Effingham downs Tigers

First round loss in IHSA Class 3A regional ends disappointing season for Paris team

A regional loss to the Effingham Flaming Hearts Feb. 26 ended the Paris boys basketball season.

The Tigers finished with an 8-18 record after Effingham outscored the team by 30 points at 63-33.

It was the last game for a large crop of seniors.

“It feels like I’ve had them forever, and they have so much going for them in the future, just really great kids,” said head coach Shawn Nugent. “They’ve had some adversity with some of our seasons, and hopefully they can learn from it.”

The first quarter saw some rough shooting from both squads, as the Hearts attempted over a half-dozen three-pointers. After working in their early possessions with a supreme amount of patience, Paris finally got on the board with a Brody Spencer steal at the 2:40 mark. Effingham countered with two three-pointers, the latter of which splashed through the net from the top of the key just before the buzzer sounded.

The Hearts quickly built on their 11-2 first quarter lead, with some quick scores to make it 20-6. Effingham’s offense cooled off as Zack Burger started making shots. A put back from Matthew Brouwer left the Tigers down only 26-14 at the half.

The Hearts extended their lead with occasional fast breaks and interior baskets from their top scorer Wolfe, who had 26 on the night.

A Spencer three at 3:38 made it 21-35, but Effingham went on a 6-0 run from fast breaks and continued to do so until the end of the quarter. The Paris outside shooting stayed cold after that.

“Like a lot of teams they had a great height advantage on us, and their best player was all over the floor for them,” Nugent said. “We held them to a decent amount, even with the low scoring quarter.”

The highlight of the fourth quarter was the two blocks of the game for the Tigers coming from Brouwer and Burger on back-to-back possessions. Paris began pulling their seniors with about three minutes left in the game, and Effingham, up 25 points, also began subbing in bench players.

“We were able to get some good minutes from our young guys towards the end, and we will be a young team next year with only two seniors,” Nugent said.

Paris was led in scoring by Burger with 10 and Spencer with 7.

The Prairie Press

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