ORION, Ill. — Fulton started off its 2013-14 season with high intensity, meeting up with the Orion Chargers in the first game of the Orion Tip-Off Classic on Monday night. The Steamers took control in the third quarter, preying on the Chargers’ high emotions that reached a peak with a technical foul, facilitating the 60-57 Fulton win.
But, the tables were turned in the fourth quarter and Orion nearly stole the victory.
The night started off slowly for both teams as both teams were slow out of the gate with numerous turnovers. It was a clear indication that this was indeed the first game of the season for both teams.
“We had way too many turnovers. Now we just gotta clean it up and get better, its game one, lots of time left,” Steamers coach RJ Coffey said.
Fulton began to pick up speed in the second quarter, showing quickness on the court and forcing several turnovers. But the Steamers didn’t have the control over their team speed to keep themselves from giving the ball right back to the Chargers.
Matt Dail and Zach Barber led the offensive onslaught in the third. Dail got hot from behind the arc sinking three 3-pointers, while Barber added one of his own and went 4-for-4 from the free throw line.
“We just both found it. Without our teammates getting us open we don’t even get those looks,” Dail said.
Dail shot the two emotionally charged free throws making one and missing the other after a technical foul put him at the line.
Moments before his trip to the line, Dail’s teammate, Jason Osbourn, with fresh legs off the bench, hounded Charger forward Chris Dhabalt, knocking the ball from Dhabalt’s hands. They both chased the ball down and got tangled up on the floor fighting for the loose ball. Dhabalt grabbed hold of Osbourn’s leg as he was about to begin his trek down court with the ball. The referee’s immediately called a technical giving Fulton two shots from the line.