It took longer than fans would have liked, but Rising Sun’s boys varsity basketball team earned its first win of the season on Saturday night with a 44-35 victory at Shawe Memorial.
The Shiners rode steady play and a big second quarter to their first win in 13 games, but had to hold off a stubborn Hilltopper team in the closing minutes to secure the win. The victory was even more sweet because Rising Sun was playing short-handed, as outside sharpshooter Noah Pflum didn’t play in the game after suffering a shoulder injury the night before in the Milan
The first quarter saw Rising Sun move out to a quick lead on the strength of two baskets by Nick Koons and a three-pointer by Tristen Brown. Angelo Gallegos and Jason McClellan added field goals to the opening tally, and Brent Turner had a freethrow.
But it was the second quarter that saw the Shiners break away, as Rising Sun outscored Shawe Memorial 12-2 over the eight minute span to grab control of the game.
It was a balanced effort by the Shiners, as five different players scored in the period.
Jacob Bovard and Brown each had three-pointers in the quarter; while Koons, McClellan, and Trenton Gridley all had field goals.
Shawe’s lone bucket of the period was scored by Schuyler Edwards, and as the teams headed to the lockerrooms for the halftime break, Rising Sun was in control, 24-9.
The third quarter saw the Shiner offense stumble a bit, as the Hilltoppers took off offensively. Shawe outscored Rising Sun 15-7 in the third to get right back in the game, down by just seven as the Shiners held a 31-24 advantage.
Koons, Brandon Benning, and Turner each had baskets in the third, and Turner also added a freethrow; while Shawe got four points from Chris Grote and Edwards to lead their charge.
Rising Sun would spend a great deal of the fourth quarter at the freethrow line, as the Shawe defense committed fouls in an effort to get the ball back. The Shiners would attempt 17 free throws in the final stanza along -making 11 of those attempts to keep control of the game.
The Hilltoppers closed the gap to six points, 40-34, with less than a minute to go in the game, but again the Shiners made key freethrows at critical times to nail down the win.
Koons came up big in the final quarter, making all six of his freethrow attempts; while Turner was 3-for-4 from the line and Bovard was 2-for-2. Brown had Rising Sun’s only field goal of the period, but the freethrow shooting was enough to earn the first win of the season, 44-35.
Grote had a big quarter for the Hilltoppers, recording seven points in the final period; while Edwards had four more. Koons led all scorers with 14 points; while Brown finished with eight and Turner added seven. The balanced scoring attack also saw Bovard add five points; McClellan had four; and Gallegos, Benning, and Gridley each had two.
Grote had 13 points to lead Shawe; while Edwards was in double
figures with 12.
With the pressure of earning that first win off their backs, the Shiners now ride momentum into Vevay tomorrow (Friday) night for a conference game against Switzerland County; before traveling to Edinburgh on Saturday night. Rising Sun closes out the month by hosting Waldron on Saturday night, January 28th.