The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
  • Prep Hoops: Learning Curve

  • Motsinger ‘I think we’re getting better each game’
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  • Darren Betz scored a game-high 26 points and Slayden Figg dropped in 18, but Carrier Mills-Stonefort dropped its home opener, 62-57, to Zeigler-Royalton Tuesday night at DeWitt Gymnasium.
    The Wildcats (0-5) were able to jump out to a double digit lead in the first quarter, but were outscored 22-10 in the second stanza and trailed 36-30 at intermission.
    “I think we’re getting better each game,” said Carrier Mills coach Mark Motsinger. “Zeigler’s got a nice team. That’s the same group of boys that beat Trico last year and beat Sesser. They didn’t really lose anybody. I felt like we played a pretty good game, but we’ve still got some timing issues in our offense.”
    After building a double digit lead themselves, the Tornadoes (3-1) led 45-39 after three quarters and had to sweat things out down the stretch.
    A triple from Betz brought the Wildcats to within 57-55 with 1:05 to play, but Z-R was able to connect with some big shots late in the game. Zeigler-Royalton also converted on all but one free throw in the final quarter.
    Senior Nick McPhail had 19 points for Zeigler-Royalton and teammate Bailey Schimpf added 17, including five 3-pointers.
    Jeremy Weddle and Timmy Brooks combined for 16 points off the bench.
    Carrier Mills started slow out of the gate last season, dropping its first six games a year ago, but still managed to finish with a winning record.
    Motsinger believes his team can turn the tide again and was pleased with the play of his leading scorers, but thinks his club needs to find more options on the offensive end.
    “We’ve got to figure out a way to get a little more out of the rest of them,” said Motsinger. “Betz was all over the floor. He scored about any place we wanted him too. Slayden’s tough to guard too, but like I said, we’ve got to get some more out of these other guys. Right now, that’s our soft spot.”
    Carrier Mills won the JV game 47-23.
    Zeigler-Royalton 14 22 9 17 – 62
    Carrier Mills-Stonefort 20 10 9 18 - 57
    Z-R (62): McPhail 6 7-9 19, Stubblefield 0 2-4 2, Schimpf 6 0-0 17, Moskoff 1 0-1 2, Jones 3 0-2 6, Weddle 3 00-0 8, Brooks 3 2-2 8. Totals 22 11-18 62.
    CM (57): Betz 10 3-7 26, Figg 7 2-3 18, Whiting 2 1-2 5, Kalonder 1 2-3 4, Motsinger 1 0-0 2, Crowder 1 0-0 2. Totals 22 8-15 57.
    3-pointers: Z-R 7 (Schimpf 5, Weddle 2); CM 5 (Betz 3, Figg 2). Team Fouls: Z-R 18; CM 19. Fouled Out: Z-R: Schimpf. Technicals: Z-R bench. Records: Z-R is 3-1. Carrier Mills is 0-5.
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