The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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December 31, 2013

Fulton's 3s key 3rd-place finish

LANARK, Ill. — Shooting from beyond the 3-point ark has been a key staple for the Fulton Steamers boys basketball team. Monday night, they rang 2013 out with making 10 3-pointers in a 64-40 win over Prophetstown.

The win sealed third place for the Steamers in the Eastland Holiday Tournament after they fell to highly-touted Eastland on Saturday. Polo defeated host Eastland 67-65 in the championship game.

Despite the loss Saturday, Fulton coach RJ Coffey believes his team keeps making longer strides.

“We had everyone contribute tonight, and we have some guys who are playing really well right now,” Coffey said. “I thought guys who don’t normally get recognition — Jason Osborn, Kody Crosthwaite and Cody Wiersema — all did a heck of a job tonight.”

Fulton usually has a player who shoots like he’s on fire on a nightly basis. Some nights it’s Zach Barber, but this time around, Matt Dail scored five 3-pointers en route to his game-high 19 points.

“It was his night tonight,” Coffey said. “We started out a little bit slow, but Matt’s shooting picked us up and got us rolling.”

Dail was quick to point out, however, that the credit shouldn’t go to him.

“My teammates get me open,” Dail says. “Without them creating opportunities for me, I can’t score. They’re the ones who get me open.”

Dail said he felt his hot hand getting warmer as the game progressed.

“Once I hit one shot, my confidence just goes from there,” the senior guard says. “That first shot felt really good.”

One of the first 3-pointers, however, came from Kyle Huebner. He later added one more in the second quarter and a field goal inside the arc in the third quarter to come out with eight points.

Dail said the difference-maker was the second-quarter run that the Steamers scraped together, outscoring the Prophets 17-9 in that period. The score at the half was 33-20.

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