Early deficit prevents Indians from spoiling Hornets' Senior Night

Lamontay Daughtery fights for a loose ball at Nashville on Friday night. (Doug Daniels Photos)

By Doug Daniels
1351sports.com / duquoinsports.com

February 17, 2018

  (Du Quoin, Ill.) - The Indians fell behind 11-0 in Friday's regular season finale at Nashville, and wound up losing the game by a point less than that margin, 52-42, after getting as close as five points down in the final four minutes of the fourth quarter.
  "Our pressure caused them some trouble tonight, we just couldn't string together those scores to continue to set it up," said DHS head coach Justin Barrington. "Credit their defense, they're giving up high 30's, low 40's. Those are things that we've got to continue to work on. When we play really solid, physical ball clubs, we've got to be able to continue to score the basketball."
  Du Quoin didn't get on the scoreboard until Lamontay Daughtery's bucket with 2:37 to go in the opening period. Three Nashville three-pointers - one apiece from Carson Parker, Jake Haley and Bryson Bultman - got the Hornets' lead as big as a dozen at 17-5, but Josh Heape hit a three in the final minute of the quarter to close the gap to single digits heading to the second.
  Every time the Indians would make a run and seem poised to grab the game's momentum and swing it in their favor, the Hornets had an answer. After Nashville led again by twelve with 4:18 to go in the half, Braden Pursell scored on a drive to the bucket, and Daughtery hit a turnaround one-hander and a three for a quick 7-0 Du Quoin run, but Tanner Bergmann tipped in a third-chance opportunity for Nashville just before the halftime buzzer.

  Twice in the second half Du Quoin had a chance to cut the lead down to five with a layup, but the ball slipped through Pursell's hands on one opportunity, and Daughtery couldn't get the shot to fall on another.
  "We'd get close, and we'd miss a shot, then they'd come down and get a bucket," Barrington said. "Credit their kids, they were doing the right thing. Two or three times we didn't keep them off the glass like we wanted to. A couple times we had guys miss shots we know they're going to make. We've watched them do it for 27 games, so tonight was kind of a one-time deal."
  The Indians had one last charge in them late in the game, though, as Heape hit a tough two in the paint and Hank Stewart buried a three with 3:15 remaining to bring DHS to within five at 45-40, but Du Quoin couldn't get another field goal to fall the rest of the way, and Nashville made enough of their free throws to stay in the lead.
  Daughtery led all Indians in scoring with 21 points, Heape finished with 12, Stewart 3, Pursell and Ashton Smith each with 2, and Will Woodside and Shamar Adams with 1 apiece.
  Du Quoin (13-15, 4-6) finishes the regular season in fourth place in the SIRR Mississippi Division. They open postseason play on Wednesday against either Chester or Johnston City at Johnston City with tip-off scheduled for 7 p.m.
  "Our schedule has prepared us for next week, so we're going to be ready to go," Barrington said. "Everybody's 0-0 now. We've got our guys in place, we're as healthy as we're going to be. We've got an opportunity on Wednesday night to put ourselves in a position to play in a regional championship which is everybody's goal every year."

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