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|Salukis beat Pirates, fall to Fairfield|
By Mike Van Dorn
On the heels of a winter storm followed by a deep freeze that kept Red Hill athletes out of school and off the court for almost week, the Salukis split weekend basketball games.
On Friday, the first day back in school for Red Hill students since holiday break, the Salukis defeated the Cumberland Pirates 54-47 at home.
It was the third win in four games and first Little Illini Conference victory for coach Bryan Havill's club.
On Saturday, the Salukis fell to a strong Fairfield squad, 68-41, on the road.
The Salukis showed signs of rust with poor free throw shooting throughout the weekend and 22 turnovers against the Mules.
"We're still fighting practice time. I don't presume to know where they've (Fairfield's) been, but I know a lot of teams could get in last week and practice and we couldn't," Havill said after his club's Saturday night loss. "I had concerns last night (vs. Cumberland) and I had huge concerns going into tonight's game, but at the end of the day I told the kids, we control how hard we compete and we can't control anything else, but we control that."
After dropping 10 straight games to start the season, Red Hill is now 3-12 overall and 1-3 in Little Illini Conference play.
This week, the Salukis take on two league opponents, traveling to Edwards County Tuesday and hosting Hutsonville on Friday. Junior varsity games tipoff at 6:15 p.m.
Ahead by nine points twice and eight on three other occasions, the Salukis were never able to deliver a knockout punch. Havill's squad was, however able to win three of four rounds and hold the Pirates at arm's length down the stretch for the 54-47 win.
Red Hill led throughout much of the game after taking a 6-0 and 10-2 lead to begin the game. The only time the Salukis were not ahead was on two occasions in the second quarter when Cumberland took one-point leads.
The Salukis led at each quarter stop, 14-12, 30-24 and 42-34.
With a minute to play in the third quarter, the Pirates pulled to within four, 38-34, and appeared poised to go on a run and take the lead, however Tanner Stoltz scored with 10 seconds left and on the next play, Dalton Murray stole the ball near halfcourt and drove to the basket for a score at the buzzer.
"We had a nice little run to close the third quarter. I thought that was huge, going into the fourth quarter to have the momentum," Havill said.
Cumberland cut the Red Hill lead to 47-43 with 4:31 left in the game, but Stoltz and Murray did it again. Murray grabbed a long rebound and turned it into a runout basket. He was fouled and completed the three-point play for a 50-43 lead.
Stoltz then scored a transition basket in much the same way, giving Red Hill a 52-43 lead at the 3:05 mark.
After that, neither team scored until Sam Bauguss hit a basket for the Pirates with 52 seconds left to make it 52-45. Caleb Brumleve scored with 16 seconds to play to pull his team to 52-47.
Red Hill hit two free throws in the final 15 seconds to preserve the win.
The Salukis were just 2-for-9 from the charity stripe over the final 1:32 and at one point missed six straight.
"It definitely wasn't pretty. We couldn't hit free throws down the stretch. We haven't shot that poorly all year. We had kids I want at the line. I have confidence they will step up whenever the next situation is and hit those," Havill said. "We've had a long layoff. When you can't get in the gym for a week that's the kind of results you get."
Stoltz, a 6-2 sophomore, paced the Salukis with 15 points, tying his season high. Senior Jake Allen scored seven first-quarter points and finished with 11, while Murray, another sophomore, chipped in with 10, including eight in the second half.
A third sophomore, 6-0 Tanner Gray, came off the bench to score a career high nine points, giving the Salukis a balanced attack.
"He's playing well. He's shooting the ball well at the JV level and he's giving us a good dimension off the bench. It's a welcome addition," Havill said of Gray, who hit a 3-pointer in the fourth quarter after the Pirates had crept to within three of the Salukis.
Brumleve, a 6-3 junior, led Cumberland with 16 points, including going 3-for-3 from behind the arc. Bauguss came off the bench to score 10 points.
The Salukis upped their junior varsity record to 2-4 with a 39-30 win. Gray led the JV Salukis with 15 points with Zach Breault chipping in 13.
Red Hill hung with a talented Fairfield team for a half, despite a disastrous second period in the Mule barn.
In the second half, the Salukis were not as fortunate, being outscored 41-24 and dropping a non-conference contest 68-41.
Fairfield improved to 11-3 on the season. It was the second win over Red Hill as the Salukis fell to the Mules 81-71 in Bridgeport during the Basketball Capital Classic
"They're a difficult team. They're good. They're lanky, they're big, they're quick, they're athletic. All those things combined make them a very good team," Havill said. "They pushed us around at times tonight. They looked to be the more mature team than us and they took it to us."
