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Raider boys roll to big win over Titans

Shenandoah’s Evan Coers (32) lays the ball up for two points over the defense of Tri’s Kyle Falck (11) as the Raiders’ Jackson Campbell (5) and Nate Kimball (33) plus the Titans’ Evan Murphy (30) and Dillon Stevens (31) watch during Thursday night’s boys basketball game of the Henry County Tournament at Blue River Valley. Shenandoah defeated Tri 90-29 to move into Saturday night’s championship game against the tourney host Vikings.

By RON GREESON - For The Courier-Times

MOUNT SUMMIT — Shenandoah’s Class 2A No. 4 varsity boys basketball Raiders didn’t lose a thing over the New Year’s holiday break.

Returning to school on Thursday, and the court on Thursday night, the 8-1 Raiders were in control all the way in the first game of the 2019 Henry County Basketball Tournament, pulling away to a 90-29 win over the Tri Titans.

The Raiders will attempt to defend their Henry County varsity boys basketball title in the second game Saturday night, as Shenandoah faces the host Vikings.

Hosted by Blue River Valley High School, the first of two Thursday night games was reasonably close until the latter stages of the first quarter, with Shenandoah ahead just 15-6 with 3:12 to play in the first quarter.

By quarter’s end, the Raiders had stretched the lead to 24-11, and then Shenandoah really put its collective foot on the gas, roaring to a 51-15 advantage at intermission.

For the night, Shenandoah exhibited its typical offensive efficiency and balanced scoring, plus strong rebounding and stifling defense. Tri could manage just four points in each of the second and third periods, and the Raiders forced 23 Titan turnovers, unofficially.

Six Shenandoah players scored in double figures, led by Peyton Starks with 19 points. Andrew Bennett had 17, Evan Coers 13, and other starters Jakeb Kinsey and Kaden McCollough had 10 points apiece.

Senior Nate Kimball had 11 points off the bench, while Jackson Campbell contributed six and freshman Jasper Campbell four. Colton Monday was the ninth Raider to see action in the game, with Kameron Graddy still out with a hand injury for Shenandoah.

Now 2-8, Tri played pretty well on offense in the first quarter, hitting four of six two point field goals and one of two three-point attempts, to achieve over 50 percent field goal shooting and score 11 points.

But the Titans still trailed by double digits after eight minutes.

Even veteran head coach Dave McCollough, who has seen great winning efforts from his charges for this and many other seasons, was impressed with his charges in the team’s first outing of the 2019 portion of the current season.

“It is challenging to keep momentum going over the holiday break, what with different practice times from day-to-day, and no normal school day to work around,” the head coach said. “But we have been able to keep the rhythm we established before the holidays, and in this game, defensively, we got after it pretty well.”

They did it without fouling.

Shenandoah was whistled for just nine fouls in the game, and the Titan shooting fell off in the last three quarters of play, with 12 of 40 field goals for the game, unofficially.

Offensively, coach McCollough was also pleased with his team.

“I thought we did a tremendous job of sharing the ball, we came out focused and ready to play,” he said. “I am very proud of how this team is playing, rebounding the ball, playing physically, and passing the ball in an unselfish way.”

Second-year Tri head varsity coach Matt Lacy noted the same characteristic of the Raiders’ play, and pointed it out to his team after the game.

“When we look at film, watch not only what we are doing, but how they (Shenandoah) is playing,” Lacy said. “They are doing many things well, cutting and passing, moving the ball, and we want to work on trying to play that way.”

Lacy saw positives from his squad in the game.

“We executed a number of things we had worked on in practice, and hit some shots early, which I was pleased with,” the Titan head coach explained. “Shenandoah is a really tough team, quick and talented, and if we can work on improvement from playing a team like them, we have a number of games left on our schedule that we can win.”

Lacy suggested the focus will be looking forward for his group.

“We will forget about this game, and work on more improvement, things we can do better in order to win some games,” Lacy added.

Zach Smith led Tri with 10 points, hitting the only two free throw attempts for Tri in the game. Evan Murphy hit two late treys for six points, with Kyle Falck scoring five and both Dillon Stevens and Logan Stephens added four. All 12 Titan players in uniform for the game saw action, and the team now returns to Tri-Eastern Conference (TEC) road play Friday at Lincoln.

Shenandoah 90, Tri 29

SHENANDOAH (90)

Kinsey 4-8 1-2 10, Starks 5-10 9-12 19, Bennett 6-10 4-6 17, McCollough 4-7 2-2 10, Coers 5-8 2-2 13, Jac. Campbell 3-4 0-0 6, Kimball 4-7 3-4 11, Jas. Campbell 2-3 0-0 4, Monday 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 33-58 21-28 90.

TRI (29)

J. Stevens 0-0 0-0 0, Falck 2-3 0-0 5, D. Stevens 2-6 0-0 4, L. Stephens 2-2 0-0 4, Smith 4-12 2-2 10, Jeffries 0-1 0-0 0, Hill 0-2 0-0 0, Williams 0-7 0-0 0, Thomas 0-1 0-0 0, Murphy 2-3 0-0 6, Riggs 0-3 0-0 0, Pierce 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 12-40 2-2 29.

Shenandoah 24 27 19 20 - 90

Tri 11 4 4 10 - 29

3-point goals - Shenandoah 3 (Kinsey, Bennett, Coers), Tri 3 (Murphy 2, Falck). Rebounds – Shenandoah 33 (Starks 8, McCollough 6), Tri 12 (D. Stevens 3). Total fouls – Shenandoah 9, Tri 21. Turnovers – Shenandoah 8, Tri 23. Records – Shenandoah 8-1, Tri 2-8.