DAVID CITY -- The Shelby-Rising City boys basketball team’s hot start wasn’t enough to overcome Cross County in the first round of the C2-7 subdistrict tournament at Aquinas Catholic on Feb. 19.
After scoring the first nine points of the game, the Huskies struggled to match the Cougars intensity on both sides of the ball in a 47-36 defeat.
“We had too many missed opportunities finishing at the rim,” Shelby-Rising City head coach Grant Gabel said. “We were getting good looks and forcing turnovers, but when it came time to finish at the rim we struggled. They also found a way of getting their shots to fall when we started to close the gap.”
Cross County scored their first points of the game on a rebound and layup by Grant Hollinger. Kalin Gabriel’s basket underneath cut the lead to 11-6.
The Cougars took their first lead of the game, 11-10, on a traditional 3-point play by Colton Beebe.
Brenden Johnson’s 3-pointer late in the second quarter swung the momentum back over to the Huskies. At halftime both teams found themselves deadlocked at 17-all.
The Huskies threw the first punch of the second half, with a 3-pointer by Bailey Belt. Max Hoatson’s layup gave Shelby-Rising City a 22-20 advantage.
The Cougars continued to answer every S-RC basket. Alex Pinkleman’s back-to-back layups put Cross County ahead 25-24.
In the fourth quarter, Beebe’s offensive performance helped the Cougars extend their lead to double digits. The senior recorded nine of Cross County’s first 11 points in the final period.
Beebe finished with a game-high 18 points for the Cougars.
In the end, a mixture of poor shooting and turnovers doomed Shelby-Rising City.
Shelby-Rising City was led by Austin Coffin with 11 points, followed by Jett Pinneo with 10 points.
The Huskies end the season with a record of 8-13.
“We lost a lot of heartbreakers this year and it would have been easy to call it a season after some of those games,” Gabel said. “These kids came to practice every day wanting to get better and kept competing day in and day out. These kids learned a lot this year and will bring back a ton of experience for next season. I’m excited what the future holds for the returning players.”