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home : sports : sports May 24, 2016

1/17/2013 2:57:00 PM
Panthers fall to Casey-Westfield, 63-54
JOSH BROWN
Sports Editor

Playing with the top-tier teams in the Little Illini Conference has not been a problem this season for Oblong High School's boys' basketball team.

Finding ways to win games against those teams, however, has.

The Panthers hung with visiting Casey-Westfield, who is currently in second-place in the LIC and the No. 2-seed in the upcoming LIC Tournament, but a couple of bad stretches proved costly and led to a 63-54 loss in league play.

"We have played good for three, three and a half quarters the last couple of games, but we are still having that stretch where we are a little lax in what we are doing," OHS head coach Brent Harper said. "We went through a spell where we didn't rebound well because got a little tired and lazy around the rim and we had a stretch where we didn't shoot it well either."

For much of the first three quarters, Oblong gave Casey-Westfield all they wanted and more, but in the end, the Warriors were able to wear down the Panthers and pick up the win.

Oblong came out firing, scoring the first six points of the game and held a high-scoring Casey-Westfield squad scoreless for more than two minutes to start the game. Casey-Westfield came back with two quick scores to close the gap to 6-4 with 5:30 to play, but Anthony Johnson answered with a baseline jumper and a free throw, then after a Casey-Westfield basket, Jared Mayhew scored inside and Johnson buried a three-pointer to give Oblong a 14-6 advantage with 3:35 remaining. However, Casey-Westfield responded with a 10-2 run to end the period, tying the score at 16-16 after the first eight minutes.

A free throw by Mayhew early in the second quarter put Oblong back on top, 17-16, but a basket by Trivette Scales gave Casey-Westfield its first lead of the game, 18-17, with 7:10 to go. Oblong countered with a 6-0 run, as Gerald Richardson scored on a reverse layup, Johnson converted a steal into a layup and Collin Meese got open on the baseline for a layup to give the Panthers a 23-18 lead with 5:25 left.

Scales stopped the OHS run with a steal and layup to make the score 23-20, but a Mayhew putback and a putback by Johnson after Mayhew missed a free throw gave Oblong a 27-20 lead with 3:20 remaining. However, Casey-Westfield ended the half on a 7-3 spurt to cut the OHS lead to 30-27 at halftime.

The Warriors carried that momentum into the third quarter, as two baskets by Brandon Wolfe gave Casey-Westfield a 31-30 lead with 6:25 on the clock. Johnson put Oblong back in front, 32-31, with a jump shot at the 6:10 mark, but Casey-Westfield followed with a 9-1 run to take a 40-33 lead with 2:41 left. Meese would score the next four points for Oblong on a layup and a flip shot in the lane, pulling the Panthers to within 40-37 heading into the fourth quarter.

Casey-Westfield stole the momentum right back to start the fourth quarter, as they scored the first nine points to extend their advantage to 49-37 with 5:50 to play. Oblong would not go away quietly, as they responded with a 12-4 run to trim the deficit to 53-49 after two free throws by Johnson with 3:29 to play. Unfortunately, Casey-Westfield would knock down 10-12 free throws over the next two minutes to push their lead back to 12, 63-51, with just over a minute to play, while Johnson converted a three-point play in the final minute to account for the final points of the game.

"We were hoping to build our lead up enough to be able to withstand their runs, but didn't quite get it big enough," Harper said. "It was a closer game than the final score indicates, because we had to foul at the end. We just have got to find a way to get the job done down the stretch."

Oblong struggled to make shots from the floor, connecting on just 19-56 field goal attempts (34 percent), including 18-48 from two-point range (38 percent) and 1-8 from three-point range (13 percent). Casey-Westfield was a tick better, shaking off a slow start to go 20-50 overall (40 percent), which included 15-34 from inside the arc (44 percent) and 5-16 from long distance (31 percent). Casey-Westfield also held a slight advantage at the free throw line, making 18-28 foul shots (64 percent), while Oblong was 15-20 at the charity stripe (75 percent).

