By Arv Koontz | The Tribune
Cable Spall made six free throws in the final 43 seconds to send Crothersville to a 53-50 win over Eastern (Pekin) on Tuesday night.
Spall was 8-for-8 from the line in the fourth quarter and took game-high scoring honors with 21 points.
The Tigers held a 40-33 lead entering the fourth period and held the lead throughout the quarter as the Musketeers were never able to tie the game, closing it to as close as 47-46 midway through the period.
Tigers coach Greg Kilgore said a good start to the game was important to his team.
“We wanted to get our shooters involved in shooting from their spots and get the ball inside. We wanted to get to the free throw line and get some layups early,” he said. “We wanted to press them and cause some turnovers and get some offense from our defense.”
The Tigers forced the Musketeers into six turnovers and held a 13-11 lead after the first quarter.
Ethan Shirley and Cable Spall hit 3-pointers in the first period with Josh Thomas adding two baskets as the home team shot 6-for-16 in the period.
The Musketeers pulled even at 16-16 early in the second period before the Tigers went on an 8-0 run as Jayden Walls put the Tigers on top 24-16, and the home team held a 24-18 lead going into the locker room at the half.
The Tigers came out hot at the start of the third quarter and outscored Eastern 10-5 and held a 34-25 lead on a basket by Walls halfway through the quarter.
Walls had three baskets and Spall and Kaedon Bright had 3-pointers to help the Tigers to a 40-33 lead at the end of the quarter.
Walls added 11 points for the Tigers (10-9), Thomas scored eight, Quinten Keasler scored six, Shirley four and Bright three.
Cade Jones topped Eastern (2-17) with 20 points.
Eastern won the junior varsity game 47-35. Matt Clouse was high scorer for the Tigers with nine points, Damian Bowman scored eight, Zerik Hunt six, Jacob Moeller five, Zach Helt four and Andrew Stainbrook three.
The Tigers will host Lanesville Friday night then play Henryville Saturday night and host Austin Feb. 28 for senior night.
Kilgore hopes this final stretch will help prepare his group for the upcoming sectional tournament at Edinburgh High School.
“We’re looking to establish a little bit of playing at our pace, a little bit of continuity where we’re getting the basketball to areas we can score from,” Kilgore said. “Defensively, we’re looking to score teams down and rebound better and limit them to one shot. We just want to play better overall basketball and limit our turnovers.”