SHULLSBURG – The Shullsburg Miners boys’ basketball team remained one of the hottest hoops teams in the Six Rivers West by catching fire in the third quarter en route to a 58-41 victory over River Ridge at SHS on Thursday, Jan. 19.
Shullsburg (6-7 overall, 4-2 in SRW) held a slim 28-25 halftime lead after outscoring the Timberwolves (4-9, 1-5) in the second quarter, but the Miners used a staggering 23-6 scoring advantage in the third quarter to open up a comfortable 20-point lead.
“We played fairly disciplined basketball, especially in the second half. We were trying to go a little bit too quick with some things in the first half, which led to some turnovers and allowed River Ridge to get some extra possessions, therefore keeping them in the game,” Shullsburg head coach Mark Lierman explained.
“At halftime we talked about being in better position defensively and taking our time versus the press. Offensively, we talked about moving the ball to open up scoring opportunities. Obviously, we did this real well in the third quarter with a number a guys getting into the scoring and assist columns.”
Senior forward Jacob Scott finished with a double-double to direct the Miners’ charge, leading the way with a game-high 18 points and pulling down 10 rebounds to go along with two assists.
Junior point guard Pierce Russell added 14 points, six rebounds and four assists, while senior guard Nate Carrier contributed eight points, two assists and three steals for the Miners.
Cody Witzig led the ‘Wolves with 12 points.
The Miners wrap the first half of the conference season in a three-way tie for second-place in the league standings with Benton and Cassville (4-2) behind leader Potosi (5-1).
And, only the Comets’ six straight victories top the Miners’ four-game winning streak among all the conference teams.
“The race is what I thought it might be going into the season. There are a lot of evenly matched, well-coached teams,” noted Lierman. “Rebounding and shooting will be huge keys down the stretch. I am happy where we are at, but now that we have put ourselves near the top we need to keep improving to stay there.”
Next up, Shullsburg hosts Black Hawk (6-7) on Friday, Jan. 27, as part of the 2012 Six Rivers Challenge. The Miners will stay at home to face Scales Mound in a non-conference game on Monday, Jan. 30.
River Ridge… 14 11 6 10 - 41
Shullsburg…. 10 18 23 7 - 58
Leading Scorers: Jacob Scott 18, Pierce Russell 14, Nate Carrier 8, Collin Hauser 5, Kyle Hoppman 4, John Meyer 4, Reid Schwartz 3, Jacob Meyer 2.