The Panthers only turned the ball over 11 times, compared to 17 for Casey-Westfield, but the Warriors held a 43-36 rebounding advantage, with several of them coming on the offensive end, leading to second-chance opportunities.

"We didn't rebound very well, especially in the second half and that killed us," Harper said.

Johnson led Oblong with 32 points - including 12 in the first quarter and 13 in the fourth - along with nine rebounds, five steals and three assists, while Mayhew posted eight points, 12 rebounds, four blocked shots and one assist. Meese netted eight points, four rebounds and three steals and Richardson totaled six points, eight rebounds, four steals, four assists and one blocked shot.

Wolfe led Casey-Westfield with 21 points, 14 in the second half, 10 rebounds, one steal and one assist, while Scales posted 19 points, seven rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocked shots. Zack Murphy totaled nine points, nine rebounds, six assists, four steals and one blocked shot for the Warriors and Matt McCown added eight points, 12 rebounds and one blocked shot.

Oblong did score a 45-37 win in the junior varsity game.

Brody Allen led OHS with 13 points, while Kyler Fear tossed in nine. Zander Laino scored eight, Michael Brown netted seven, Alec Jacobs scored five and Tyler Woods added three.

Oblong (13-7, 4-4 LIC) will travel to Casey to play Red Hill in the opening round of the LIC Tournament Friday at 7 p.m. Should the Panthers win, they will have a rematch with Casey-Westfield Saturday at 6 p.m.

"Hopefully we will take care of business Friday and get another shot at them Saturday," Harper said.



At Oblong

Casey-Westfield 16 11 13 23 - 63

Oblong 16 14 7 17 - 54



CASEY-WESTFIELD (63)

Sam Huisinga 0-0 0-2 0-0 4-6 4, Trivette Scales 5-12 1-4 6-8 19, Zack Murphy 2-4 1-3 2-4 9, Brandon Wolfe 5-10 3-7 2-5 21, Shawn McCown 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, A.J. McNeil 0-0 0-0 2-2 2, Matt McCown 3-8 0-0 2-3 8, TOTALS 15-34 2FG, 5-16 3FG, 18-28 FT, 63 TP.

OBLONG (54)

Brody Allen 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, Gerald Richardson 2-6 0-0 2-2 6, Collin Meese 4-9 0-1 0-0 8, Anthony Johnson 9-20 1-7 11-13 32, Kurt Knollenberg 0-3 0-0 0-0 0, Kyler Fear 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, Chase Mendenhall 0-5 0-0 0-0 0, Jared Mayhew 3-5 0-0 2-5 8, TOTALS 18-48 2FG, 1-8 3FG, 15-20 FT, 54 TP.

Turnovers - CWHS 17, OHS 11. Team fouls - CWHS 14, OHS 21. Fouled out - Mayhew, Mendenhall. Technical foul - none. Rebounds - (CWHS 43) M. McCown 12, Wolfe 10, Murphy 9, Scales 7. (OHS 36) Mayhew 12, Johnson 9, Richardson 8, Meese 4, Mendenhall 2, Allen. Steals - (CWHS 8) Murphy 4, Scales 2. (OHS 15) Johnson 5, Richardson 4, Meese 3, Mendenhall 3. Assists - (CWHS 13) Murphy 6, Huisinga 3, Scales 2. (OHS 10) Richardson 4, Johnson 3, Mendenhall 2, Mayhew. Blocked shots - (CWHS 4) Scales 2, Murphy, M. McCown. (OHS 5) Mayhew 4, Richardson.



Junior Varsity

Casey-Westfield 7 10 16 4 - 37

Oblong 8 17 8 12 - 45

Highlights - (OHS) Kyler Fear 9 points; Zander Laino 8 points; Michael Brown 7 points; Brody Allen 13 points; Tyler Woods 3 points; Alec Jacobs 5 points.

Next game - Oblong (13-7, 4-4 LIC) will play Red Hill in the opening round of the LIC Tournament Friday at 7 p.m.





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