CRAB ORCHARD — Hunter Throgmorton’s career-high 28 points led three-time defending champion Crab Orchard to a 68-48 win to hand Egyptian its first loss of the season at the 20th Annual Crab Orchard boys basketball Turkey Tournament.
“I’m not going to say we played a perfect game, but for the personnel we got out there right now, I’m real pleased with the effort, and overall, it was a real team effort,” said Crab Orchard coach Jon Brown. “Hunter was outstanding. He was all over the court. This was probably his best overall effort.”
Throgmorton has been on a roll in the early going. The junior scored 17 points in a 54-53 loss to Pope County, then followed that up with 22 points in a 57-49 win over Joppa on Wednesday.
“I love running point, but one of our key players is out with an injury, so coach moved me in the middle and started a freshman (Ian Dawes) at point and he gave us some big buckets and some good minutes,” Throgmorton said. “We’ve picked up our intensity the last two games and our defense was good. We ran a triangle and two and shut a couple people down, except their great shooter. You can’t have a perfect game, but we played better than we did two nights ago.”
It was also a memorable game for Dawes, who was making his first career start. As a team, the Trojans scored 10 baskets from the beyond the arc, with Throgmorton adding three and Dawes two.
“Dawes did a great job running point,” Brown said. “Another freshman, Hayden Ray, came off the bench, and he played very strong inside, especially for being undersized.”
Crab Orchard (2-2) won the tip and scored 12 seconds later when Tony Lakotich swished his first 3-pointer from the right corner to give the Trojans a lead they would never relinquish.
“We got it going and kept our intensity up the rest of the game,” Lakotich said. “The right corner is where I like to stay because Hunter can bring the ball from the right side and that’s my shooting hand, so I can go right into my flow. That’s my spot.”
Christian Trexler scored for the Pharaohs 1:18 later to cut the lead to one, but Throgmorton got that basket back on a layup down the lane. Jordan Reeves then scored from under the basket to cut the lead back to one. Trexler led the Pharaohs with 23 points.
Lakotich and Trexler traded 3-pointers to keep the margin at one with 4:38 remaining in the first quarter, but two minutes, later Dawes sank his first to start a 14-2 run. Lakotich’s hit his third trey with seven seconds left in the first quarter, followed by his fourth 1:04 into the second quarter, to give the Trojans a 13-point lead.
Egyptian (3-1) fought back with a 15-6 run ending, with another 3-pointer from Trexler to cut the lead to four with 2:32 remaining before the half.
Throgmorton sank his first from beyond the arc with 1:53 remaining. After Egyptian missed the front end of a 1-and-1, Throgmorton stole the ball and scored with seven seconds left to give the Trojans a 33-24 lead at the half.
Ethan Warren scored the first basket of the second half to cut the lead back to seven, but Dawes came right back with a layup 17 seconds later.
After Throgmorton scored the next time down the court, Dawes scored again and followed with his second 3-pointer from the top of the key to extend the lead to 16 points with 5:29 remaining in the third quarter.
Egyptian made its final run, cutting the lead to nine 2:08 later, but Throgmorton scored his final two 3-pointers during a 59-second span, and Lakotich drained his fifth with 1:37 remaining in the third quarter to start an 11-0 run to extend the lead to 22 points with 5:02 remaining in the game.