NASHVILLE — Central coach Jeremy Shubert readily admitted never being part of a 25-0 run before Tuesday, but that's what allowed the Cougars to bury the Nashville Hornets at the Nashville Invitational Tournament.
Down 8-3 early after a 3-pointer by Nashville's Daniel Thorson with around five minutes left in the first quarter, the Cougars stepped on the gas and ran off 25 straight points on the way to a 61-40 victory.
"That was the game right there," said Shubert, whose Cougars (12-4) have won six straight and drained 10 3-pointers against the Hornets (13-6). "We've been doing a lot of shooting, it's just guys believing and these young kids getting their feet set and knocking shots down --and we did that tonight.
"When we do that, that changes the whole complexion of the game."
The Cougars followed the lead of senior guard Jacob Timmermann, who drained two early 3-pointers and finished with 19 points.
"We actually shot really well for once and we knew we could," said Timmermann, whose team drained 10 of 15 shots from beyond the 3-point arc. "When we shoot like this we can beat any team in the area, and we finally did it. We took care of the ball and we played well."
Timmermann is surrounded by a young squad, but a few more nights like Tuesday should greatly enhance the maturation process.
"Our younger guys stepped up and I stepped up too, it was about time (I did)," said Timmermann, who committed only one turnover and several times beat the Hornets up the floor for layups.
"When Jacob plays well, they can feed off of that," Shubert said. "Timmermann getting off to a good start had a lot to do with it and just playing with confidence."
Central drained seven 3-pointers in the first half and then embarked on a rare 25-0 run before Nashville finally scored again on a shot by Hunter Beetley with 4:44 remaining in the second quarter.
Seven of Central's 12 field goals in the first half were 3-pointers, with Kohrmann accounting for three and Timmermann and Chase Schneider firing in two each.
Unable to penetrate Central's effective 2-3 zone, Nashville was 3-for-15 from the floor in the first half and trailed 32-13 at halftime.
"We know they're very capable," Nashville coach Brad Weathers said. "They've got some good shooters and they shot it extremely well tonight. With our big lineup in there, we needed to get off to a good start and I was a little disappointed in our focus early."
Timmermann and Kohrmann hit 3-pointers early in the second half to put Nashville in a 40-17 hole it never escaped.
"Once they got the lead, they're quicker than us and they were able to spread us out and get to the rim," Weathers said. "They packed it inside and we couldn't knock anything down from the outside, that just added to it."
Nashville's Daniel Thorson and Royce Newman each scored nine points.
Shubert credited the job Central's big men Kenton Roeckenhaus and Austin Shidle did to help limit the 6-foot-7 Newman inside.
"I thought they did a heck of a job, they battled him and bumped him," Shubert said. "Other than right around the basket he didn't hurt us."
Gibault 63, Mascoutah 54
Top-seeded Gibault was pushed hard by No. 8 seed Mascoutah at times, but held on for a first-round victory to reach the semifinals.
The Hawks had four players in double figures led by seniors Nick Row (16 points), Wes Degener (13 points), Mitch Meyer (11 points) and Tyler Enright (10 points).
Gibault trailed briefly in the first half, but stretched its lead to 49-35 after three quarters before the Indians (3-15) made their run.
A shot by Andy Norrenberns cut the Gibault lead to 52-26 with 2:41 remaining, but the Hawks pulled away by sinking 13 of their 15 free throws in the fourth quarter.
Row was 8-for-8 at the foul line in the final eight minutes and 12-for-12 overall.
Mascoutah got 14 points from Brian Pettiford and 10 from Tim Parks, with Norrenberns adding nine.
Despite playing without injured starter Alex Oltmann, the Indians pushed the Hawks hard throughout the first half.
Three-pointers by Parks and M.Z. Duprey kept the Indians on top early in the second quarter and their lead reached 19-16.
Gibault, which led 13-12 after one quarter, answered Mascoutah's run with 3-pointers by Meyer and Zach Neff as the Hawks grabbed a 30-25 halftime lead.