Goreville romps past JC
Blackcats first quarter run sets tone in 83-54 win
Ham Co tops Hardin Co in opener; A-J stuns Benton, 67-65 in overtime

Coach Todd Tripp wanted to see how his club was going to respond on the opening night of the Goreville Invitational Tournament against Johnston City.

In fact there were a lot of questions going into the first game of the season for the Blackcats.

After a few moments into the first quarter, this mentor knew everything was going to be just fine.

The Blackcats surged to a huge advantage in the first eight minutes and never looked back in crushing the Indians, 83-54, to open the 2017-18 season with a victory.

Goreville forced some early turnovers and romped to the relatively easy win in the first game for both teams.

Five different players hit for double-digits in scoring, led by senior guard Braden Webb with 17-points.

Six-foot-three senior Tanner Dunn was next on the list with 15-points while Landon Albright, a 6-foot-2 sophomore, added 14 for the Blackcats.

Cole Tosh, also a 6-foot-3 senior, added 11 and 6-foot-2 senior Trent Glidewell chipped home 10.

Morgan Bishop added nine-points to the onslaught of points that began in the first minute and didn't let up until the final horn.

“It was a good start for us. It's not often that you can get everyone from your bench in the game in the first quarter but we did that tonight. It was a good first game. There were a lot of negatives but there were a lot of positives for us, too,” said Coach Tripp. “It was the first game of the year and we expected some turnovers and we had them.”

For Johnston City and new head coach Scott Burzynski things didn't go well early as they got behind double-digits and never got the deficit under 10 the rest of the game.

However this coach found out something that he already suspected about his team in defeat, which was reaffirmed in the first game coaching this group.

They never stopped playing hard nor did they ever give up.

The Indians were led by junior guard Chase Selby with 19-points and two other teammates; Houston Hall and Matt Campbell pitched in 13 and 11.

“I think that is obviously going to be our calling card for this team. We're going to compete. We played hard for two weeks in practice. We got behind the 'Eight Ball' early and we had to fight back and scramble to try and get back into the game,” said Coach Burzynski. “I'm really proud of our guys for not giving up. We competed and played hard. We are going to be alright.”

Using their full-court pressure early the Blackcats led 11-2 with just over three minutes gone.

A pair of buckets from Webb, including a 3-pointer from the left wing, and four free throws (two each from Webb and Bishop) extended the lead.

A 9-0 run with a conventional three-point play by Dunn and back-to-back 3-point bombs by Dunn and Glidewell gave the Blackcats a 20-5 spread.

Following a Hall score, Goreville closed out the quarter with year another run.

Albright scored on a rebound and Glidewell hit his third 3-pointer of the frame as Goreville was in command at 31-12 at the horn.

“It's a long week and we talked about working on the press tonight and we did that and we worked on our halfcourt defense and we checked that off the list,” said Coach Tripp. “I thought we relaxed a little bit after we got the lead, we kind of pulled it back a bit. We are hoping that as we go along that we don't do that.”

Webb hit another long range shot after a Glidewell free throw and the Blackcats had their largest lead of the first half at 35-12.

However the Indians made a brief scoring move that even forced Goreville to burn a timeout.

A 10-2 run, sparked by Campbell (seven points) who hit a 3-pointer, two free throws and added a fast break bucket to cut the lead to just 37-22.

As they did for most of the game, Goreville responded with their own run.

This one was 10-3 with Albright scoring twice in the paint during the sprint.

But thanks to seven turnovers in the quarter by Goreville, the Indians managed to hang in.

Six consecutive points by JC closed out the half at 47-32 Blackcats.

Again the hosts got the lead back to 20-points during the third quarter as they, themselves, never let up while having the big lead.

Coach Tripp saw his club keep up the intensity (offensively) as they got baskets by Webb on a drive and a put back by Tosh.

Webb added another 3-pointer, and when Tosh added 1-of-2 free throws with 4:13 left Goreville led 55-35.

Dunn added two free throws and a transition bucket later in the quarter as Goreville got the lead to 59-37.

The Indians finished with 25-turnovers and they committed 12 of them in the final quarter of an up-and-down game that isn't suited for comebacks.

Goreville closed out the game by scoring the final 10-points.

If there was a down side to the win, Goreville wasn't sharp as they should be from the foul line as they hit just 20-of-33, including just 9-of-15 in the fourth quarter.

