Tigers fall in LIC tourney

By Dan Dundas dandundas82@gmail.com
Posted 2/3/20

The Newton Eagles got out to a hot start in their second round game in the consolation game against the Paris Tigers Wednesday, Jn. 29, riding it all the way for a 45-30 victory.

Paris was able …

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Tigers fall in LIC tourney

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The Newton Eagles got out to a hot start in their second round game in the consolation game against the Paris Tigers Wednesday, Jn. 29, riding it all the way for a 45-30 victory.

Paris was able to play even on the scoreboard after being down double digits, but it was another frustrating offensive night for the Tigers. 

There may have not been a significant talent gap to the average fan, but Paris Coach Chase Brinkley saw where the different came from.

“Newton outworked us from the start, which was the disappointing part,” the first year Tiger coach noted. “They were so much quicker to the ball than we were. They dove on the floor and were tougher than us in the facets of the game.”

Newton couldn’t seem to miss in the opening quarter — especially from three-point land — connecting on three of their first three tries. The Paris  initial offensive possessions provided quick pull up jump shots the Eagles could rebound and send the other way. Even a Paris timeout three minutes into the game could not halt the Eagle scoring, and with 3:20 seconds left, they had a 16-2 lead.

Coy Landrum was sent in defensively to deal with Newton’s leading scorer Schafer, who finished with a game high 19. Brinkley’s decision seemed to help as Newton made just one basket the last three minutes. Mason Hutchings gave Paris some life, grabbing a rebound with eight seconds left and then pulling up for a three pointer at the buzzer.

“Coy Landrum played very hard for us. He’s warranting more and more minutes, but has missed some practices with football visits, which in turn has opened the door for other guys to show they can play but unfortunately that hasn’t happened yet,” Brinkley explained.

Landrum got a basket to start the second. Newton’s aggressive half-court defense made finding a shot tough at times for Paris. After a Newton timeout, Paris got some bench scoring with a Dustin Creech rebound and three banked in off the glass from Kohlton Mills. Newton extended their lead into double digits again with some drives, and with both teams not converting in the final minute, the Eagles still held a 28-15 lead.

It seemed to be a constant battle in the second half for the Tigers, as occasional made baskets were countered by the Eagles.

Brinkley went to his bench to try different rotations and lineup combinations and even with some open looks at times, there seemed to be a lid on the basket.

Newton did most of their damage in the third from the free throw line to stay up 37-21 heading into the last quarter.

Newton held the ball to create longer possession to sit on their lead. Garrett King had a big scoring stretch in the fourth with some driving floaters but it was too little too late. Throughout the night, there were nice plays and sequences from the Tigers, whether it was rebounding or getting to a loose ball, but they weren’t able to get out and run.

“I have to continue to focus on our attitudes and efforts,” Brinkley said. “We have good attitudes when we are making shots, and that shouldn’t effect things. You can’t control everything that happens, but you can control your attitude and effort.”

 

Olney 52, Paris 37

The matchup of Tigers did not go Paris’ way in their opening game of the Little Illini Conference Tournament, losing to higher seeded Olney 52-37 on Saturday, Jan. 25.

Thanks to some hot shooting from behind the arc from Mason Hutchings, Paris stayed in the game in the first half, but struggled as Olney went on a run to cruise to their finish.

“I have to do a better job of keeping our guys locked in after halftime,” Coach Chase Brinkley said.

“We have not been a very good second half team, and I think it has a lot to do with our focus and communication,” Brinkley said. “We have to do a better job of communicating on the court. When everyone is talking and there is togetherness, the focus and energy gets stronger.” 

The Paris offense struggled initially in the first quarter, using long possessions and getting open looks while failing to make shots. Olney slowly built their lead to 8-4, but an offensive rebound from Conor Breneman and free throws from Hutchings kept it close after one with Paris down 9-8.

The action amped up in the second quarter as Olney increased their lead with free throws and some fast break opportunities. With Olney using their length to alter some shots in the paint, Paris went to the outside, getting two threes from the same spot at the top of the key from Mason Hutchings, followed by an offensive rebound to cut it to 21-18 with 2:20 left. Hutchings

drained his third three at the same spot, while Olney was unable to take advantage of the lack of productive possessions from Paris.

Paris was down 25-22 to start the second half and several more baskets from Breneman and Hutchings kept the game close.

Olney was able to race out to a solid lead towards the end of the third quarter, getting back to back three point foul plays to go up 37-26. The crowd could feel the momentum shift for the neutral court visitors.

Olney took advantage of a stagnant Paris offense. The visiting Tigers finished off their 9-0 run with a fast break baseball pass, with Hutchings ending the five plus minute scoring drought with some free throws to stay within 10. Olney’s Chase Travis continued to make big shots — and did most of his damage in the third — scoring 9 of Olney’s 22 points. 

Paris meanwhile continued to rely on Hutchings, who ended up with a game high 23. Sullivan’s 10 and Breneman’s two baskets made them the only Tigers to make the scorebook. Hutchings tried to keep the Tigers in the game with his fourth three, but the Tiger offense stagnated, and Olney was able to increase their lead in the half court, and keep the Tiger deficit over 10.

Defensively the numbers look the same, but Brinkley lamented the struggles in the second half.

“In the first half, our defense is right in front of our bench, so that they can hear the voice of our staff,” he said. “In the second half, they are on the other end, and it makes it more difficult to hear my voice.”