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Cougars pick up first win over Austin

The North Harrison boys basketball team got its first win of the season Friday night over visiting Austin 67-62 in overtime. The win came in wild fashion as Jordan Byrne made a game-saving play. The win knocked off a big chunk of ice from an iceberg that has sat in front of the Cougars their first eight games.
‘We were down five with about 46 seconds to go and hit a couple of big shots,’ said Cougars coach Chris Martin.
After Austin (4-6) missed a free throw with nine seconds left, North Harrison trailed by two points. The Cougars then fumbled the ball around two or three times before Byrne picked it up on the perimeter at three-point range.
‘With less than five seconds left, he threw it between his legs, literally, and Joe Bolin happened to be standing underneath the bucket,’ Martin said. ‘He scored and it went into overtime. We somehow scored 13 points in overtime and pulled out a victory.’
The win was the first for North Harrison after an 0-8 start. It was also the first win as a Cougar for Martin, a North Harrison alum.
Martin and the Cougars hoped that win would propel them in their game against visiting Scottsburg on Saturday night, but a 22-8 fourth quarter by the Warriors vaporized any chances for the Cougars, resulting in a 79-53 loss.
‘We said the first eight minutes was going to see what we gained from last night,’ Martin said. ‘When you win a ball game, whether it’s your first one or a big one or whatever, that’s one night. When you come back the next night, you have to carry that into the next game. When you looked up at the first quarter tonight, we were down 20-10.’
Jim Bob Schuler had a hot hand for the Cougars in the first quarter, scoring North Harrison’s first eight points. But Scottsburg was having its way inside, with all of the Warriors first 14 points coming in the paint.
Scottsburg connected on 8 of its 11 field-goal attempts in the second quarter. North Harrison kept in sight, getting two late threes from Cody Johnson and T.J. Sanders to keep them within nine. Andrew Bosell scored inside to get the last bucket of the half, as the Warriors took a 38-28 advantage to the locker room.
Scottsburg put the game away with a back-breaking 18-0 run in the fourth quarter, and Tyler Schulze cashing in a three-ball for a Warrior 75-45 advantage. North Harrison’s bench got some baskets late but not enough to help the Cougars in their 79-53 loss.
Johnson led the Cougars with 14 points, and Schuler finished with 12 for the game. North Harrison hit 22 of its 48 field goal attempts and got just 1 of 5 free throws. North Harrison had 18 turnovers.
Tyler Schulze led the Warriors with 25 points for the game. Derek Coomer had 12, and Jordan Gibson and Anthony Humes each finished with 10 points. Scottsburg finished the game hitting 31 of 64 field goals for 48 percent. The Warriors swished 10 of 16 free throws and made 11 turnovers.
‘Scottsburg’s got two or three really good shooters, and when you come for one and focus on one, somebody else steps up and makes a bucket,’ said Martin.
Martin said he and his staff will keep looking at what has worked best for the Cougars and will work to improve on those areas.
‘If you look at us, when we reverse the basketball, when we will take it to one side and take our time, we get good shots,’ Martin said. ‘We’re not a team that’s going to be able to run up and down the floor with people and play a transition basketball game.’
North Harrison has two home games this weekend, hosting Eastern (Pekin) Friday night then Floyd Central on Saturday night.

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