FERDINAND — Lincoln and North Knox both ended their stays in the Forest Park Holiday Tournament on high notes Wednesday.
Ethan Bushey poured in a career-high 31 points to silence the Alices' offensive woes in a 62-50 victory over Borden in the seventh-place game, while the Warriors had three double-figure scorers in a convincing 49-33 victory over Northeast Dubois to grab third place.
North Knox (6-6) went 2-1 in the tournament, improving on a seventh-place finish in last year's event. This was Lincoln's first appearance at Forest Park, but Wednesday's victory was the first of the season for the Alices (1-6), allowing them to avoid the school's first 0-7 start since the 1956-57 season.
LINCOLN 62, BORDEN 50
A Luke Tolliver 3-pointer put Lincoln ahead, 13-11, at the end of the first period, and it never trailed again. The Alices had a pair of 15-point leads in the second half, the last one coming with six minutes remaining, but it was far from a perfect showing. The bulk of Lincoln's 16 turnovers came in the second half against Borden's full-court press, and the Braves (4-4) got it as tight as six in the final three minutes.
“It's a lot different feeling than (Tuesday) night,” Lincoln coach Jordan Myers said, pointing to a pair of tournament losses by a combined three points. “We needed to see the ball go through the bucket because it's no secret we've struggled to score the last few games. Ethan got things rolling, and (Julius) Hardiman did a good job getting buckets at the rim. Everyone did some good things, and we finally started seeing that confidence on the offensive end. The problem is that once we got going on offense, we kind of forgot to keep it going on the defensive end.”
Kasym Nash was the biggest hindrance to Lincoln's defense. The freshman, who's the son of veteran Borden coach Doc Nash, buried back-to-back 3-pointers to pull the Braves within 52-46 with 2:23 to play. The teams traded 2s, including a Nash floater, to get it to 56-50 with 1:26 showing.
But on the next possession, Bushey made a nice drive-and-dish to E Smith, who put in the bucket with 48 seconds to play to take it back to three possessions. Despite an ill-advised foul by Lincoln on a 3-point attempt, the Braves didn't score again.
Nash hit a trio of 3-pointers in the first quarter, but was shutout over the middle two periods before going off in the fourth to finish with 22 points. Bushey scored eight in each of the final two stanzas, and Hardiman and Payton Curry finished with eight points. Lincoln contained Borden's Brennen Eurton to two points after the senior put up 29 in a loss to North Knox Tuesday. Nash drained five 3s against each Knox County foe.
“(Nash) let a couple go near half court,” Myers said. “We knew he'd let it fly, and he got loose a couple times, but Borden plays a unique style. They can all shoot and dribble, and they spread you out.
“(Bushey) still gets out of control and sped up sometimes, and we need to work on that, but he took the onus of the offense on himself. He didn't try to do too much and just took what was given to him.”
Nash's early 3s gave Borden a 6-0 lead, and the margin was 11-5 before the Alices rattled off eight straight to grab a 13-11 lead. The Braves knotted it with the first hoop of the second quarter, but Bushey scored nine in a 12-2 finish to the half, making it 25-15. Consecutive Bushey trifectas extended the gap to 33-18, though Borden pulled within 38-27 by the end of the third.
The Alices host Castle at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.
NORTH KNOX 49, NORTHEAST DUBOIS 33
The Warriors were balanced offensively and throttled the Jeeps with a 16-2 burst that spanned the first two periods. Northeast Dubois didn't get closer than 11 over the final 2 ½ quarters.
Ian Kixmiller paced North Knox with 12 points, Holtman Doades had 11, Rhett Sheren nine, and Reece Hammelman chipped in eight, all coming in the second period. Logan Mehringer led the Jeeps (2-5) with seven points.
“We missed some easy ones early, but once we got going, we took off,” North Knox coach Daniel Crabtree said. “Our defense stayed where it needed to be for probably 90 percent of the game. We gave up 33 points, which is great, but if I'm nitpicking, it probably could have been 24, 25. We didn't hit near as many 3s or tough shots as we've been hitting, but I told them that even if shots aren't falling, if we can play defense like this, we'll be in good shape.
“(Dubois) didn't have anyone in double figures, and that's impressive for our defense.”
North Knox's biggest lead was 21 points early in the fourth, when the Jeeps countered with their best spurt, 10-3, to close within 47-33 with 2:36 to go. But on the Warriors' next possession, they ran a minute off the clock, and Kixmiller put in an easy one to end any comeback thoughts.
