SHELBYVILLE — Execution. That was the difference Wednesday as the Lions traveled to Shelbyville for the basketball season opener. Rushville made enough plays down the stretch to rally and send the game to overtime . The end result was a 67-64 victory over the Golden Bears.
After a slow start offensively by the Golden Bears, Shelbyville’s consistent penetration to the basket paid off as they rallied from an 8-point first quarter deficit. The Lions jumped out to a 9-2 lead on a bucket by Cameron Cox, triple by Mitch Laird and back-to-back buckets by Nate Niehoff. The lead grew to 12-4 on a 3-pointer by Alex Yurack.
Shelbyville closed the first quarter on a 10-5 run to cut the deficit to 17-14 heading to the second quarter.
The Golden Bears took the lead early in the second quarter on a 3-pointer by Tyler Land. The continued attacking of the rim had Shelbyville in the bonus mid-way through the quarter.
After falling behind by eight points, the Lions got a 3-pointer from Laird and bucket from Cox off the nice Ricky Thompson feed to cut the half-time deficit to 29-26.
The Lions regained the lead in the third as Cox scored in the paint and Niehoff hit a “baby hook” in the lane. The Lions did not relinquish the lead the remainder of the quarter. Niehoff’s bucket put the Lions in front 43-40 after three quarters.
In the fourth quarter, the Golden Bears rallied from a 5-point deficit to take a pair of 5-point leads. The first came on a drive by Reilly Reinbold and the second came on a drive and reverse layin by Cameron Clouse.
With three minutes to play, the Golden Bears went to a more deliberate offense, looking to take time off the clock. The method slowed their offense (only three points the rest of the quarter) and allowed the Lions to scratch their way back in the game.