DU QUOIN — Switching defenses enabled Carmi-White County to hang with Massac County for just over two quarters Wednesday.
But the Patriots stayed in control because of their defense, and when they started making shots in the second half, they ran off and hid from the Bulldogs.
Jase Mizell hit five of Massac County’s nine 3-pointers and finished with 17 points as it recorded a 59-38 win on the second night of the 22nd Du Quoin Tip-Off Tournament in Anders Gym.
Julian Russell added 15 and Zach Travis scored 10 points for the Patriots (2-0), which rebounded from a 32.1 percent performance in the first half to hit 14 of 23 in the second half. They canned 5 of 10 3s after halftime.
“I thought we played really well defensively, much better than we did the first night,” Massac County coach Joe Hosman said, referring to a 65-38 rout of Red Bud on Monday. “We rebounded the ball really well, but we got a little impatient offensively.
“We’ve got to have a little more patience about moving the ball offensively. We didn’t take bad shots when we had the lead, we just took quick shots. There’s a big difference.”
Two second half runs gave the Patriots the separation they needed. It was 21-17 midway through the second quarter when the teams each went scoreless for about four minutes. But Travis swished a 3-pointer with a second left for a seven-point halftime lead.
That gave Massac County the momentum to go on a 12-2 spurt to begin the third quarter. Russell scored the first six points and Mizell added the next six on back-to-back 3-pointers for a 36-19 advantage.
Carmi-White County (1-2) made one last push, closing within 40-30 early in the fourth quarter when Ethan Mahon drained a 3-ball. However, the Patriots used 3s from Mizell and Travis, then a layup from Russell to build a 48-30 advantage with 4:57 remaining.
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Massac County finished the night at 45.1 percent from the field while limiting the Bulldogs to 35 percent from the field. The Patriots have enough length to play passing lanes and alter shots, and will be a handful for opponents if they can consistently finish defensive possessions with a rebound.
“They had some big kids out there and we didn’t give up many second shots,” Hosman said.
Mahon pumped in 17 points for Carmi-White County.
Cairo 82, Du Quoin 69
As he walked down the tunnel from his locker room before the nightcap, Du Quoin coach Jason James voiced a concern.
“I hope that it doesn’t become a defense-optional game from our end,” he said.
Unfortunately for James, it did. The Indians couldn’t keep Cairo from getting to the bucket and paid the price with a high-scoring loss in the nightcap.
The Pilots (2-1) put Du Quoin in the problem with a big spurt bridging the first quarter’s end and second quarter’s beginning. Beginning with a coast-to-coast layup by 5-7 guard Terrell Jones that beat the first quarter buzzer, Cairo rattled off 16 straight points for a 31-15 advantage.
The Indians came back with a big push, cutting the deficit to 33-23 at the half and pulling within 43-41 in the third quarter. But they couldn’t get over the hump as the Pilots either whipped them off the dribble or got the ball to its 6-6 posts, Daurice Morse or Alton Hervey.
Morse finished with a game-high 20 points to lead four players in double figures. Jones scored 18, Riko Nelson added 15 points and Hervey bagged 14.
Du Quoin got 16 points each from Dasani Edward and Wade Roberson, plus 15 from Braeden Pursell and 14 points from Kadin Mays.