Blackcats parade past Cobden
Goreville shakes off layoff rust, pulls away from Appleknockers late, 77-67

- Because of scheduling and inclement weather, the Goreville Blackcats were on a sabbatical of sorts.

Having not played a basketball game since December 3 in their own invitational tournament, Coach Todd Tripp's team took a long time to get the offense going in its matchup on the road against Cobden Monday night.

But as good teams will do, the Blackcats found a way to get a victory.

Goreville made the host Appleknockers pay for their foul prone defensive effort, as the visitors outscored Cobden 25-14 from the charity stripe to pick up a “not so pretty” 77-67 non-conference win.

Coach Tripp got a combined 49-points from team scoring leaders Brant Glidewell and Braden Webb as they withstood some defensive breakdowns in the victory that improved their record to 3-3 on the season.

Glidewell, a 6-foot-6 senior, netted a game-best 26-points on the night while 5-foot-11 junior guard Webb added four 3-pointers and 7-of-9 free throw shooting for 23-points.

Having that inside/outside presence and being able to get to the foul line more often in a game that featured 47 fouls and a combined 58-free throw attempts, Coach Tripp's club escaped Cobden with a hard-fought triumph.

“After 16-days off, we will take it. I just told the kids we had some bright spots but obviously there is stuff we are going to have to work on,” said Coach Tripp. “Defense is a big part of our game and we have to work on it. I think we will get better at it.”

Tanner Dunn, a 6-foot-3 junior, led the Blackcats on the glass with 11-rebounds to go with his nine-points.

For Coach Rhett Barke, his Appleknockers came out ready to play and they “knocked” down some early shots.

However Cobden couldn't withstand its foul difficulties, as they paraded the Blackcats to the line for most of the night.

Even though Goreville only hit 25-of-38 from the stripe, they did enough damage to send the Appleknockers (4-7) to a home defeat.

Cobden shot a better percentage from the foul line (70 percent) as they were 14-of-20.

“It doesn't take a mathematician to figure out they were 25-of-38 and we were 14-of-20, its an 11-point difference and we lose by 10,” said Coach Barke. “I think some of the fouls were probably deserved, others were not. But a game where two teams are battling like this, you have to let them play.”

The Appleknockers got 23-points from 5-foot-10 junior guard John Russell, as he hit four of the teams' seven 3-pointers in the contest.

Senior guard Austin Lewey and junior forward Clayton Eck added 16 and 10-points respectively in the defeat.

Goreville, for a team off a long layoff, started the best of the two.

Behind Webb, Glidewell and scores from junior Peyton Geyman and senior Davis Helton, the Blackcats stormed out to a 10-3 early lead.

But Cobden rallied, mostly from the outside.

Russell nailed three of his treys in the first quarter to lead the Appleknockers attack.

A 3-pointer from freshman guard Dylan Lewey gave Cobden its first lead at 14-13 with 1:41 left in the quarter.

The Appleknockers were 5-of-8 from the arc in the opening stanza and the hot shooting continued with a 7-0 run to close the frame.

Russell's third trifecta was followed by scores from senior Dylan Duty and Austin Lewey for a 21-15 Cobden lead at the end of the first.

“We are young. We had three freshman out there tonight and they handled their own,” said Coach Barke. “We know that we can shoot the ball. We knocked down some shots. But it is tough when you are stopping every 30 seconds to shoot free throws. It's tough on kids.”

While the hosts were hot in the first, the Blackcats missed all six of their 3-point attempts in that opening frame.

Goreville got back the advantage in the second quarter, making a couple of offensive runs while also forcing five Cobden errors.

Webb and junior guard Peyton Massey delivered 3-point bombs in the first run (12-2) for a 29-25 spread.

Getting into the double-bonus helped the second scoring move as Goreville made six-consecutive free throws during a stretch and a 3-pointer by Webb along with consecutive drives to the basket by Geyman and Webb gave Goreville a 42-37 halftime lead.

Cobden got back the lead one more time, opening the third quarter with a 9-2 sprint.

Buckets by Austin Lewey (2) and scores from Dylan Lewey and Eck eased the Appleknockers back into a 46-44 lead with 5:40 left.

However Goreville closed the third quarter with a final run to get back the advantage, one that they wouldn't relinquish.

Webb and Glidewell combined for a nine-points with Webb hitting two 3-pointers as the Blackcats took a 59-54 edge to the final quarter.

“For some reason, even when we were in the conference with them, we never played well here. They (Cobden) battled tonight, did a lot of good things and didn't quit,” said Coach Tripp. “We were slow getting to their shooters but I thought we got better in the second half.”

Goreville pulled away in the early going of the fourth, getting a 3-pointer from senior forward Davis Helton and 7-of-10 free throws by Webb, Massey and Glidewell

When Glidewell scored on a spin move in the lane with 2:41 left, the Blackcats led 73-57.

“I thought we got the ball in the right hands. We ran our stuff (offense) pretty well. We were patient and got the ball down low,” said Coach Tripp. “We have a lot of bright spots.”

Cobden made a brief run (6-1) at the end with Russell hitting a 3-pointer late.

Goreville used a 33-25 rebounding edge to its advantage, especially in the second half.

They held Cobden to just two offensive rebounds in the final two quarters.

Coach Tripp saw his club hit 23-of-48 from the field overall (47.9 percent) with a 6-of-18 effort from the arc.

Cobden finished 23-of-58 (39.6 percent) with 7-of-20 downtown.

The made free throw provided the margin of victory for the 'Cats.

“We are going to battle all season. We host a regional here this year and we are trying to build for that,” said Coach Barke.

The two teams are in the same bracket at the Sesser-Valier Holiday Tournament coming up next week and could potentially meet again in the quarterfinals.

Cobden opens the event with a game against fourth-seeded Waltonville at 9 am which will be followed by Goreville, the five-seed, taking on Odin at 10:30 am on Monday, December 26.

Goreville (77) – Dunning 0 0 0-0 0, Geyman 3 0 1-2 7, Glidewell 9 0 8-15 26, Webb 2 4 7-9 23, Bishop 0 0 0-0 0, Crews 0 0 0-0 0, Dunn 2 0 5-6 9, Massey 0 1 4-6 7, Helton 1 1 0-0 5.
2FG-17, 3FG-6, FT-25-38, PF-20.

Cobden (67)
– Allen 0 0 0-0 0, D. Lewey 0 1 1-2 4, Evans 0 0 0-0 0, Russell 2 4 7-9 23, Eck 3 0 4-5 10, Duty 3 0 0-0 6, A. Lewey 4 2 2-4 16, Young 1 0 0-0 2, Brumleve 3 0 0-0 6.
2FG-16, 3FG-7, PF-14-20, PF-27.

Fouled Out
– Helton - Goreville.
Technical Fouls
– None.