After letting wins slip by them in losses to Salem (51-37 on Jan. 18) and Champaign Central (57-48 Jan. 22), Carbondale showed grit and came back Saturday afternoon to play an excellent contest against Thornton Fractional North.
The 57-48 win over the south suburban Chicago area team gave the Dawgs the seventh place trophy in the Salem Mid-Winter Tournament.
Although they incurred two losses, the games were very close the whole 32 minutes of play. But poor shot selection and turnovers ultimately killed late Carbondale leads, especially in the irritating nine-point loss to Champaign.
Carbondale led in the game till 3:41 left in the fourth quarter (46-44). Indeed, the Dawgs led by six points at half (27-21) and had multiple double digit leads throughout the contest (i.e., a 15-4 Terrier lead at 6:00 of the second quarter).
Carbondale also forced Champaign into an incredible 22 turnovers!
But the Terriers had 18 TOs of their own and 10 of those came in the second half -- when the game turned on CCHS. The same thing happened in the loss to Salem.
But the loss to the tournament host team, also involved another Terrier bugaboo, free throws. Salem made 13 FTs to Carbondale's four. That nine point differential made up the bulk of the Salem win margin.
Dawgs get it together
However, the Dawgs got it together last Saturday against the Thornton Meteors, a 1,700-enrollment school.
Carbondale led the whole game, albeit for some scary moments, as per usual for Terrier games. Carbondale has been averaging 15 turnovers per contest, and they had 17 in this win.
But only four of those came in the first half in which they built up a solid eight-point lead (30-22).
The TO totals for the game were bad for the Terriers but Thorton was even more careless, as they incurred 22 TOs and 12 of those came in the crucial second half. The Dawgs had one 14 point lead (44-30) with 1:54 to go in the third quarter.
But the up and down Terriers let the contest get as close as five points with 1:47 to play.
"We're young and we haven't learned how to finish games yet," said Carbondale head man Troy Barton.
"But fortunately we had 'The Microwave' off the bench," the coach added. Barton was not inferring that his team was cooking burritos near the water cooler. He was referring to super sub Soloman McIntire.
McIntire scored in double figures (14 pts) to finally lead the Dawgs to victory. The 5-8 spark plug hit several threes as his team shot 6-19 from the Arc.
On the other hand, the Meteors missed all of their seven attempts.
Carbondale also pounded the Meteors on the boards. The Terriers had 39 rebounds to only 26 for Thorton. Incredibly 19 of the Terrier total were offensive rebounds, thus giving Carbondale 19 more shot attempts.
Tonight the Dawgs play Cahokia at 7 p.m. in Bowen Gym. If Carbondale wins, it will be a season sweep of the Comanches, whom they beat a week ago in Cahokia, 57-45.