Neither team scored in the game's opening three minutes. Dubois snagged its only lead at 2-0 before the Warriors tallied seven straight. It was 7-4 when North Knox began its getaway, which included a Isaiah Collins 3-pointer and a Doades buzzer-beating 3 to make it 15-4. Hammelman scored eight straight to make it 23-6, and the halftime lead was 25-11. Kixmiller scored eight in the third to help bump the lead to 40-21 going into the fourth.
“Dubois is a good team, but they're still trying to figure some things out,” Crabtree said. “We exploited matchups in certain situations, and Kixmiller did a nice job against their bigs. Scoring 49 points isn't a whole lot, but we took some air out of it. We challenged our boys before the fourth to close this one strong and not let the lead get to single digits, and they responded.”
North Knox fell into the third-place game with a 57-51 defeat to Evansville Harrison Tuesday.
Harrison led by as much as 11 in the third quarter, but Doades scored eight of his team-high 16 points in the fourth, and his second 3-pointer of the period cut the gap to 49-48 with 2:05 remaining. Harrison didn't give North Knox the chance to take the lead however, converting on almost every possession down the stretch.
Jahni Summers was a game-long problem, scoring a game-high 22. Dashawn Willett and Terrance Ringo added 10 apiece.
The Warriors put up a good fight early. Doades and Hammelman netted 3-pointers in an 8-3 start, and North Knox forged a 15-11 advantage after one.
That disappeared with a five-point second quarter, as Harrison built a 28-20 halftime edge. The Warriors trimmed the 31-20 gap to 39-34 after three quarters as Will Sloan had five in the stanza.
"Moral victories sometimes are cliché, but I doubt many people gave us a chance in this one," Crabtree said. "We just wanted to be in contention at the end, and we did that. We didn't come out on the winning side, but we proved we could play with a 4A super athletic team.
"We tried to make it a possession game. Harrison ball pressured out to half court and it made it tough," Crabtree said. "But we put a game plan together, and guys followed it to the best of their abilities. I'm proud of that."
North Knox visits Class 3A No. 6 Sullivan at 6 p.m. Tuesday.
LINCOLN 62, BORDEN 50
E. Bushey (f) 12 4-5 31, Hardiman (f) 3 2-3 8, Curry (g) 3 2-3 8, N. Bushey (g) 0 0-0 0, Smith (g) 1 4-4 6, Corrona 0 0-0 0, Tolliver 1 2-2 5, Pfoff 0 0-0 0, Thorne 2 0-0 4. Totals: 22 14-17 62.
Mikel (f) 1 0-0 2, B. Eurton (f) 0 2-4 2, Carter (g) 2 1-3 7, Nash (g) 7 3-3 22, Jones (g) 3 0-3 6, Just 0 0-0 0, E. Eurton 0 1-2 1, Agnew 1 0-0 2, Martin 3 1-1 8, Schuler 0 0-0 0. Totals: 17 8-16 50.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Lincoln |13-12-13-24 — 62
Borden |11-4-12-23 — 50
3-pointers: Lincoln 4 (E.Bushey 3, Tolliver), Borden 8 (Nash 5, Carter 2, Martin). Fouls: Lincoln 18, Borden 20. Fouled out: Martin.
NORTH KNOX 49,
NORTHEAST DUBOIS 33
Riecker (f) 1 2-2 4, Mehringer (f) 3 0-0 7, Luekan (g) 1 2-2 4, Pieper (g) 1 2-2 4, Betz (g) 2 1-1 5, Merkel 0 0-0 0, Kalb 1 0-0 3, Dodd 2 0-1 4, Miller 0 0-0 0, Shepers 1 0-1 2. Totals: 12 7-9 33.
Kixmiller (f) 6 0-0 12, Hammelman (g) 4 0-0 8, Doades (g) 3 3-3 11, Collins (g) 2 0-0 5, Sheren (g) 4 0-0 9, Lyons 0 0-0 0, Sloan 0 0-0 0, Thurston 0 0-0 0, Flickinger 0 0-0 0, Thorne 2 0-0 4, Kent 0 0-0 0, Worstell 0 0-0 0. Totals: 21 3-3 49.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Northeast Dubois |4-7-10-12 — 33
North Knox |15-10-15-9 — 49
3-pointers: Northeast Dubois 2 (Kalb, Mehringer), North Knox 4 (Doades 2, Collins, Sheren). Fouls: Northeast Dubois 11, North Knox 13.