COAL CITY —
Chase Connor could afford to miss a few shots early.
Independence didn’t have that luxury.
Connor, Shady Spring’s smooth-shooting all-state guard, rimmed off his first two tries, then caught fire to propel the Tigers to a 93-60 win Friday night in Coal City.
Connor kept getting open, whether from screens or his own moves, and finished with a game-high 29 points.
“Chase felt bad because he was taking so many shots, but we told him to keep shooting,” Tigers coach Steve Clark said. “He said, ‘Guys, I don’t want to be a ball hog.’ But they were giving him the shot, and he was taking it.”
Connor hit four baskets in the first quarter as Shady moved ahead 17-6. He added another four, including a trifecta, as Shady rolled to a 43-24 halftime lead.
Independence (1-8) hoped to claim some early momentum, but kept missing easy lay-ups. The Patriots failed to score until Aaron Tolliver made a stickback at the 4:09 mark.
“Our defense was holding steady early, but we couldn’t score enough to stay in the game,” coach Chad Perkins said. “We settled down, but while you might get two or three stops in a row, you’re not going to get seven or eight. Especially when Chase Connor is on the other side of the floor.”
Even beyond Connor, it was Shady’s night. The Tigers hit 11 3-point goals, with guard Jordan Meadows matching Connor’s three, and reserve guard Landon Perry adding two more.
Center Jacob Buckland controlled the boards despite a size disadvantage. He scored 12 points and pulled down 11 rebounds.
“Jacob is a key,” Clark said. “We didn’t count on him a lot last season, but this year he’s grown up. He’s stepping up to the plate, and when he gets going, we’re pretty much going as well.”
Independence made a run at Shady to start the second half, with consecutive inside baskets by Shane Greco, Cody Collins and Greco again. The last two were on offensive rebounds.
Clark called a timeout and jumped the Tigers.
“I told them they had quit playing defense. They were giving Independence the ball so they could score and then we could get it back and score,” he said. “And that doesn’t work, because at that point, we weren’t scoring, and they were.”
Shady responded. Meadows put back a rebound, Steven Chhabra scored on the fast break and Connor hit a jumper to make it 49-30.
Chhabra, Corey Snyder and Meadows finished with nine points apiece.
The Tigers are now 5-5 and winners of five out of their last six games.
“We’re not where we want to be, but we’re getting there,” Clark said. “Some pretty good teams beat us early — Princeton, Summers County, Riverside and Westside.”
Shady Spring will travel Tuesday to Liberty.
Greco and Collins led the Patriots with 10 points apiece. Tyler McKinney and Drew D’Angelo added nine points apiece.
Independence remains home to face Summers County on Tuesday.
“We’re a work in progress,” Perkins said. “We’re struggling right now, but we’re going to keep fighting. We’ll get through it.”
— E-mail: dstillwell@
For team high school basketball coverage, check us out online at www.register-herald.com nd look for the link for In The Paint
Shady Spring (6-4)
Chase Connor 12 2-2 29, Steven Chhabra 4 0-0 9, Jacob Buckland 4 4-7 12, Juwan Rowe 1 0-0 2, Corey Snyder 4 0-0 9, Jordan Meadows 3 0-0 9, Tyler Bonds 2 0-0 4, Drew Green 0 0-0 0, Nathan Williams 2 0-0 4, Justin Harper 1 2-3 4, Joshua Snyder 3 0-0 7, Landon Perry 2 0-2 6y, Matt Plumley 0 0-0 0, Jonathan Beckett 0 0-0 0. Totals: 37 8-15 93.
Tyler McKinney 3 2-2 9, Austin Reed 1 0-0 3, Aaron Tolliver 1 0-1 2, Anthony Greco 5 0-2 10, Cody Collins 4 2-2 10, DeMonte Hill 0 0-1 0, Zack Tucker 2 0-0 4, Drew D’Angelo 3 2-2 9, Bill Sargent 3 2-2 8, Brandon Treadway 2 1-3 5, John Powell 1 0-0 2, Tanner Ray 0 0-0 0, Adam Tolliver 0 1-2 1, Nathaniel Jordan 0 0-0 0. Totals: 25 8-15 60.
SS 17 26 24 26 — 93
I 6 18 18 18 — 60
3-point goals — SS: 11 (Connor 3, Chhabra, C. Snyder, Meadows 3, J. Snyder); I: 2 (Reed, D’Angelo). Fouled out — None.
COAL CITY —
Chase Connor could afford to miss a few shots early.
- Today's Sports Front
Woodrow Wilson headed to states
Rain halts AA final in 5th
It took nearly a week for PikeView and Independence to finally claim their sectional championships, largely because of persistent rain.
Mavericks fall in AA title game
The James Monroe High School softball team scratched its way up to the championship game of Class AA softball this week.
Months of waiting ends: Weeks signs with Marshall
Adam Weeks probably could have helped usher in a historic first season for the Mountain East Conference at any member school he wanted. Instead, he waited — and waited — for the offer he really wanted.
A dream start, nightmare end
Lightning on the horizon brought Wednesday's final game of the state softball tournament to an end.
The James Monroe Lady Mavericks had felt a shock long before that.
One step away from Charleston
A trip to Charleston — with a lot more on the agenda than a tour of the capitol building and a shopping spree at Charleston Town Center — will be up for grabs tonight for three area teams that are one win away from punching their ticket to the WVSSAC State Baseball Tournament at Appalachian Power Park.
Tanner is Summers County coach
After weeks of controversy, it appears Summers County High School officially has a new football coach.
WVU baseball changes up pitching lineup for Big 12 Championship
Randy Mazey’s attention has been on everything but baseball in recent days, as the West Virginia University coach has been out in front of his team’s effort to help the tornado victims in Oklahoma, where his team has been this week preparing for the Big 12 Baseball Championships, which begin today at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City, Okla.
Woodrow downs defending AAA champs
It’s a play that Woodrow Wilson has practiced everyday this season and has rarely had to utilize.
It’s a good thing the Flying Eagles did practice it; it saved their season and led to a 2-1 victory over defending state champion Princeton.
No repeat for Warriors
Independence has been on a tear offensively the entire month of May. It didn’t stop Tuesday, even against Wyoming East ace Derek Thornton.
The Patriots led 5-0 after two innings, and Brian Sexton — backed by that very offense and some sparkling defense — gutted out a complete game in a 7-5 win in the Class AA Region 3 semifinals Tuesday night.
- More Today's Sports Front Headlines
- Woodrow Wilson headed to states