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February 5, 2011By Ty Laux of Civic Memorial Basketball
Eagles upend Jersey
Knight helps CM dunk MVC rival Panthers
February 04, 2011 11:18 PM
BETHALTO - Taylor Knight said the Civic Memorial Eagles needed a win to get their spirits soaring again.
So the Eagles went out and defeated Jersey 43-38 here Friday in a Mississippi Valley Conference basketball game to fly in the proper direction.
"It was a very important home win for us against a rival," said Knight, a 5-foot-11 senior who spurred the Eagles. He scored a team-best 16 points, including a pair of treys and a dunk on a steal.
Knight added, "It's as good of a game overall as I have had all season and everybody contributed on offense and defense. We've played tough defense all year."
Yet the Eagles, now 7-14 overall and 2-4 in the Valley, haven't registered a significant amount of victories. The one over Jersey enabled them to divide the series and put the brakes on their skidding ways. CM had dropped five of its last seven games.
"Any win makes practices better and this one helps," CM coach Ty Laux said. "We've been so close in a lot of games this season. Tonight, we had some guys step up for us when we needed them to do it."
Knight sank a pair of free throws with 1:57 remaining to stretch CM's lead to 38-34. Then Jack McKinney punched home a three-point play 36 seconds later. Jersey got to within 41-38 with 13 seconds to go before McKinney converted two free throws to round out the scoring.
"Our guys believe in themselves and this win says a lot about them," Laux said. "We kept our composure and hung in there after we got down by eight points."
The Eagles trailed 9-8 after the first quarter, then held Jersey scoreless in the second quarter. CM led 17-9 at half. However, Jersey went on a 14-0 spree to shoot ahead 25-17. The Eagles countered with a 15-2 binge and retained their edge the rest of the way.
Kevin Fuller's 14 points led Jersey, while 6-8 junior center Matt Murphy was limited to 10 points. CM played a box-and-one defense on him and held him to three field goals on six shots. The Panthers are 8-17 overall and 3-4 in the Valley.
"I can't say enough about the way our inside guys played defense against him," Laux said. "And Knight got us going with that dunk in the third quarter. It electrified us."
That's what Knight intended to do when he came up with a steal and drove untouched to the basket. "It really felt good," he said of the dunk. "It's the first time I've done that in a game, but I've done it in practice."
Jersey coach Stote Reeder didn't know what to make of the Panthers' performance. There was some good, some bad and a bit of ugly thrown into the mix.
"They made shots and we didn't make them," Reeder said, pointing to the Panthers' 12-for-42 shooting effort. They missed all nine of their shots in the second quarter and committed 10 of their 14 turnovers before the break.
"We turned it over too much and their box-and-one defense frustrated us," Reeder said. "Then when we got the lead, we didn't guard them."
CM made 14-for-34 shots and 11 of 12 free throws, including 9 of 11 foul shots in the fourth quarter. Reserve Matt Stimac tallied all of his six points in the second half. The Eagles withstood 15 turnovers.
"They made shots and shot it well tonight," Reeder said.
CM 43, JERSEY 38
Jersey 9 0 16 13 - 38
CM 7 8 13 15 - 43
Jersey (8-17, 3-4) - Fuller 14, Kimble 8, Murphy 10, Franklin 2, Fritz 4. 2FG-6 3FG-6 FT-8 PF-15
CM (7-14, 2-4) - McKinney 6, Czechin 3, Knight 16, Yates 3, Campbell 2, Kossina 7, Stimac 6. 2FG-10 3FG-4 FT-11 PF-14