METROPOLIS — Want to know how Thursday’s game went at the Superman Classic?
Try this stat on for size. Carbondale canned seven 3-pointers. Goreville made eight field goals all day.
Given that context, the Terriers’ 64-34 quarterfinal victory seems somewhat flattering to the Blackcats, whose usually high-powered offense never got into gear against a longer, more athletic opponent that applied itself for 32 minutes.
“I was really happy and excited with the defensive effort,” Carbondale coach Jim Miller said. “They made life difficult for Goreville throughout. That’s a good team with a lot of weapons that scores a lot of points. I was really pleased with how our kids followed the game plan and understood tendencies.”
The Terriers (15-4) advanced to tonight’s 6:15 p.m. semifinal against top-seeded Paducah Tilghman. The Blackcats (11-6) drop to the consolation bracket to face Fort Campbell (Ky.) on Saturday morning.
Carbondale used its clear physical advantages well. It denied Goreville point guard Braden Webb his driving lanes, closed out on 3-point shooters and also jumped into passing lanes.
Coach Todd Tripp was hoping the Blackcats could slow the pace and force the Terriers to take jumpers over a 2-3 zone. Mission accomplished, but not successfully. Darius Beane and Clayton Greer combined for six of their seven 3s in the first half, when Carbondale used runs of 13 and 12 points to establish a 38-22 halftime lead.
“We started out pretty well, but we couldn’t take advantage of their miscues early,” Tripp said. “We missed a lot of free throws, and they went on a (12-0) run after we called a timeout and told them what we wanted to do. They didn’t listen to any of it.
“It started a snowball effect, and once you get behind those guys and they’re hitting shots, it’s going to be tough.”
Beane, an SIU signee, stuffed the stat sheet in just over three quarters of work. He finished with 24 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and four steals. Greer added 13 points and five assists, while promising 6-3 sophomore James Baltz contributed 10 points and six rebounds.
Peyton Massey scored 11 points to pace Goreville. Webb, the engine that makes the Blackcats go, was held to six points – all in the second quarter.
“He’s one of the better players in Southern Illinois,” Miller said of Webb. “Goreville made us settle for a lot of jump shots, which was good defense on their part. But we were able to hit some of them.“