BULLDOGS SPLIT TO COME UP WITH WIN: RECAP OF EHT DAY ONE
Carmi boys’ basketball fell to the Herrin Tigers 76-43 but were able to best the Anna-Jonesboro Wildcats 71-56 later that night.
GAME ONE: CARMI V. HERRIN
Together Herrin senior guard Tate Johnson and senior guard Drew Ringel scored to put the Tigers up 4-0 early on.
Carmi junior guard Ethan Mahon quickly cut the lead with a deep three-pointer.
The Tigers began applying pressure on the Bulldogs with a run-and-trap press which for a second had the men in maroon struggling.
“Teams that pressure us have given us fits all year, they give us problems,” said Head Coach Kevin Wolff. “It’s kind of been our nemesis.”
After a deep three by Mahon and a successful three-point play by Carmi senior center Adam Phelps, the Bulldogs were up 9-10 with two minutes to go in the first quarter.
Herrin senior guard Hayden Holloway sunk a jump shot from the elbow in the last thirty seconds of the quarter.
Mahon quickly banked in a three right before the buzzer to reclaim the lead 11-13.
The second quarter was back and forth between the two teams.
Carmi sophomore guard Dylan Rankin cut and drew a foul for the chance to shoot two and his teammate Phelps was getting buckets off the block.
Meanwhile, Herrin junior guard Brandon Anthony drained a three in the corner as Holloway claimed a three from the wing to make the score 17-21.
Mahon began attacking the paint in an attempt to extend their lead 21-25, but a long three-pointer from Holloway put the Tigers one point away 24-25.
Unwilling to let Herrin get close Rankin responded right back with a three-pointer of his own.
With only a couple minutes left in the half, a quick two-pointer from Ringel and a three-pointer from the corner by Herrin senior guard Garret Venegoni gave the Tigers a 29-28 lead.
Herrin applied pressure on the Bulldogs with six seconds left on the clock.
A turnover left the possession in the Tigers paws’ but the attempt was unsuccessful, and Herrin went into the half with a 31-30 lead over Carmi.
In the second half, Herrin was able to lengthen the lead 43-34 fairly quick.
Despite Rankin igniting another three-pointer, a euro step by Anthony allowed him to draw a foul, shoot two, and extend Herrin’s lead 51-39.
The third quarter concluded 57-40 after Anthony drove to the hole while the court was overloaded to the other side.
The Bulldogs were unable to come together to overcome the deficit in the final quarter, and Herrin would come up victorious 74-43.
After the game Head Coach Kevin Wolf talked about what kept his team competitive in the first half as well as the downfall in the second.
“Our ability to play unselfishly,” Wolff said. “If you watch the game we had several assists the first half, especially between Adam and Ethan. We knocked down shots and played as a team. However, in the second half turnovers hurt us.”
Carmi committed 19 turnovers throughout the game in contrast to Herrin’s 9.
GAME TWO: CARMI V. ANNA-JONESBORO
Anna-Jonesboro junior shooting guard Zach Overstreet knocked down a jump shot in the high post to put his team on the board.
Carmi junior guard Ethan Mahon responded with a three-pointer from the wing shortly after.
Wanting in on the action, Carmi senior Adam Phelps scored back-to-back buckets which put the Bulldogs up 7-5 with a generous amount left in the first quarter.
Much like the game before, Carmi sophomore guard Dylan Rankin caught fire behind the arc to help advance the lead 12-20 with two minutes left in the first.
The Wildcats, however, were able to get a quick bucket after Anna-Jonesboro junior Noah McFarland was fouled and able to shoot two.
Carmi was up five over the Wildcats going into the second quarter 15-20.
In the second quarter, the chemistry between Mahon and Phelps was on full display. Mahon was feeding assists to Phelps left and right while Phelps was able to make defensive stops on the other end that in turn provided offense opportunities in transition for Mahon.
“This summer Adam and I started playing ball together over in Evansville,” Mahon said. “Ever since then we just kind of clicked.”
Carmi sophomore point guard Ty Barbre wanted in on the fun and drained a three-pointer from the corner.
Mahon successfully pulled off a three-point play to put his team up by ten points 27-37 going into the half.
The second half started with a Phelps getting a defensive stop by stuffing McFarland.
Mahon then threw a lob over a Wildcat defender leading Phelps to score and putting Carmi up 27-41.
Anna-Jonesboro senior shooting guard Tyler Smith responded with a spin move in the paint to claim the first points of the half for his team.
The Wildcats attempted to close the gap after Smith was able to drive around Mahon, but they wouldn’t get within ten points of the Bulldogs for the remainder of the game.
With a generous lead, the Carmi boys seemed comfortable and settled in. Mahon, Phelps, and Barbre would all put up points for the Bulldogs to extend the lead 52-65.
In the final minute of the game, Kasey Fulkerson drained a three-pointer as the final nail in the coffin for the Wildcats, and Carmi won the game 54-71.
After the game Mahon and Coach Wolff talked about the differences in this game as compared to the earlier loss to Herrin.
“In the first game we came out of the half flat but this game we were able to keep our momentum rolling,” Mahon said.
“This game we were able to handle the pressure better,” said Coach Wolff. “We played a little smarter by not committing cheap fouls and careless turnovers.”
Wolff also bragged about his two seniors on the team following the win.
“Ethan and Adam carried us tonight both having twenty plus points, anytime you have two guys scoring like that it’s a good thing,” said Coach Wolff. “It allowed some of the pressure to come off Mahon because they had to focus on both of them.”
Carmi Bulldog basketball continues at 4:45 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 28 in Duff Kingston gymnasium against the Vienna Eagles in hopes of advancing to the Consolation Championship.