GOREVILLE — Thompsonville got off to a terrible start trailing Goreville after the first quarter, but rebounded in the middle periods to beat the Blackcats, 61-44, and remain undefeated in a non-conference boys basketball game Tuesday night.
“These guys are rhythm shooters, and in the first quarter and they couldn’t find their rhythm because they weren’t attacking and settling for jump shots,” said Thompsonville coach Pete Gordon. “We do better when we’re attacking and getting into the flow of the game, and then those jumpers can come a little later. Rough start, but I was really proud of the kids showing some of that maturity from their veterans being able to weather that initial storm.”
Thompsonville improved to 9-0 on the season while Goreville, which came in winning four of its last five games, fell to 4-4.
Thompsonville finished with three players in double digit scoring, with Corbin Fitch leading the Tigers with a season-high 21 points. Tyson Kessler finished with 16 and Anthony Darge 10, while Peyton Roberts added nine points. Logyn Frassato led the Blackcats with 12 points.
The Tigers couldn’t find the bottom of the basket in the first quarter, making 2-of-11 shots from the field, but in the second and third quarters Thompsonville found the range, hitting 18-of-25 shots, including 5-of-6 from beyond the arc.
“Our shots normally don’t fall until the second quarter,” Fitch said. “When we get on a roll, it’s pretty hard to stop us because we all normally chip in. When we started playing good defense, that’s what leads us to better shooting.”
The game was tied 3-3 when Kessler sank a 3-pointer, after Goreville had taken the lead on a 3-pointer by Luke Brown to open the game at the 48-second mark.
Goreville went on an 8-0 run, starting with a free throw by Landon Albright and ending with a 3-pointer by Briley Dunn. The teams traded baskets, leaving Goreville with a 13-5 lead after the first quarter.
The teams continued to trade baskets for the first 1:45 of the second quarter, before Thompsonville suddenly got hot. After Darge split a pair of free throws, Roberts drained a 3-pointer and then stole the ball and fed Fitch for a layup. Fitch followed with a 3-pointer to give the Tigers their first lead of the game, 19-17, with 4:14 left in the half.
“Their press bothered us,” said Goreville coach Todd Tripp. “They've got something we had last year: they've got a senior-led team. They didn’t stress out about nothing, and when they put the pressure on us, we did. A lot of those mistakes we can fix. We have a chance to see them again in Sesser, and we’ll see what happens.”
Fitch then stole the inbounds pass and was fouled and made both foul shots. After Goreville missed a pair of foul shots, Kessler sank a pull-up jumper and Roberts sank another 3-pointer to up the Tigers lead to nine points with 2:43 remaining.
Logan Hankins cut into the lead with a 3-pointer 36 seconds later, but Fitch made another steal and scored to give Thompsonville 28-20 lead at the half. The Tigers forced 10 turnovers in the first half, with Kessler having five steals and Fitch four.
In the second quarter, the Tigers made 8-of-12 shots, including 3-of-4 from beyond the arc while the Blackcats, who had made 5-of-11 from the field in the first quarter, attempted only eight shots, making three.
Both teams shot well in the third quarter, with Goreville making 6-of-7, but Thompsonville was even better, making 10-of-13, including 2-of-2 from long distance. The Tigers expanded their lead to 16 points with 40 seconds left and took a 15-point into the final quarter.