Casey tops Boyle, ends 4-year losing skid

January 14, 2004|MIKE MARSEE

LIBERTY - They got rattled, they got sloppy, they even got behind. But they got away with it.

The Casey County boys came together just in time Tuesday night, putting together two rebounds, two defensive stops and four free throws in the last 16 seconds to defeat visiting Boyle County 49-46.

Casey lost a couple of close games to Boyle last year, but hadn't beaten Boyle in four years, a string of eight straight meetings.

"This is one we've been looking forward to all year, and this is probably one of the biggest wins we'll have all year," Casey forward Charlie Fox said.


To get it, Casey (6-6, 1-1 45th District) had to fight its way through a slew of turnovers. It gave the ball away 26 times, including 14 in the second half, though that came as no surprise to its coach.

"Boyle County makes you play fast, so we knew we were going to have to live with some turnovers," Casey coach Shawn Conley said. "We overcame that to win the basketball game against a very good team."

Things got interesting in the fourth quarter as Boyle (2-8, 0-2) battled back, then took a one-point lead with 43 seconds to play. Boyle coach Andy Moberly said it was what his team should have been doing all along.

"We were desperate," Moberly said. "We waited around until we were nine or 10 down. Instead of doing that from beginning to end, we waited until the last eight minutes to do it."

Casey led 36-27 when the fourth quarter began - it had led by as many as 11 early in the second half - but a 6-0 run that included four points by David White pulled Boyle within 42-40 just before the midpoint of the period.

"We did a nice job early of hitting shots and keeping our composure, but toward the end we made some mistakes and had some breakdowns," Conley said.

A 3-pointer by Boyle's Blake Jones tied the game at 45-all with 55 seconds left, and Derek Vonckx then stole the ball and hit one of two free throws at :43 to give Boyle a one-point lead.

Jones then rebounded a missed 3-pointer by Casey's Derek Vest, but the momentum swung back to Casey when White missed a free throw and Andrew Bertram was whistled for a foul as he came over Casey's Fox to get the rebound.

Fox hit both of his free throws to give Casey a 47-46 lead with 15.3 seconds left.

"I'd be lying if I said I was calm," Fox said. "I was nervous, but I just didn't think about it."

As the clock ticked under 10 seconds, a missed jumper by White was rebounded by Vonckx, but his putback attempt was blocked by Fox, resulting in a held-ball call that gave Casey the ball at :03.6.

Vest then hit one of two free throws, and Jason Sanders did the same after rebounding Vest's miss to set the final margin.

Boyle tried to send a long pass into the frontcourt for a better look at a potential tying shot, but it was tipped away by Vest as time expired.

"I thought our defense was excellent," Fox said. "We turned it up when we needed to and had some big stops at the end."

Boyle got a chance to win despite shooting just 28.6 percent (16-for-56) from the field. It had 18 turnovers but got 16 more shots than Casey because of the turnovers it forced and because of its 15 offensive rebounds.

Casey shot 45 percent (18-for-40) from the field and outrebounded Boyle 40-30. Fox led Casey with 14 points and and four rebounds, Vest had 11 points and three assists, and Keith Price had nine points and a game-high 10 rebounds.

It was a good balance for a Casey team forced to reorganize after guards Rex Delk and Dustin Vest left the team last week.

"We've been working on becoming one heartbeat as a team," Fox said.

White led Boyle with 12 points, while Jones and Vonckx had 11 each. Jones was Boyle's top rebounder with five, while Vonckx had three assists, and both of them had four steals.

Moberly said Boyle's late charge didn't make up for three quarters of misery, including a first half in which it went 6-for-26 from the field and had 11 turnovers.

"It was a lack of focus, a lack of intensity, a lack of just putting up a fight," he said. "That's what it looked like from the very beginning."

BOYLE (2-8) - Derek Vonckx 11, Brandon Smith 2, Ian Young 3, Blake Jones 11, David White 12, Daniel Potts 5, Andrew Bertram 2.

CASEY (6-6) - Derek Vest 11, Charlie Fox 14, Keith Price 9, Dustin Johnson 6, Corey Dial 6, Ben Barlow 2, Jason Sanders 1.

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