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METROPOLIS — Although Carbondale led 20-18 with three minutes left in the first half, the Terriers scored only 12 points the rest of the game. Strong defense was key in helping Mascoutah came back to win the Massac County 3A boys basketball regional, 54-32, on Friday evening.

“We played hard the whole game,” said Mascoutah coach Justin Love. “It was just the third quarter, but it was the first and second. The third quarter kind of wore them down. I give credit to the kids, because they were real focused coming into the game.”

Mascoutah (21-11) won its first regional title since 2007, and will now return home to host the Sectionals next week against Highland.

“That’s history,” Love said. “We’re going to move forward from now and hopefully we have more to come in the near future.”

Carbondale (22-7) had come back from an 18-11 deficit early in the second quarter to take the lead 20-18, but the shooting woes plagued the Terriers throughout the game. The Terriers scored just four points in the third quarter, hitting just 1-of-10 from the field and only eight points in the fourth.

“It all started in the first half,” said Carbondale coach Jim Miller. “We had great shots, including shots at the basket, but nothing would fall. We got out hustled to the ball in a lot of situations tonight and that’s normally not the case. They kept the pressure on and kept us on our heels; we just didn’t respond very well and the scoreboard tells the tale.”

Clayton Greer led the Terriers with 15 points, including two from beyond the arc. Jakeba Burleigh finished with 10 points, while Davaris Macklin was held scoreless. 

Mascoutah was very efficient inside making 18-of-26 shots and 15-of-18 from the line. The only 3-pointer the Indians made was on its second shot of the game when Shawn Wienstoer tied the game 3-3.

Malik Green led the Indians with 20 points, making 7-of-8 from inside the arc while missing his only 3-point attempt.

After Mascoutah rallied to take a 26-20 lead at the half, Greer opened the third quarter at the line, but after was only able to sink one of two. Mascoutah then went to work, extending its lead to 10 points over the next 1:47.

The game got off to a bang up start, with both teams hitting threes in the first 55 seconds. The Indians took an 11-7 lead with 2:47 remaining in the opening quarter, but the Terriers rallied back on a jumper by Greer followed by two free throws by Fairleigh Ward to tie the score with 1:25 left.

Mascoutah closed the first quarter on a three-point play by Green on a layup and a free throw, and then opened the second quarter with Green going to the line again to make two more free throws. 

Carbondale rallied again on a 9-0 run started by a 3-pointer by Greer and ending with a steal by Ward. A coast-to-coast layup gave the Terriers its first lead, 20-18, since opening with a 3-0 lead on a three by Greer.

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