Armstrong-Potomac downed 67-35 by Hoopeston

ARMSTRONG — The three pointers were present early and often in the boys basketball game between the Hoopston Area Cornjerkers and Armstrong-Potomac Trojans.

But like the final score, there was a heavy edge for the Cornjerkers. They would hit nine for the entire game, winning a lopsided 67-35 decision over their foes. A total of 11 treys were hit during the game. With the loss, A-P slipped to 3-14.

“One of their biggest strengths was they hit their outside shots,” Armstrong-Potomac coach Sean O’Brien said. “All five of them can hit so you can’t really concentrate on one or even two people. Our passing was a bit off (Friday).”

O’Brien had his team playing man-to-man to halt the 3-point storm somewhat, and it was slowed and altered a bit, as acknowledged by Cornjerker coach Matt Colston.

“Their man-to-man defense really hindered us,” Colston said. “We definitely started very sluggish. Our kids woke up a little bit in the second quarter. We were a step off, and we finally adjusted a little bit. I credit A-P, they had a pretty good defensive plan against us.”

The Cornjerkers, who led only 13-10 at the end of the first quarter, quickly went to work to extend their lead to double digits. They finally got the double-digit lead, 25-13, on a 3-pointer by Ryan Drayer, a 6-foot-2 senior, who drilled his second such 3-pointer from the left wing with 2:03 to play in the first half. He hit his first one from the left wing only one minute earlier.

By halftime, the Cornjerkers led 29-15, and the lead continued to expand in the final two quarters. At one point they led by as many as 28 points, 50-22, in the third. They led by as many as 36 in the fourth quarter.

While it was lopsided at the end, the Trojans did have a plan and executed that plan every well in the first quarter. Dalton Loschen and Shawn Reardon, who both finished in double figures on the night, kept the Trojans in the game in the first quarter. Loschen would hit a pair of buckets, while Reardon and Cameron Colunga both managed to not only score, but get to the charity stripe as well.

“We have played zone against them before, but if they can get loose and step into things, it is not good,” O’Brien said. “I am so pleased with our effort. Our boys can never be faulted on that. No matter how far down we are on the board, we still play with intensity. We need to learn from this experience and all of our losses.”

Loschen finished with 11 points, while Reardon had 10 points. Kyler Stephens added six, while Colunga and Trey Wilken tallied three each. Sophomore Dylan Knight had two. Drayer led all scorers with 21 points.

sports@rantoulpress.com

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