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Shelbyville, St. Teresa to play for CIC title
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Shelbyville, St. Teresa to play for CIC title

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SULLIVAN -- Clinton's offense never stuck around for a full quarter. When it disappeared in the second period, Shelbyville made Clinton pay.

The Maroons scored the first six points of the second quarter but didn't score again before halftime. They had the same kind of drought in the first quarter and ended up shooting 27.4 percent overall.

Their second quarter run, though, trimmed Shelbyville's lead to three points. The Rams scored the last 11 of the quarter and led by 14 at half. Turner Pullen scored seven of his 18 points in the quarter.

Malcolm Miller scored 31.

Shelbyville won 62-33 Tuesday, setting up a matchup against St. Teresa for the Central Illinois Conference boys tournament championship Friday.

The semifinal was 22-19 Shelbyville midway through the second quarter before the Clinton gave way and the Rams took over.

"They didn't miss a dang shot the rest of the night and we couldn't throw it in the ocean," Clinton coach Clay Haurberg said. "They're a team that when they get rolling, you know, it's hard to stop the bleeding."

The game was over by the end of the third quarter.

Shelbyville hadn't cooled off from the way it finished the first half. The Rams made 7 of 12 shots in the third (Miller was 5-of-6) and led by 24. 

Miller led the Rams by making 13 of 23 shots, including five 3-pointers. The Rams shot 46.2 percent overall.

"It's the best game we've played," Shelbyville coach Bob Herdes said.

Clinton helped Shelbyville by turning over possession 10 times in the second half (of 14 times total). Shelbyville only committed six turnovers.

St. Teresa 61, Tuscola 30

Tuscola's offense needs the lead. St. Teresa wasn't going to let it have it.

The Bulldogs led 21-6 after the first quarter and stretched the lead to 25 points, 37-12, by halftime in their semifinal rout.

"Tuscola's usually a grind it out team and we really emphasized we can't get behind because of the way they like to play," St. Teresa coach Tom Noonan said. "They're really good at preserving a lead, controlling tempo."

Led by Isaiah Bond's 23 points, St. Teresa's scoring was spaced out. Cayden Brilley had 14. Beau Branyan had 10. Jacardia Wright added seven.

Tuscola's leading scorer, Tyler Meinhold, only had six points.

Alex's take

Pullen in post

Pullen and Miller accounted for almost 70 percent of Shelbyville shot attempts.

Pullen came up big with 18 points inside, a performance he'll need to repeat to help the Rams against some St. Teresa size.

He's the Rams quarterback come football season, a mobile one, and showed it with some slick post moves Tuesday, helping him get to the line a team-best eight times (6-of-8).

"He's got 'em," Herdes said. "He just has to bring it every time and when he does, we're a lot better."

Not his day

Kaleb Williams couldn't repeat his first-round performance for Tuscola.

He scored 25 points, including seven 3-pointers, Saturday in the Warriors' victory of Central A&M. 

He had a tracker Tuesday and only made one 3, scoring five points.

"It's usually Simon Brinkoetter and Beau Branyan communicating where those guys are at," Noonan said of finding the shooters, "and I think our communication was about as good as we've had it this year."

Gone ice cold

Peyton McCubbin's night sums it up for Clinton's offense.

He made his first two shot attempts of the game -- both 3s -- in a stretch when Clinton and Shelbyville exchanged four 3s in succession right at the start of the game. 

McCubbin then missed his final 11 shots, not attempting one in the fourth quarter when his time on the court was limited.

Can't guard him

Miller's only a sophomore remember. 

That fact eats at Haurberg, who said he tried playing a "junk defense" against him but to no success.

"We got in his belly and played a junk defense for about two minutes and he still scored over us," Haurberg said. "That kid's the best player in the conference. There's nobody that good.

"He's the best player there is and he's got two more years, and I told him, 'I'm really upset that you're gonna be back for two more.' "

It's something

Clinton lost but has more to play for Friday -- third place vs. Tuscola.

And the tournament has already been a success for the Maroons. They hadn't won a CIC game before upsetting No. 2 seed Warrensburg-Latham Saturday.

Up next

That Tuscola vs. Clinton third place game is at 6 p.m. Friday in Sullivan.

St. Teresa and Shelbyville play for the championship at approximately 7:30.

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