The Blackcats finished with 22-turnovers themselves, but many of those occurred well after they had taken command of the contest.

The tale of the tape showed that the Blackcats, when they are at their best, shoot a lot of shots and connect at a good percentage.

Goreville hit 28-of-65 overall (43 percent) and hit 7-of-16 from the arc.

The Blackcats held a 36-23 rebounding edge.

Johnston City hit 20-of-44 from the field (45 percent) but they were just 8-of-20 from the charity stripe.

There is no time to dwell on the outcome as both teams head right back out on the court on Tuesday night.

Johnston City will face Anna-Jonesboro on Tuesday night at 7 pm while the hosts will play Hamilton County at 8:30 pm.

“It was the first game and it was hectic out there. They are getting used to a new system. We are putting in a whole new different style and way to play and overall our guys did a really good job trying to adjust,” said Coach Burzynski. “We didn't get this one (win) but tomorrow night we're going to come back out and play. And I like that because we will talk about it a little bit on the bus on the way home and then we will come back and be ready to play.”

Both Anna-Jonesboro and Hamilton County won their opening games of the tournament on Monday night.

“I told the kids, there is one thing about that group over there; they didn't quit,” said Coach Tripp about Johnston City. “They fought the whole time. They were trying to take charges in the fourth quarter when they were down 20-points. Coach B has them going good.”

Johnston City
Johnston City (54) – Gualdoni 1 0 2-4 4, Campbell 3 1 2-5 11, Cheek 0 0 0-0 0, Hutchison 1 0 0-0 2, Hall 4 1 2-4 13, Steinmetz 0 0 0-0 0, Fischer 0 0 0-0 0, Glidewell 0 0 0-0 0, Johnson 2 0 1-4 5, McPherson 0 0 0-0 0, Selby 3 4 1-3 19, Yotkewich 0 0 0-0 0, Jennings 0 0 0-0 0.
2FG-14, 3FG-6, FT-8-20, PF-25.

Goreville (83) – Brown 1 0 0-0 2, Geyman 1 0 1-4 3, Webb 3 3 2-2 17, Bishop 2 0 2-6 9, Frassato 1 0 0-0 2, Tosh 4 0 3-4 11, Dunn 4 1 4-5 15, Hankins 0 0 0-0 0, Glidewell 0 3 1-2 10, Albright 5 0 4-10 14.
2FG-21, 3FG-7, FT-20-33, PF-19.

Fouled Out – None.
Technical Fouls – None.
In a low-scoring affair in the opening game of the 6th annual event, the Foxes picked up the victory behind eight-points each by Jake Whipple, Randy Schaefer and Matt Rubenacker and six-points from Kyle VanAbbema.

Coach Jeremy Varner's club got the job done when they needed it as they hit 8-of-10 free throws in the fourth quarter to get the win.

Hardin County (0-1) got 13-points from 6-foot-2 junior Gabe Fowler in the loss.

The Cougars also received five-points from senior Jamison Hick, all coming in the fourth quarter.

Hamilton County
Hardin County

Hamilton County (35)
– Gray 0 0 0-0 0, Boykin 0 1 0-0 3, Whipple 4 0 0-0 8, Schaefer 0 2 2-2 8, Rubenacker 2 0 4-6 8, Braden 1 0 0-0 2, VanAbbema 2 0 2-2 6, Morgan 0 0 0-2 0, Weaver 0 0 0-0 0.
2FG-9, 3FG-3, FT-8-12, PF-11.

Hardin County (25) – Johnson 1 0 0-0 2, Austin 1 0 0-0 2, Cullum 0 0 0-0 0, Wallace 0 0 0-0 0, Cowsert 1 0 1-2 3, Fowler 6 0 1-4 13, Hicks 2 0 1-2 5.
2FG-11, 3FG-0, FT-3-8, PF-16

Fouled Out –None.
Technical Fouls – None.

In the final game of the night, Anna-Jonesboro edged Benton, 67-65 in overtimes.

After the first night of the tournament, Goreville, Hamilton County and Anna-Jonesboro are all 1-0 while Hardin County, Johnston City and Benton are 0-1.

Play resumes on Tuesday night with Hardin County playing Benton at 5:30 pm; Anna-Jonesboro and Johnston City square off at 7 pm and Goreville and Hamilton County play at 8:30 pm.