For The Tribune
The Crothersville boys basketball team was unable to overcome a slow start and fell 48-31 to Shawe Memorial on Friday night.
The Tigers simply couldn’t put the ball in the basket in the opening quarter. They shot 0 for 15 from the field and missed all three free-throw attempts in falling behind 9-0.
Shawe’s Mo Muhammad made his presence on the defensive end in the first quarter.
“We didn’t score in the first quarter because (Muhammad) probably had four blocked shots in the first quarter,” Tigers coach Greg Kilgore said. “He dictated the outcome of the game. We had talked about him all week. We had seen three films on him, and we knew he was a shot blocker, but we kept wanting to shoot over him.”
The Hilltoppers scored the first basket of the second period to stretch their lead to 11-0.
Eli Mollet finally lit up the Tigers’ side of the scoreboard with a runner in the lane at the 6:10 mark for an 11-2 score.
Mollet added another basket and a free throw, and Lane Wienhorst scored two baskets to close the gap to 13-9 with 3:42 left in the half before the Hilltoppers finished strong with a 7-0 run to lead 20-9 at the break.
Muhammed blocked two or more shots in each of the four quarters, and he scored 14 points and pulled down 14 rebounds to help Shawe to a 33-24 advantage in that department.
The Tigers outscored the visitors 13-12 in the third period and closed the difference to 28-20 on free throws by Mollet with 1:33 on the clock, but Shawe held a 32-22 lead going into the final eight minutes of play.
Kilgore said the Tigers (1-6) need to play more aggressive tonight when they play host to New Washington.
“We’ve got to go into the game as the aggressor,” He said. “The last three games we’ve played we’ve been back on our heels. I’d say aggressive teams win sporting events 90 percent of the time.”
Any hopes the Tigers had for a comeback disappeared in the first 2:15 of the fourth when Shawe scored six-straight points to go up 38-22.
The closest the Tigers cold get after that was 11 points at 38-27 on a 3-pointer by Matt Winburn with 3:50 remaining.
Mollet was the only Tigers player to reach double figures as he scored 13. He had four field goals, and no other Tigers had more than one as Crothersville shot 11 for 54.
Brad Koehler gave Shawe (1-5) a good inside-outside game as he scored 13.