COAL CITY – Playing on the home court is always an advantage to a basketball team. But when you are in a tournament that’s been delayed by weather, that edge increases exponentially.
Coal City’s boys basketball team was a perfect example of that Saturday night in a 53-39 win against Peotone. With Friday’s action called off because of inclement weather, Peotone had to play Saturday morning, defeating Wilmington, 52-31.
Coal City ramped up the defensive pressure early, forcing six turnovers in the first quarter en route to an 11-3 lead at quarter’s end. Peotone rallied a bit in the second, pulling to within 21-18 late in the first half. Starting point guard Brennen Shetina went to the bench with his third foul with 1:18 to go, but replacement Tyler Brewer hit a pair of free throws and got a steal that led to Isaiah Washington’s basket at the buzzer that sent the Coalers into halftime with a 25-18 lead.
“That was a huge for us,” Coal City coach Brad Boresi said. “Brennan got a foul that wasn’t very smart at the end of the first half, but our subs were able to come in and give us some momentum going into halftime.
“We played pretty good defense overall and got the turnovers when we needed them. Lane Cowherd ran the floor well and was able to get some easy buckets on the fast break.”
Nick Peters led Coal City with 16 points and 13 rebounds, while Cowherd scored 12 and Shetina added eight.
After finishing the first half with four straight points, the Coalers scored the first eight of the third quarter, fashioning a 33-18 lead. Peotone closed it to 37-28 at the end of the third. The Blue Devils ran out of gas in the fourth as the Coalers out scored them 16-11 the rest of the way.
“Nick got his points, which he is going to do, and he did a good job on the boards,” Boresi said. “The only thing with him is that he is such an unselfish player. That’s a good thing, but there are times we need him to be a little more aggressive.
“It was nice to play at home, especially since we haven’t played since last Friday. It’s actually nice to know that all of our tournament games are going to be at home.”