SHELBYVILLE -- Shelbyville boys' basketball defeated Sullivan 41-26 on Tuesday.
Sullivan, a team that struggles offensively averaging 39.7 points per game, slowed the game down in the first half and trailed just 10-8 after the opening period.
Shelbyville, sank 5-of-11 three point shots in the first half, including their first three attempts to help them to a 10-4 lead. The Rams, a team that averages 64.7, outscored the Redskins 11-1 in the first 5:53 of the second quarter as the trapping defense forced Sullivan into four turnovers, three of which turned into baskets for Shelbyville. The Rams, who scored nine points of turnovers led 24-11 at the half.
"We knew if we could be patient and make them work a little bit on defense that we could get some pretty good shots," said Sullivan coach Chester Reeder, whose team fell to 7-15 overall and 2-3 in the CIC. "Our plan was to take 45 seconds to a minute off the clock every time we had the ball and then start getting aggressive."
Shelbyville went on to win 41-26 Tuesday in a Central Illinois Conference boys' basketball game and moved to 19-5 overall and 5-0 in the conference.
"It was the same old story, but a different team," said Shelbyville coach Bob Herdes. "They are going 1-2-2 (zone) because we are not being aggressive on the wings. We were trying to get our kids to do some more dribble-drive. Just a dribble or two to bring them in. We could not get the ball in the middle tonight because we didn't make them make adjustments. We moved it around the wings and got some three-pointers (8-of-21), but we need to be able to use the dribble drive. Our point of emphasis tonight was to play with no fear and catch it on the wing and attack. That is three teams now that obviously know if we run we are pretty good. They have taken us out of the run and are willing to run their offense a lot and be very patient and try to get us out of our game and to a certain extent it has been working."
Shelbyville was 5-of-11 from three-point range in the opening half, including 4-of-6 by Malcolm Miller, who had 13 points at the break. The Rams tried to speed up the pace as Miller sank his first two three-pointers to start the scoring for the Rams and freshman Kade Kull sank one for a 10-4 lead.
"Our defense was a little bit slow to start," said Reeder. "We were not as active as I wanted us to be. We executed exactly what we wanted to. We didn't turn the ball over a lot (11), but they were bad ones. A lot of our turnovers turned into points for them."
Shelbyville started in man on defense and occasionally trapped the ball and did get some turnovers out of that.
Sullivan was still within striking distance trailing 27-18 with 4:48 left in the third quarter after a 10-footer by Zach Sowers. The Redskins had a chance to get closer but a blocked layup gave the Rams the ball and Brett Spears drilled a three-pointer to start a 10-0 run. Turner Pullen, who finished with 10 points, scored seven of his during the run, including a three-pointer from the baseline to start the fourth quarter scoring.
"A couple of things didn't go our way,but we also didn't make our own breaks either," said Reeder. "I was proud of them thought as they executed what I wanted them to do. We just have to take care of the basketball better."
Cade Ellis was one point short of a double-double for Sullivan with a team-high nine points and 10 rebounds for the Redskins who 6-of-17 (.353) from the field in the second half after going 5-of-11 in the opening half.
"It (having the opponent slow down the game) is extremely frustrating especially when you like to run," said Herdes. "We like to get out and run and when you can't do that it becomes frustrating for everybody. You are periods of defense for long periods of time and that is fatiguing. We trapped them some and did turn them over some. When we play five guys like we do most of the time you can't do that too long because you spend a ton of energy doing that. Warrensburg-Latham (43-39 in the CIC consolation championship) and Tuscola (53-46) beat us with it and Sullivan kept it close."
Miller led all players with 18 points and the Rams shot 48 percent from the field. Miller was 7-of-15 from the field.
Sullivan's Jacob White hit a jumper just before the first quarter ended to make it 10-8, Shelbhyville. The Rams run started with baskets by Miller and Kull. A steal and layup by Miller pushed the lead to 16-8 with 3:29 left in the half. After a free throw by Sullivan's Josh Stutzman Spears scored off a turnovers before Stutman ended the seven minute field goal drought with a bucket.
The last two regular season games between the two teams saw the Rams win 55-50 last year after falling 54-41 the previous season.
Sullivan is to travel to Moweaqua to face Central A&M, while Shelbyvillle is travel to Decatur to face St. Teresa in CIC games Friday.
"It sets up a big one for Friday as both of us are going to go into it undefeated in the conference," said Herdes. "It should be a fun atmosphere."