roberts 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, Dylan Webster 2-5 0-1 3-8 7, Matt Schmidlin 0-2 0-1 0-0 0, Graham Alspach 2-8 1-2 3-4 10, Landon Williams 5-6 0-1 0-0 10, Tyler Heflin 2-8 5-11 0-0 19, Trent Newlin 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, Billy Sears 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, Joe Eckert 2-3 0-1 1-2 5, Kienan Knecht 1-1 0-0 0-0 2, Cole Wesner 2-3 0-1 0-2 4, TOTALS 16-37 2FG, 6-18 3FG, 7-16 FT, 57 TP.

Turnovers - OHS 18, HPHS 15. Team fouls - OHS 19, HPHS 19. Fouled out - Mendenhall, Eckert. Technical foul - none. Rebounds - (OHS 42) Richardson 13, Mendenhall 7, Johnson 6, Knollenberg 6, Meese 4, Mayhew 3, Brown 2, Fear. (HPHS 31) Heflin 8, Alspach 5, Webster 4, Eckert 4, Schmidlin 3, Williams 2, Knecht 2, Ferguson, Sears, Wesner. Steals - (OHS 12) Richardson 5, Meese 4, Johnson 2, Mayhew. (HPHS 8) Webster 2, Williams 2, Heflin 2, Schmidlin, Eckert. Assists - (OHS 12) Johnson 5, Meese 4, Richardson 2, Neeley. (HPHS 13) Schmidlin 5, Webster 3, Alspach 2, Williams, Newlin, Ferguson. Blocked shots - (OHS 1) Johnson. (HPHS 1) Knecht.

Next game - Oblong (7-2, 3-0 LIC) will play at Newton Friday at 6:15 p.m.; Hutsonville-Palestine (5-4, 1-2 LIC) will play host to Dugger, Ind., Tuesday at 5:15 p.m.

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