The Mules started fast, taking a 9-2 lead after three minutes, however Red Hill used a long-range attack to tied the game at 11-11. Steven Ramsaran hit two three-pointers and Jake Allen another bomb during the rally.
In the second period, the Salukis had more turnovers than points, losing the ball 10 times and scoring just six points, both on three-pointers from Gray, who came off the bench midway through the quarter.
The Mules, on the strength of an 11-0 run to start the second period, led 27-17 at halftime. The Salukis managed just six field goals, five from beyond the arc.
Fairfield used a 15-1 run in the third quarter to take a 46-22 lead. The Salukis scored 10 straight points to close out the third quarter and trailed 46-32.
The Mules pulled away in the fourth period, leading 61-39 with 3:46 left.
Tristan Fry, a 6-3 guard, paced the winners 24 points with 6-6 center Nathaniel Lackey adding 20.
For the Salukis, Stoltz tossed in 11 points, nine in the second half. Ryan Kolb battled Lackey and 6-4, 250-pound Cody Simpson on the boards, pulling own 10 rebounds.
In the JV game, the Salukis fell 53-48 in overtime. The game was tie at 42-42 at the end of regulation. Kameron Vinsel paced the Salukis with 15 points with Gray getting 14.
Red Hill 54,
Brumleve (g) 5-9 3-3 16, Wolke (g) 1-4 0-0 2, Napier (g) 2-13 0-0 4, Shaon (f) 2-2 2-2 6, Cutts (f) 1-6 0-0 3, Bauguss 5-7 0-0 10, McMechan 3-6 0-0 6, Swingler 0-0 0-0 0, Beard 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 19-48 5-5 47.
RED HILL (54)
Stoltz (g) 6-12 3-4 15, Allen (f) 4-11 2-4 11, Murray (g) 4-8 2-4 10, Ramsaran (g) 1-3 0-2 2, Kolb (c) 3-5 1-4 7, Gray 3-5 1-2 9, Vinsel 0-1 0-0 0, Holtz 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-45 9-20 54.
3-point shooting: Cumberland 4-13 (Brumleve 3-3, Wolke 0-1, Napier 0-3, Cutts 1-5, Bauguss 0-1), Red Hill 3-12 (Stoltz 0-3, Allen 1-3, Murray 0-1, Ramsaran 0-1, Gray 2-4). Rebounds: Cumberland 20 (Cutts 8), Red Hill 25 (Ramsaran 7, Kolb 6). Fouls: Cumberland 20, Red Hill 12. Fouled out: Wolke (1:32, 4th qtr.). Turnovers: Cumberland 16, Red Hill 10.
Cumberland 12 12 10 13 - 47
Red Hill 14 16 12 12 - 54
Officials: D. Brookins, B. Watts, L. Pettit. Junior varsity: Red Hill 39 (Tanner Gray 15, Zach Breault 13), Cumberland 30.
Fairfield 68, Red Hill 41
RED HILL (41)
Stoltz (g) 5-13 1-2 11, Allen (f) 3-10 0-0 7, Murray (g) 1-4 3-6 5, Ramsaran (g) 2-6 0-0 6, Kolb (c) 2-3 1-4 5, Gray 2-5 0-0 6, Tewell 0-1 1-2 1, Breault 0-0 0-0 0, Vinsel 0-1 0-0 0, Holtz 0-0 0-0 0, Pentell 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 15-43 6-14 41.
Gifford (g) 2-6 0-0 6, Fry (g) 9-17 3-3 24, Rodgers (g) 1-4 1-2 3, Cody Simpson (f) 5-11 0-2 10, Lackey 9-15 2-3 20, Colton Simpson 0-3 0-0 0, Greifzu 1-3 0-0 2, Kollak 0-1 0-0 0, Russell 1-1 0-0 3, Land 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 28-62 6-10 68.
3-point shooting: Red Hill 5-14 (Stoltz 0-1, Allen 1-3, Murray 0-1, Ramsaran 2-4, Gray 2-4, Vinsel 0-1), Fairfield 6-13 (Gifford 2-5, Fry 3-6, Col. Simpson 0-1, Russell 1-1). Rebounds: Red Hill 25 (Kolb 10, Allen 7), Fairfield 29 (Fry 7, Lackey 6). Fouls: Red Hill 10, Fairfield 14. Turnovers: Red Hill 22, Fairfield 12.
Red Hill 11 6 15 9 - 41
Fairfield 14 13 19 22 - 68
Officials: Justin Akers, Bill McClane, Lee Appleby. Junior varsity: Fairfield 53, Red Hill 48 (OT) (Kameron Vinsel 15, Tanner Gray 14).