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Posted On: 12/6/18 1:57 PM
Three days after an EF-3 tornado damaged Taylorville, the Tornadoes returned to the court with no practice or conditioning, aside from leading cleanup efforts within the community.
The Tornadoes overcame defensive deficiencies in an 85-76 win over Charleston (4-3, 0-2 Apollo Conference).
Overcoming emotions was a factor early on but the game settled to a quick pace. Here are five takeaways from Tuesday’s game.
1. Isaac Miller stole the show.
Charleston’s Isaac Miller (2020) is scoring 20 points per game and was noticeably impressive on Tuesday. He scored a game-high 28 points on 10-of-15 shooting, including 3-of-6 from 3-point range. He moves well off the ball to get himself in good shooting position and can attack the defense and get to the foul line. He’s a solid wing prospect at the next level.
2. Taylorville can use its depth to wear teams down.
Taylorville’s (4-1, 1-1) starters led most of the way but got a big lift from its reserves. Wyatt Shirley (2021) impressed coach Ryan Brown by knocking down a pair of first-quarter treys. Justin Wright (2019) and Brandon Odom (2019) will play in the Blue/Grey All-American football game at Cowboys Stadium later this year but on Tuesday provided a lift. Wright, a 6-foot guard, scored 11 points on 4-of-7 shooting and grabbed four rebounds in 14 minutes. The 6-foot-1 Odom scored two points while grabbing six rebounds and adding two assists.
Yemi Odugbesan (2019) scored a bucket and grabbed a rebound in six minutes.
3. Charleston is one year away.
The Trojans have a young core that will continue to improve. They could be dangerous come postseason time and, especially into next season.
Miller is only a junior and pairs nicely with 6-foot-5, face-up forward Caleb Hurst (2020). Hurst is showing improvement early this season after scoring 7 points per game last year, his first varsity season. On Tuesday he scored 20 points on 9-of-15 shooting and grabbed 12 rebounds. He’s athletic and will crash the offensive glass (7 offensive rebounds), often following his shots. He showcased a willingness to shoot from the perimeter but missed his only shot. Defensively he makes a difference protecting the rim and is timely in rotating over to block shots.
It was obvious when Corey Spour (2021) was on the floor and when he wasn’t while battling foul trouble. Before fouling out, he handled the fullcourt pressure well with three assists and scoring 11 points on 5-of-9 shooting. His continued development will be key for Charleston.
Cade Landrus (2021) is a sharpshooter that provided a spark off the bench. Coming off Tommy John surgery, according to the Journal Gazette, Landrus looks to have recovered as he was 4-for-7 and 3-for-6 from 3-point range for 11 points.
Waiting in the balance are freshmen Jackson Braun (6-foot-2) and Payton Weemer (6-foot-1) – both of which will grow to be 6-5 or 6-6 coach Blain Mayhall said. Paired with 6-5 sophomore Sam Bickford, the Trojans will have good size to match up with larger Class 3A schools.
4. Efficient shooting carried Taylorville.
Brown was adamant about the team’s defense not being great early on, in part due to the long layoff due to the storm. The offense was incredible efficient with it’s shot selection, going 34-for-53 (64.2 percent). Some high-percentage shots were eventually created with their fullcourt pressure in the second half, but there was great ball movement and moving without the ball.
Nick Livingston (2019) was 8-for-11 to score his 18 points. Twin brother Jack Livingston (2019) was 3-for-5 for his six points. Jase Bergschneider (2020) scored a team-high 25 points on 9-of-16 shooting.
5. An ode to the glue that held Taylorville together.
Now this is strictly about basketball because it’s clear that this team is together, but 6-foot-2 Ryan Ess (2019) impacted the game in several areas. He was 4-for-6 shooting with nine points but also grabbed four rebounds, dished three assists and swiping two steals.
Lines of the night
Isaac Miller (Jr., G, 6-4) – 28 points (10-15/3-6/5-5), 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal
Caleb Hurst (Jr., F, 6-5) – 20 points (9-15/0-1/2-6), 12 rebounds, 1 assist
Corey Spour (So., G, 5-9) – 11 points (5-9/0-0/1-3), 3 assists, 2 steals, 1 rebounds
Jase Bergschneider (Jr., G, 6-0) – 25 points (9-16/0-1/8-9), 6 rebounds
Nick Livingston (Sr., G, 6-1) – 18 points (8-11/2-4/0-0), 3 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 block
Ryan Ess (Sr., G, 6-2) – 9 points (4-7/1-3/0-0), 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals