Peoria Christian 'charges' past Massac
Patriots can't overcome quick Chargers in quarterfinal
PEORIA - Size wise, the Massac County Patriots seemed to have an edge over their smaller opponent in the Class A Quarterfinal game on Friday afternoon.

Having a major height advantage over a team that started no one over 6-feet-2, coach Joe Hosman's club looked the part of a favorite to reach the Saturday semifinal contests.

Despite enjoying a 39-27 rebounding edge, the Patriots could not overcome the Chargers quickness and outside shooting.

Peoria Christian used a 14-2 run midway through the second quarter to take command of the game as they cruised to a 79-65 win to advance to the Saturday semifinal round.

Massac County finished a great season with a 27-7 record.

The Patriots had many chances to get back close in the fourth quarter. However they couldn't hit enough shots to get any closer than seven points.

"The shots that we've made all year long just seemed to not go in the bucket for us today," said Hosman, whose team shot just 21-of-53 from the field, which included an uncharacteristic 2-of-15 from behind the 3-point line. "I give a lot of credit to Peoria Christian. They do a tremendous job of defensively on the ball and denying the passes on the wings."

Coach Hosman's club got off to a pretty good start, thanks to the shooting of 6-foot-4 senior Justin Kindle.

While the Peoria Christian defense started out sagging in on Massac's 6-foot-8 senior center Gerren Rogers, Kindle took advantage of this philosophy by scoring 11 first half points.

His first big shot came on a 3-pointer from the top of the arc with 2:38 to go in the opening quarter to give the Patriots a 12-11 lead.

His rebound basket with :08 left made it 19-17 Massac at the first horn.

He scored the first two baskets of the second quarter on a pair of midrange shots, which gave the Patriots their biggest lead of the game at 23-19 with 6:15 to go.

But at this point, the PC quickness began to take its toll on the Patriots.

Scott Lawson caught the Patriots napping and stole an inbounds pass right under the PC basket. His lay up and 3-point play, while being fouled by MC's Aaron Bowman, ignited a 14-2 Charger run.

Brandon Carlson connected on a 3-pointer on the next PC possession to give his team back the lead at 25-23.

A pair of Gerren Rogers free throws tied the game at 25-all with 4:57 remaining.

But then Micah Lavender scored on three athletic drives to the basket. When his third shot dropped home, the Chargers were in command at 33-25.

"I thought that (Micah) Lavender getting penetration was a key today," said Peoria Christian coach Fred Fox. "With their size, it's obviously a difficult matchup for us. But our quickness makes for difficult matchups for them, too."

Massac's Matt Jacobs hit on a drive to the basket to get to his team to within six.

But Lawson hit the Chargers' fifth 3-pointer of the first half to force a Massac County timeout at 36-27 with 2:23 before intermission.

The half ended with a basket by Massac reserve Bryan Meyer but it was clear that the Patriots were in trouble heading to the locker room trailing 38-31.

"We talked about their defense at halftime. They were really collapsing on Gerren (Rogers) and Justin (Kindle) every time they touched the ball," added Hosman.

The Chargers held off Massac in the third quarter, matching the Patriots point-for-point.

Four more points by Kindle cut the lead to 41-35 early in the quarter.However Peoria Christian continued to 'out-quick' the Patriots while out-gunning them from the outside.

Two more 3-pointers, by Jay Hawkins and Cody Geier sent the lead back to double-digits at 51-39.

Rogers finally got another basket, just his second of the game, cut the lead down to 54-44.

However Travis Proehl, a 5-10 reserve guard for PC, was forced to launch a rainbow 3-pointer from the right wing from at least 25-feet out.

His shot fell threw the basket as time expired sending Peoria Christian to a 57-44 advantage heading into the final quarter.

Massac County did make a final effort to get back into the game.

Two baskets by Bowman and another Rogers hoop cut the Peoria advantage to 67-60 with just 1:43 to go.

But then the Patriots were forced to foul while the Chargers spread the floor.

Coach Fred Fox's club made 13-of-15 charity shots in the final 1:39 to finish off the game and Massac County's wonderful season.

The Patriots were led by Dominique Petty with 16 points while Kindle, Jacobs and Rogers chipped in 15, 15 and 11 respectively.

"Matt Jacobs has been a tremendous competitor for us all year long and today when he'd get to the basket and put the ball up it seemed to fall out on us," added Hosman, who's coaching record now stands at 458-253 overall and 344-168 in his 18-years at Massac County.

Peoria Christian had a balanced attack led by Lavender with 15 while Tyler Griggs adding 14.

Carlson and Proehl chipped in 11 each.

"We knew we had to get after the ball real hard and I thought we played pretty well," said Fox, who is now 331-167 in his 18-seasons at PC.

Peoria Christian hit on 22-of-47 shots from the field, but they hit 8-of-23 3-point shots, with eight different players making the shots from behind the arc.

"I give the credit to them (Peoria Christian) and their coach for being ready today," finalized Hosman. "We have played against teams that can run the floor like that, but we haven't had to face someone with that many weapons."

Massac County
Peoria Christian

Massac County (65) - Jacobs 3 2 9-15 15, Bowman 1 0 0-0 2, Rogers 4 0 3-4 11, Petty 5 1 3-3 16, Kindle 4 1 4-4 15, Meyer 2 0 1-2 5, Thompson 0 0 1-1 1.
2FG-19, 3FG-2, FT-21-29, PF-24.
Peoria Christian (79) - Hawkins 0 1 5-7 8, Carlson 1 1 6-6 11, Lavender 4 1 4-4 15, Proehl 2 1 4-6 11, Griggs 4 1 3-4 14, Geier 2 1 0-0 7, Lawson 1 1 4-5 9, Reynolds 0 1 1-4 4.
2FG-14, 3FG-8, FT-27-36, PF-21.
Fouled Out - Burham, Massac; Petty, Massac.
Technical Fouls - None.