Braden McCloud puts up a shot for Tri-County North in the Preble Shawnee Holiday Tournament. (Chris Tilton photo)

Slow Start Dooms North

Tri-County North competes in Preble Shawnee Holiday Tournament with depleted roster

CAMDEN – Tri-County North was hoping to redeem themselves in the consolation bracket of the Preble Shawnee Holiday Tournament.  They had fallen to Twin Valley South the previous night 39-47.  So they met Union County (Indiana) who had fallen to host Preble Shawnee 47-62.  The Panthers got off to a lethargic start,  they did have a better second half.  But you can’t spot a good team a double digit lead and then try to comeback.  Union County would win 68 to 43.

Union County leaped out to an 11-0 lead in the first quarter.  Jon Shirley found the basket for North about midway through the quarter, but it was slow going for North.  They did not seem to be able to find an answer to the Patriot zone defense.  They closed out well on the perimeter and did a fair job of keeping the ball out of the paint.

In North’s defense, they were playing with a depleted roster. Injury and illness had taken their toll.  And the roster got thinner when Braden McCloud suffered a blow to the face in the first quarter.  He left the game and did not return to the court.

North Coach Mitch McCurdy stated, “A lot of people who were not used to seeing the court got to see the court tonight. All in all that is good thing for the program. We were shorthanded with the turnout tonight.  But I liked our effort in the second half. I liked the way we kept fighting – we need that for the second half of the season.  I just wish that we could have had a full crew tonight.”

Defensively North tried about every trick in the book – they tried a couple of different zone defenses initially.  Then went to man to man, but the Patriots were able to make some nice cuts to the basket for easy scores so the Panthers settled into an extended 2-3 zone that pressured the guards up top.  But their defense was no match for the Patriots in the 1st half.

Union County coach McCool said, “The first half of basketball is probably the best basketball that we played all year. And on any given night when we can move the ball and get good looks then we will do well.  Our defense did well and we boxed out better than we did against Shawnee.”

It was 42-14 at halftime.  After the break, the Panther offense began to hit shots and their defense likewise came to life. To their credit, the Panthers kept pace with the Patriots the remainder of the game, but the Patriots played well enough to keep their lead intact.  Rogan Bias would lead scoring with the Patriots with 18 points. Bench player Brad Meadows made the most of his minutes with 3 treys in the last quarter to help preserve the Patriot lead. Logan Flory lead all scorers with 21-points – 15 of those coming in the 2nd half.  

Union County coach McCool, “Today we handled the pressure better and we handled the ball well. We struggled rebounding yesterday against Shawnee, but today we rebounded well. We knew how we needed to play to be efficient. Pass the ball and don’t over dribble. When we do that, we look pretty good on offense.”

Scoring for Union County: Keaghan Coyle 11, Rogen Bias 18, Mason Stewart 11, Reece Watterson 11, Ty Ellemon 6, Grady Swafford 2, Brad Meadows 9.

Scoring for TCN: Gray 5, Eby 10, Flory 21, Pahl 3, Shirley 4.

Logan Flory launches a trey for TCN Panthers in Holiday Tournament action. (Chris Tilton photo)
Tri-County North's Luke Eby takes a shot for the Panthers in Preble Shawnee Holiday Tournament play. (Chris Tilton photo)
Tri-County North coach, Mitch McCurdy watches his Panthers compete at Preble Shawnee Holiday Tournament. (Chris Tilton photo)

Chris Tilton / Correspondent

Chris Tilton has covered sports in Southwest Ohio for the past 23 years and has lived in Southwest Ohio most of his life. He is mostly retired and continues to enjoy travel in the USA and hs been to Asia and Europe. Chris continues to work as a freelance writer. His Hobbies include fishing and computer gaming. Chris lives on a 32 acre farm in the Camden area. He has 10 grandchildren the he enjoys spending time with when he is not covering sports or traipsing around the country.

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