When they cut down the nets and handed them to Central following the Cougars’ 73-59 win over Nashville in the Class 2A Sectional Championship game at Pinckneyville Friday night, the nets were still smoldering.
Here are some quick highlights of Central’s dominating offensive performance: The Cougars led by double digits since there was 1:10 remaining in the first quarter; Central placed four players in double figures led by Logan Kohrmann’s 23 points; And the Cougars shot 70 percent (14-20) from the field in the first half and ended with hitting 27-39 shots for 69 percent.
“That was 32 minutes of senior leadership,” said Central coach Jeremy Shubert. “Those seniors stepped up tonight and they wanted that sectional championship.”
“I can’t be prouder of my kids right now about how they executed, they wanted to be in the Super for sure.”
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The Cougars advance to the Carbondale Super-Sectional where they will take on Teutopolis at the SIU Arena Tuesday night.
Kohrmann led the Cougars with 23 points, but it was Chase Schneider’s three 3-pointers in the first half that helped get Central off to such a good start.
Schneider hit two big treys in the first quarter that gave the Cougars leads of 7-2 and 17-6, and his 3-pointer midway through the second period put Central ahead 30-13. Schneider had 11 of his 13 points in the first half.
“We lost him on a couple of those and, dog gone it we know better than that,” said Nashville coach Brad Weathers. “Hats off to him, he dropped them too.”
The other key was Nashville’s big man, Royce Newman. The Hornets’ 6-7 center finished the game with 22 points, but Newman was only 1-7 from the field in the first half for four points.
“The way Royce has been playing he is just so dang tough to guard,” said Shubert. “You have to credit Chase Schneider and Corbin Zanger, they battled him early.”
Kolby Schulte scored 12 points for Central, Mitchel Rule added 10 points.
The Cougars improved to 29-4 with the win, Nashville ended at 21-11.
“Gosh darn it, we executed very well, my guys came in hungry tonight and they played like it,” Shubert said. “You get off to a great start like that you are going to win a lot of basketball games, hopefully we can build upon this.”