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Examiner
  • Big fourth, big crowd carries Pats to win

  • If the Truman boys basketball team had its way, every home game would be courtwarming – or at least have the atmosphere of Friday night’s contest with St. Joseph Central.

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  • If the Truman boys basketball team had its way, every home game would be courtwarming – or at least have the atmosphere of Friday night’s contest with St. Joseph Central.
    Spurred on by a raucous crowd of mostly Truman supporters that nearly filled the bleachers, the Patriots won 71-52. Senior forward Zane Rader came off the bench to lead Truman with 17 points. Fellow seniors Zach Huber and Scott Agee contributed 14 points and 12 points, respectively. Freshman guard Reid Titus scored 11 points, all of them during the fourth quarter, to help the Patriots turn a three-point ballgame early in the quarter into a 19-point Suburban Middle Six victory.
    “All of us – I know for a fact – live for big crowds,” Huber said. “Big crowds and basketball is one of the most addictive things in life. It’s really something special.”
    Patriots coach Billy Guinnee agreed.
    “Any team – you play in an atmosphere like that – is going to get you jacked up a little bit,” said Guinnee, whose club improved to 11-6 and 1-1 in conference. “It obviously got Zach going tonight, because I thought he was a beast out there.”
    Specifically, Guinnee was impressed with Huber’s aggressive rebounding. Facing what Guinnee called a “forest of big guys,” Huber grabbed eight boards, a performance that Guinnee suggested was typical of Huber.
    “I’m sitting there wondering, ‘How (does) he get in there and get a rebound with all those big guys around?’” Guinnee said. “He can’t jump higher than anybody else. He’s not taller than anybody else. But he somehow manages just to get in to the right spot, time his jump and get a rebound. And he did a great job of blocking out on their bigs, too.”
    Shun Williams paced Central (9-7, 1-1) with 19 points, followed by Derek Gray with 11.
    Central coach Cy Musser praised the way Jalil Davis, Williams, Gray and their teammates handled the pressure of Truman’s hometown crowd.
    “I thought we did a pretty good job late,” Musser said. “When you’re able to make runs like we did late and get the momentum back on your side, I think it takes the crowd out of it, and I think we did that for a little bit. Just not long enough.”
     

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