DU QUOIN — Joe Hosman had to do something no coach wants to do Monday: Call a timeout before his team scores a point.
After that, however, his Massac County team displayed why many think they’re going to enjoy a good season.
Julian Russell pumped in six 3-pointers and 28 points, and the defense forced 20 turnovers from outmatched Red Bud in a 65-38 rout that opened the Du Quoin Tip-Off Tournament at Anders Gym.
JJ Sweatt added 15 for the Patriots, which hit 48 percent of their shots and committed only seven turnovers. Aside from his team not being able to stay in front of the ball at times in the Musketeers’ halfcourt sets, Hosman couldn’t find much fault with their performance.
“We did a lot of good things and we’ve got some different kids who can score,” Hosman said. “We’ve got to get to where we don’t let people beat us off the dribble as much, and we kind of rushed our shots at times with hands in our face.
“But it’s our first game, and hopefully we’ll get better as the season progresses.”
It took a couple of minutes for Massac County to find traction. Red Bud started the game with a backcut for a layup, then got a 3-pointer from Alex Kueker. About 90 seconds in, Hosman was yelling for time with his team down 5-0.
Whatever he said worked. The Patriots quickly rattled off 16 of the next 18 points. Once they made some shots, they went into a full-court press on the advice of assistant coach Isaiah Hart, and the Musketeers turned it over repeatedly.
“I give coach Hart credit for that,” Hosman said. “He said, ‘Let’s get up into 100 and get our kids loose.’ We got a couple of steals and saw the ball go through the basket. Once we did that, I thought we started hitting some shots.”
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Especially Russell, a 6-2 senior who finished the first half with 14 points. He added 14 more in the third quarter, draining four consecutive 3-pointers. Before the last one even swished through the net, two of his teammates started running back down the floor, absolutely certain the ball was dropping.
Two foul shots by Russell in the quarter’s final minute made it 63-31 and activated a running clock for the fourth quarter.
Kueker paced Red Bud, which returned all five starters from a 3-26 team, with 11 points.
Du Quoin 68, Carmi-White County 60
A slow start turned into a fast finish for the Indians as they overcame a 12-point first quarter deficit to stop Carmi-White County in overtime.
Kadin Mays drove for a layup after Du Quoin burned the first 74 seconds of the extra period hunting the go-ahead shot. That started an 8-0 run that decided the game.
“We’ve preached defense, defense, defense for three weeks,” Indians coach Jason James said. “And we did not do a good job getting where we needed to be in the first half, and Carmi-White County did a good job taking advantage of it.
“We’re extremely physical in practice, and I think we wore them down as the game went on with getting fresh legs in there.”
Four players scored in double figures for Du Quoin (1-0), led by Wade Roberson’s 20 points. Braeden Pursell added 17, all after halftime, while Mays chipped in 14 points and Dasani Edward netted 12. The 5-6 Edward also recorded an emphatic blocked shot late in overtime.
The 1-2 punch of Ethan Mahon and Peyton Edwards led the Bulldogs (1-1). Mahon tallied 20 points and the 6-6 Edwards added 17.
The tourney continues Wednesday with two games. Massac County and Carmi-White County play the opener at 5:30 p.m., followed by Du Quoin and Cairo.