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Tilton leads Jaguars to win over Fighting Cougars

Corsica/Stickney's Walker Baan Hofman looks for someone to pass to as he is defended by McCook Central/Montrose's Tyler Cleveland during a high school basketball game at the DWU Culver's Classic Saturday at the Corn Palace in Mitchell. (Aaron Saunders/Republic)

By Owen Reitzel

Austin Tilton scored 18 points to lead Corsica/Stickney to a 39-29 win over McCook Central/Montrose at the Culver’s/Dakota Wesleyan Classic Saturday at the Corn Palace.

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“He’s a great player that can shoot the three, post up and has all the talent to do anything from the inside or outside,” C/S coach Mike Tuschen said of Tilton.

The Jaguars hit four three-point shots in the opening quarter, with two by Tilton, but the Fighting Cougars stayed close and trailed 16-13 at the end of the first quarter.

MC/M’s Will Gottlob hit a basket to open the second quarter to cut the Jaguar lead to 16-15, but the Fighting Cougars scored just two points the rest of the quarter and C/S took advantage with eight points of their own to build  a 24-17 halftime advantage.

MC/M’s offense continued to struggle in the third period. The Jaguars scored eight points (six from Tilton) and led 32-21 at the end of three quarters.

“We’re not an offensive juggernaut,” Jeff Heisinger said MC/M coach of his squad’s offensive struggles. “We’re pretty young and offensively for some guys it takes a while for them to get into the game.”

The Jaguars (10-7) jumped to a 37-23 lead with 5:08 left in the contest but the Fighting Cougars could only score six points and cut the lead to eight at 37-29 with 55 seconds left in the game. But that’s as close as MC/M got.

“Our patience (on offense) is sometimes marginal but we’ve been working on it lately and in the last three or four games we’ve been a lot more patient,” Tuschen said. “Our emphasis was too play good defense and I thought we did a good job with that.”

C/S was 13-of-39 for 33 percent from the floor and 5-of-8 for 63 percent from the free-throw line. The Jaguars turned the ball over nine times.

“You have to give C/S credit,” Heisinger said. “They played some really good defense and they are well-coached. They have some pretty good athletes.”

Gottlob led MC/M with 12 points followed by Cole Cheeseman with nine points. The Fighting Cougars (7-9) were 12-of-31 for 42 percent from the field and a perfect 2-of-2 from the free-throw line. MC/M outrebounded C/S 23-20 and committed 12 turnovers.

C/S will travel to Armour Tuesday to take on Tripp/Delmont/Armour and MC/M will travel to Tri Valley Tuesday.

C/S    16  24  32  39

MC/M   13  17  21  29