CENTRALIA — Jordan Maines shot 3-pointers with laser-like precision and the rest of his Centralia teammates ran a layup drill as the Orphans defeated Carbondale 57-48 in South Seven action.
Maines, a senior forward, had two treys in the first three minutes of the game as the Orphans raced to an 8-2 lead. Carbondale closed the gap to 11-10 at the end of the first quarter, but Maines opened the second quarter with a personal 8-0 run.
That 8-0 spurt gave Centralia a 19-10 lead and Carbondale never cut the gap to less than five the rest of the game.
“He’s a nice shooter,” said Carbondale coach Jim Miller. “That was one of the emphasises all week. We had to find him in transition. You can’t come from him, and every time he shot it the first half, he was wide open. That’s just not being very attentive, being good listeners or following game plans.”
“He made some shots, finished at the basket,” said Centralia coach Lee Bennett. “He did a good job of scoring for us.”
In the second half, Centralia played a little closer to the vest. Once the Orphans got a lead, they spread the floor and were content to run some clock and take layups when the opportunity presented.
“That sets up well for us. It certainly did have the desired effect,” Bennett said. “That’s kind of what you’re looking for in that situation, having good possessions and getting shots you could make.”
“We had a foul situation where Kani (Acree) couldn’t come out and guard,” Miller said. “He was a little hesitant. When help has to come from the second level, they kick it to shooters. And, the shooters either go back door or they spot up and bust their shots. You have to give Centralia credit tonight.”
For the Terriers, it was a night their offense appeared to be stuck in neutral. Acree finished with 18 points, but he was the only player to reach double figures.
“It all started at the defensive end for us,” Miller said. “Our defensive intensity and effort was second rate to start the game and it continued through the half. I was happier the second half. I thought our level of aggression was improved. But, when we don’t play hard on the defensive end, it stymies our offense. We rely on the defense to take care of our offense. That wasn’t the case tonight.”
Clayton Greer scored on a baseline drive, capping an 8-0 Carbondale run and cutting the deficit to 34-29 with 1:35 to play in the third quarter. Centralia responded with the last of Maines’ six 3-pointers.
Centralia kept the Terriers at arm’s length through the fourth quarter.
“I thought we guarded pretty hard,” Bennett said. “We gave up too many second shots, but we guarded the first shot really well. I thought our guys played well on the defensive end. We just didn’t rebound as well as we needed to.”
Maines led all scorers with 24 points. Javon Williams Jr., who has verbally committed to play football at SIU, added 14 points.
Carbondale returns to action against Waterloo this afternoon.
“This one game is not going to define us,” Miller said. “We’re a better team than we demonstrated tonight.”