The Mt. Zion boys basketball team handed the IHSA tenth ranked overall and #1 ranked in 1A Warrensburg-Latham its first loss of the season in a 66-63 win. Ethan Hamrick led the Braves with 23 points.
The game started with the Cardinals jumping out early. The Cardinals built a 9-2 lead after MJ Murphy nailed a three-pointer.
The Braves chipped at the lead behind Sam Driscoll nailing two three-pointers and layup , Nathan Hart nailing two free-throws and Carson Cuddy added two free-throws to narrow the lead to 15-14. The Cardinals ended the quarter with a 16-14 lead.
The Braves attacked the Cardinals’ defense to begin the second quarter. Hamrick started the quarter hitting a mid-range jumper and layup to give the Braves an 18-18 tie.
The Braves took the lead on the next possession. Kam Clark found an open Cuddy who nailed the three-pointer to give the Braves a 21-20 lead.
The Braves added to their lead when Sam Driscoll made a driving layup and Jack Driscoll added another driving layup to give the Braves a 25-20 lead.
The Cardinals didn’t go quietly as on the next possession Murphy nailed a three-pointer to cut the lead to 25-23. The Cardinals tied the Braves at 29-29 after hitting four consecutive free-throws. Hamrick gave the lead back to the Braves when he found John Baumann for a layup to give the abrahes a 31-29 lead.
The Braves secured a 35-30 halftime lead when Cuddy scored on an offensive-rebound putback and Baumann secured the offensive rebound for a tip-in.
The Braves started the third-quarter behind Hamrick and Cuddy. Hamrick opened the scoring with a driving layup to give the Braves a 37-30 lead. Cuddy nailed two three-pointers to add to that lead to 43-34.
The Braves ended the third quarter up 59-50. Murphy cut into the lead to start the quarter by hitting a layup to cut the lead to 59-52. The Cardinals willed their way to a 66-63 deficit, but failed to make the game-tying three.
“Well, it’s good to get the win,” Head coach Dale Schuring said. “It’s good to get a game because you know, we’ve not played in quite a while. And if we had not played this one, it’d be almost three weeks before we play again, so high quality opponent and to beat them in their place, fighting through a lot of adversity its a great big win for us.”
The Braves improve to 6-2 on the season. The Braves will play in the Taylorville Tournament this week. Coach Schuring said that the positives that will be taken from this game into the tournament are to play the way they want to play and not how the other teams wants them to play and stay aggressive.