Independence coach Chad Perkins thought he had a good game plan against Wyoming East.

But when the Patriots fell behind by 12 early, he knew he was in trouble.

Gentry Shrewsbury scored Wyoming East’s first 11 points, then the Warriors fought through a three-quarter funk to beat Independence 62-42 Friday in a physical game in Coal City.

The Warriors, playing for the first time since last Saturday’s upset loss to PikeView at home, got off to quick start. Behind Shrewsbury, East led 19-7 after the first quarter and 22-7 early in the second.

Shrewsbury, a 6-foot-3 junior, scored 13 points in the first period. He was a force offensively and defensively, setting up some of his own points with steals at halfcourt.

“Shrewsbury is awesome,” Perkins said. “He’s a lot better than he was last year.”

Shrewsbury and Co. were able to take the Patriots (3-1) out of their plan of slowing the ball down.

“I have to take a lot of the blame for it,” Perkins said. “I took us away from what we had been doing (the first three things) and it didn’t work. We wanted a 60-point game. We got it — but it doesn’t help when you only score 40.”

The Patriots never got close, but they were never out of it, either.

As East coach Jesse Lester struggled to find the right mix of players, the Warriors (3-1) struggled with turnovers and foul trouble. Cory Willard, who hit 11 three-pointers in a win over Poca in the Hoops Classic last week, missed almost all of the second quarter and much of the third with three fouls.

The junior finished with just seven points.

A mix of inexperience and injuries — Travis Smith and Evan Muscari are both banged up — are hampering the Warriors in the early going.

“Some of the problem was my substitution patterns,” Lester said. “But there were a lot of things going on out there that made it tough. We have to get the guys playing around Cory Willard and Gentry Shrewsbury as many minutes as possible.”

Independence didn’t help itself by shooting 16-of-41 (39 percent) — 0-of-7 from three-point range — and committing 20 turnovers.

Shrewsbury finished with a game-high 23 points. Muscari went 9-of-12 at the free throw line and finished with 11.

Spencer Naley led the Patriots with 12 points.

East, ranked third in Class AA, was happy to get back on the court after the loss to PikeView. Tuesday’s game at Ravenswood was canceled and rescheduled for Feb. 12.

“It was good to get those days off because we were able to work on some things,” Lester said. “But we really wanted to get the loss to PikeView behind us.

“All of the teams in this area are good, and we’ll take the win. But that doesn’t mean we don’t have some things we need to work on.”

The Warriors will take on Keyser Thursday in Westside’s Family Healthcare Classic. Westside will play Oak Hill in the other first-round game.

Independence plays Webster County in the John Flournoy Memorial Invitational next Friday.

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Wyoming East (3-1)

Cory Willard 2 1-2 7, Evan Muscari 1 9-12 11, Adam Repass 1 2-2 5, Gentry Shrewsbury 8 7-12 23, Travis Smith 3 0-0 6, Blake Cook 1 2-2 5, Brandon Belcher 0 0-0 0, Anthony Fuller 2 0-0 5. Totals: 18 21-30 62.

Independence (3-1)

Anthony Stump 3 1-2 7, Tony Johnson 1 1-1 3, Jeremy Buchanan 2 1-2 5, Spencer Naley 4 4-4 12, Chris Fazio 1 0-1 2, Don Bailey 1 0-0 2, John Snuffer 4 1-4 9, Colton Ratcliff 0 2-2 2. Totals: 16 10-17 42.

WE 19 15 14 14 — 62

I 7 11 11 13 — 42

Three-point goals: WE: 5 (Willard 2, Repass, Cook, Fuller); I: none; Fouled out: WE: Belcher.

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