CASEY — The Paris Tiger basketball team was unable to get anything going Friday night as they fell at the hands of state-ranked Casey-Westfield 72-37.
Head coach Shawn Nugent saw several flaws in the Tiger performance — the biggest of which was turnovers.
“We turned the ball over too much tonight, we have to do a better job of taking care of the ball,” Nugent said “We can’t give away possessions and have a chance to win the game.”
The Tigers (6-11) kept pace with the Warriors (15-1) through the first several minutes of play as a three-pointer from sophomore Jude Sullivan pulled the team within 1 point at 6-5. Baskets from sophomore Mason Hutchings and junior Matthew Brouwer helped Paris keep pace with Casey. Despite multiple turnovers through the opening period, Paris was able to end the quarter down just 12-9.
What chemistry it looked like the Tigers possessed through the first 8 minutes seemed to collapse in the second quarter.
Casey’s defensive presence dominated Paris’ offense as they forced steals and bad shot attempts. The Tigers were able to score just 2 points in the quarter but gave up 21 to the Warriors. The lone points for Paris came from Hutchings who netted a basket with 4:59 left in the second period. At the halftime break, Paris trailed Casey 33-11. The Tigers shot 28 percent in the first half of play to 40 percent from the Warriors.
The third quarter opened up sluggish for Paris as the Tigers were unable to score the first 90 seconds of the period. Four points from Hutchings helped to elevate the Tiger momentum but was quickly dashed away by several layups from Casey senior Luke Richards. Richards dominated the court all night long, scoring a team-high 27 points on 12 of 17 shooting.
A made basket from behind the arc by Sullivan trimmed the deficit to 41-20 with 4:40 remaining in the third quarter. The Warriors then opened up an 18-6 run to end the period leading 59-26.
Casey kept their foot on the gas in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter as they exploded onto a 9-0 run. Hutchings was able to make several shots from around the floor, including a deep three-pointer but it was not enough as Casey went on to win the game 72-37.
Hutchings led the team with 15 points and six rebounds. Brouwer scored eight points in the contest. Sullivan went 2 for 4 from behind the arc to total six points. Senior Colton Landrum and sophomore JR Brinkenhoff each scored two points in the game. Sophomore Garrett King scored two points on a pair of free throws.
“They are a really good team and we knew that going in,” Nugent said “We are going to watch this film, get on the court (in practice) and get better.”
Paris hosts Arthur on Monday at 6:15 p.m. Casey-Westfield faces a tough Teutopolis at 5 p.m. today.