DEWITT – What felt like mid-season competition and atmosphere ended in a Central DeWitt boys basketball win on Monday night in DeWitt.
The Sabers opened their season with a scrimmage against Mississippi Athletic Conference Davenport North. The Sabers, who will be transitioning to the MAC next season, won the contest 67-53
The Wildcats, also playing their first competition of the year, were 10-13 last season and also said goodbye to six seniors.
The Sabers, who are returning most of their roster, were 10-10
The score stayed tied 2-2 for what felt like an eternity, before it was broken with a Davenport North layup.
The Sabers responded by igniting their offense and going on a 12-point run, led by two threes from Central DeWitt point guard Henry Bloom.
Tucker Kinney then stepped up, drawing a foul and making the bucket for the three-point play, giving the Sabers a 15-6 lead.
By the end of the first quarter, Bloom had 10 points and the Sabers had the 21-13 lead.
Things started to get a little chippy in the second. Logan Paulsen got tied up under his own basket, ending in a messy jump ball with some post-whistle conversation.
The purple and gold responded with a new motivation on defense, blocking two North shot attempts in one possession and capping it off with a steal by Bloom. Bloom dished the ball cross-lane to Paulsen to end the rally with a score.
Alex McAleer rattled off five straight points, then Kinney did the same, with each starter stepping up at different times during the game.
It allowed the Sabers to take a 20-point lead into halftime, sending a frustrated Davenport North to the locker rooms.
The Wildcats were holding steady through the first minutes of the second half, actually chipping away at some of the Sabers’ lead.
That is, until about halfway through. Tucker Kinney took the ball on a fast break down the floor and was fouled by North defense, and then the officials doled out a technical foul on the same play, sending Kinney to the line for four shots.
After making two, the Sabers scored on their next two possessions to take a 28-point lead.
That allowed head coach Grady Gallagher to put in some of his bench players for a good portion of the fourth quarter.
Fulton wins fourth straight
PRINCETON, Ill. – The Fulton Steamers kept an early season winning streak alive with a dominant 40-18 win over Princeton on the road on Monday night.
Emily Schipper led a third quarter charge, scoring 10 of the team’s 15 points of the quarter. Schipper led the team with 17 points on the night, also pulling down seven rebounds.
“Schipper] can really change the game,” head coach Mike Menchaca said, “In a number of ways she really sparked us tonight. But we have to give credit to the girls playing as a unity defensively, where good defense led to good offense.”
Princeton actually led the contest after the first period, 9-6.
“We came out a bit slow, not moving out feet too well,” Menchaca said. “We were able to get a nice contribution from senior Macy Puckett on a kick out 3-pointers to start the momentum.”
By the time halftime rolled around, the Steamers had reversed the came and taken a 19-13 lead.
Liz Fish came out of the half with a 3-poin basket, and then Schipper notched two of her four steams for fastbreak layups to push the lead to double-digits.
“We went in and talked about the need to get out and run more and that energy from [Schipper] just spread,” Menchaca said. “And the defense from Kearston Norman and Kylie Collachia inside was phenomenal.”
Collachia finished with eight rebounds.
The Steamers (4-1) have a quick turnaround, taking on Rock Falls in their home opener Tuesday night.
Fulton boys annihilate Pearl City
TAYLOR RIDGE, Ill. – It was no question for the Steamers’ boys basketball team on Monday as they took a 78-22 win from Pearl City at the River Ridge Tournament.
Four different players finished in double digits, including leading scorer Connor Barnett, putting up 19. OF those, ten were in the first quarter where the Steamers took a 22-2 lead.
Fulton will continue play in River Ridge throughout the rest of the week.