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Red Hill 65, Lawrenceville 45
Salukis run away in showdown game
BRIDGEPORT - Host Red Hill scored the game's first nine points Tuesday night, taking all the suspense out of its matchup with rival Lawrenceville.

The Salukis went on to make 22 of 37 shots (60 percent) and snap a seven-game losing streak with a 65-45 conquest of the Indians in the Lawrenceville Rotary Club's Mid-Winter Showdown game. The Red Hill gym was filled nearly to capacity with witnesses, compliments of Peoples State Bank, who paid the admission for everyone.

Red Hill (4-18, 2-7 Little Illini Conference) rolled to a lead of 18-6 at the end of the opening quarter and never looked back. The Salukis were on top 36-20 at halftime and 50-34 after three quarters.

"We've been practicing pretty well, especially starting last week," said Red Hill coach Bryan Havill, who claimed his 150th career win. "We played pretty well tonight. I hope it carries over for the next couple of weeks and into the regional."

For the Indians (4-19, 1-8 LIC), it was the 10th consecutive loss. First-year coach Randy Bishop was disappointed, especially with his team's defensive effort.

"I don't know how you can come into a rival school, with a big crowd, and not be ready to play," he said. "I give (Red Hill) a lot of credit, though. They were disciplined in their offense and ran it really well."

Senior Matt Young, selected by the Rotary Club as Red Hill's Player of the Game, totaled 20 points and nine rebounds to lead all players in both categories. Young hit six of eight shots and scored 12 of his points in the second half.

Freshman Dalton Murray hit five of nine shots and added 18 points for RHHS, while junior Jake Allen also hit five of nine shots and scored 12.

Steven Ramsaran added six points, Noah Puntney five and Ryan Kolb four to round out the Red Hill attack.

Braxton Blagrave, chosen as the Indians' Player of the Game, was his team's only player in double figures with 11 points. Austin Dorney added eight points off the bench for LHS, while freshman Brandt Cochran scored six. Jordan Shick, Brady Benson and Nathan Ladson scored three points each, while Harry Loeb and Austin Wanke both scored baskets.

Young's free toss and a baseline 3-pointer by Murray gave Red Hill a 4-0 lead a minute into the game. After Puntney scored, Murray hit another 3-pointer, as the RHHS lead expanded to 9-0.

The Indians got no closer than seven points the rest of the way and managed to climb within single digits only once after halftime.

"We never did recover from the slow start," said Bishop. "We never did make a game of it."

Despite leading by 16 points at halftime, Havill said he didn't feel comfortable.

"At halftime, I don't think I've ever felt less comfortable with a lead in my life," he said. "We got out of the gate early, but there was a lot of time left. You never know what's going to happen when it's Red Hill against Lawrenceville."

Puntney's three-point play early in the second half pushed Red Hill's lead to 40-23.

The Indians responded by scoring eight straight points, closing the gap to 40-31 on a basket by Ladson.

Red Hill righted the ship, as Young scored four straight points, starting a 10-2 Red Hill run to end the quarter.

Lawrenceville claimed the junior varsity game, 53-33. Jordan Shick led LHS with 15 points, while Tanner Stoltz scored 13 for the Salukis.

LHS will host Cumberland Friday, in the penultimate game in the current LHS gym. The Salukis will also be in LIC action, as they travel to Oblong.

Red Hill 65,

Lawrenceville 45

LAWRENCEVILLE (45)

Blagrave (f) 4-12 0-0 11, Dorney 2-5 4-7 8, Cochran (g) 2-5 1-1 6, Ladson 3-5 0-2 6, Shick 0-4 3-6 3, Benson 1-1 0-0 3, Loeb (g) 1-3 0-0 2, Steffey (f) 1-5 0-2 2, Thompson (c) 1-4 0-0 2, Wanke 1-3 0-0 2, Volkman 0-0 0-0 0, Barnes 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 16-47 8-18 45.

RED HILL (65)

Young (g) 6-8 7-12 20, Murray (g) 5-8 5-7 18, Allen (f) 5-9 2-2 12, Ramsaran (f) 3-6 0-0 6, Puntney (c) 2-3 1-2 5, Kolb 1-1 2-2 4, Stoltz 0-1 0-0 0, Holtz 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-37 17-25 65.

3-point shooting: Lawrenceville 5-16 (Loeb 0-1, Blagrave 3-8, Cochran 1-2, Shick 0-3, Benson 1-1, Ladson 0-1). Red Hill 4-12 (Ramsaran 0-1, Allen 0-2, Murray 3-4, Young 1-2, Stoltz 0-1). Rebounds: Lawrenceville 23 (Shick 5), Red Hill 28 (Young 9). Turnovers: Lawrenceville 14, Red Hill 15. Fouls: Lawrenceville 23, Red Hill 15. Fouled out: Loeb (7:14 in 4th qtr.).

Lawrenceville 6 14 14 11 - 45

Red Hill 18 18 14 15 - 65

Officials: Larry Bembrook, Archie Bowers, Nick Lamb. Junior varsity: Lawrenceville 53 (Jordan Shick 15), Red Hill 33 (Tanner Stoltz 13).



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