Trojans pick up road win
Crab Orchard holds off Carrier Mills-Stonefort, improves to 12-6 with 54-45 triumph
CARRIER MILLS – Conference road wins are always tough to come by, or so it seems.

Crab Orchard and veteran head coach Jon Brown know that fact “too well.”

His Trojans picked up their 12th win on the season and win number three in the Greater Egyptian Conference on Tuesday night on the road at Carrier Mills-Stonefort.

The 54-45 victory puts Crab Orchard at 12-6 overall and 3-2 in the GEC.

Playing against a talented, but very young, Wildcats club the Trojans managed to overcome their fourth quarter deficiencies to escape with a conference conquest.

Coach Keil Peebles had his club in a great spot heading into the final eight minutes down just five-points.

However the Wildcats failed to take advantage of the situation at hand as they fell to 2-12 overall and 0-5 in the league.

Crab Orchard was led by a pair of point productive players; 6-foot-1 junior Hunter Throgmorton and 6-foot sophomore Kegan Peek.

Throgmorton hit for 25-points while Peek tossed in 19.

The Wildcats just had one player in double-digits; 6-foot freshman Caden Van Meter, who led the way with 20-points.

Junior Rostin Lewis added nine-points in the loss.

“You have to make shots to win and (right now) our defense isn't good enough to get us back into the game (when we get behind). It was a winnable game for us, I thought the kids played hard but you got to make the shots,” said Coach Peebles. “We got to the rim and did some 'dipsy-do' shots but they didn't fall in. If we make two or three of those, it is a different ballgame.”

Trailing 42-37 heading into the fourth quarter, CM-S couldn't capitalize on six Crab Orchard turnovers.

They got the shots they wanted but they couldn't get enough of them to fall in the loss.

The Wildcats hit just 3-of-12 field goal chances in the final frame, and they started the quarter by missing six-consecutive attempts.

In fact, Carrier Mills-Stonefort went nearly five minutes to begin the fourth quarter without points.

During that time, Crab Orchard got a basket by Throgmorton and a pair of free throws by 5-foot-10 junior Grady Powell.

Van Meter got the Wildcats' first shot to fall in the quarter as he drove the baseline for a leaning shot while being fouled by Throgmorton with 3:37 remaining.

He didn't convert the free throw but his team trailed just 46-39.

But a key play on the defensive end for the Trojans helped seal the win just over a minute later.

Peek was the recipient of a Carrier Mills-Stonefort turnover as he raced to the basket for a transition score while being fouled by junior guard Colton Betz.

Peek hit the subsequent foul shot to give the Trojans the breathing room they needed to secure the win at 49-39 with 2:26 left.

“I thought we did a good job of guarding them without fouling. I thought we played smart on that end (of the floor) in the second half and we did a good job playing them 'straight up',” said Coach Brown. “They kind of torched us early but we addressed that and we got into more of a contain mode. “

Mistake filled games still produce victories and defeats and Coach Brown knows the importance of winning on the road.

Carrier Mills-Stonefort only had a pair of leads in the game and both were short lived.

A 6-0 run in the first quarter with points coming from Lewis and and 6-foot-1 freshman Zavier Rollins gave the Wildcats a 12-11 lead with just over a minute left.

The second lead came with a basket by Betz and two free throws by Van Meter for a 16-15 lead with 6:14 to go before the half.

The Trojans then got a big spark from Throgmorton, who buried a pair of 3-pointers before intermission.

The junior nailed them both from the right wing to give Crab Orchard a 23-16 lead.

Throgmorton closed his scoring with a drive to the basket for a 25-20 halftime advantage.

Crab Orchard appeared ready to put the game on ice in the third quarter.

Throgmorton and Peek added two field goals each to begin the period and then 5-foot-9 freshman Ian Dawes nailed a 3-pointer to give the Trojans a 36-24 lead.

“Throgmorton hit some big shots for us, he played very well for us tonight,” said Coach Brown. “He took care of the basketball and he played well on defense. He was the guy a lot of times who was playing help defense, sliding over and he helped us on the boards. And it was another gutsy effort from Peek. “We got important minutes tonight from our freshmen tonight, Ian Dawes and Hayden Ray, both played well.”

As they did for the entire game, Carrier Mills-Stonefort didn't go away when they got down double-digits.

The Wildcats closed the quarter by outscoring the visitors, 13-6 to trail by just 42-37 heading to the fourth quarter.

Lewis nailed a 3-pointer that got the 'Cats to within five with the final quarter coming up.

Van Meter was the story offensively for the Wildcats as Coach Peebles' club managed to hang around for the first three quarters before falling late.

He scored all eight of the Carrier Mills-Stonefort points in the final stanza.

But offensively the Wildcats weren't nearly effective enough to get the much needed win.

CM-S hit just 19-of-53 from the floor (35.8 percent) overall.

“I'm not displeased, I thought the kids played hard. We have to just keep working at it,” said Coach Peebles. “But we can't get very far behind and expect our defense to get us back into games by getting stops.”

The Trojans ended up 21-of-58 (36.2 percent) in the struggle.

Crab Orchard edged the Wildcats on the glass, 36-34 and the two teams finished with 14-turnovers each.

With six of the miscues coming in the final eight minutes, Coach Brown's team still picked up the GEC win.

The Trojans will host Galatia on Friday night while Carrier Mills-Stonefort will welcome Norris City-Omaha-Enfield to DeWitt Gym on Friday.

“It is a conference road win in a tough place to play. We are glad to get out of here with a 'W's',” said Coach Brown.

Greater Egyptian Conference
Crab Orchard
Carrier Mills-Stonefort
Crab Orchard (54) – I. Dawes 0 1 0-0 3, Powell 1 0 2-2 4, Peek 8 0 3-3 19, Lakotich 0 0 1-2 1, Throgmorton 8 2 3-5 25, Ray 1 0 0-0 2, Killman 0 0 0-0 0.
2FG-18, 3FG-3, FT-9-12, PF-15.

Carrier Mills-Stonefort (45) – Lewis 3 1 0-0 9, Choat 2 0 0 -0 4, Z. Rollins 1 0 0-0 2, Betz 1 0 0-0 2, Betz 1 0 0-0 2, A. Rollins 4 0 0-1 8, Collins 0 0 0-0 0, Van Meter 7 1 3-6 20.
2FG-18, 3FG-1, FT-3-8, PF-16.

Fouled Out – None.
Technical Fouls – None.