Tied at 39-all with 29 ticks left
on the clock, Crothersville’s Conner Adams weaved his way around two Springs Valley defenders and finished a layup
through contact to get a plus-one opportunity.
Adams nailed the free throw, and the Tigers held on the rest of the way to earn their first win of the season against the Blackhawks 44-41.
The Tigers got off to a slow start, as they only scored five points in the first quarter to the Blackhawks’ 13.
In the second quarter, Jordan Schoenfelder converted
6 of 6 free throws, and Dakota Mount added five points to narrow the gap to 23-18 before intermission.
Neither team could get much offense going, and there were a number of turnovers as the Blackhawks outscored the Tigers 9-7.
After three quarters, the Tigers trailed 32-26.
“We’re not going to put a team out on the floor that can out-finesse people,” Tigers coach Greg Kilgore said. “We need to work and hustle and make free throws. In the fourth quarter we did great; in the third quarter we were on our heels. I think we grew up a little bit tonight.”
In the final eight minutes, the Tigers offense caught fire.
At the 3:24 mark, the Tigers went on an 8-3 run. Mollet
led the charge by sinking
two free throws and adding two layups.
Trailing 37-34, Schoenfelder dipped and dodged his way to the basket through contact to tie the game up with an and-one.
With 48 seconds left, Tyler Luedeman gave the Tigers their first lead of the game 39-37 with two points from underneath the basket.
Following Adams basket a few seconds later, the Tigers forced a turnover on an in-bounds play to seal the win.
The Tigers finished 23 of
28 from the free-throw line on the night.
“When I walked into the locker room I told the guys it was all about them,” Kilgore said. “They won this ball game. We were about
46 percent from the free-throw line coming in tonight. Tonight it was a huge difference. The first four games we lost by 37 points per game and if we hit our free throws it wouldn’t have been like that.”
On the night, the Tigers had 13 fouls to the Blackhawks’ 21.
Another telling stat line was the rebound margin. The Tigers outrebounded the Blackhawks 23 to 13. Mollet led the way with nine boards for the Tigers.
“Rebounds were huge; we had been working on them all week,” Kilgore said. “We took away their best player, Hector Walker, who scored
42 points against us in two games last season, and their second-best option, and it worked tonight.”