Grand View fights hard, but PSC men prevail

Staff Writer
Syracuse Journal-Democrat
Devon Colley splits a pair of Viking defenders for two of his game-high
27 points in the Bobcat win.

The visiting Grand View Vikings put up a tough fight, but it was not enough as the Peru State Bobcat men's basketball team held on for an 85-75 win Wednesday night.

For the 'Cats, it was their fifth-straight Heart of America Athletic Conference (Heart) win which keeps the Bobcats in a tie for third in the conference standings. Peru State is now 14-11 overall and are 13-6 in the Heart. The 'Cats are tied with Benedictine (Kan.) for third and are three games out of first and 1.5 games out of second with five games remaining. One of those five games is with Benedictine.

Grand View fell to 6-17 on the season and are now 4-15 in conference play.

First Half Action

Noah Vasa (Nebraska City) hit a bucket in the paint off an assist from Nick Brannon (Las Vegas) with just 12 seconds gone off the clock. The Vikings would score the next five points to lead 5-2 before Vasa hit another bucket in the paint, again off an assist from Brannon to make it 5-4.

Grand View would go out to a six-point lead at 10-4 before Vasa dished off to Brannon to make it 10-6 at the 15-minute mark. The Vikings would later still lead by six at 18-12, before the Bobcats would start to take over the game.

Henry Tanksley (Lincoln) hit a bucket in the paint with 10:38 to go in the first half and then Deonte McReynolds (Chicago) made one of two free throws to pull the 'Cats within three. Devon Colley (Las Vegas) would complete an old-fashioned three-point play to tie the game at 18 with 10:01 on the clock. A bucket by Brannon with 9:38 on the clock put the Bobcats ahead for the first time since early in the contest.

The Vikings would knot the game at 20 before Vasa drained a trey off an assist from Tanksley at the 8:44 mark. Peru State would later go out to a 33-29 lead after Vasa dished an assist to Isaac Simpson (Papillion) who hit a three-pointer with 3:06 left in the first 20 minutes.

Grand View would hit a three-pointer of her own to pull back to just a one-point deficit. McReynolds scored a bucket in the paint off an assist from Colley to put the score at 35-32. With 17 seconds left in the half, Simpson hit another trey, this time off an assist from McReynolds to extend Peru State's lead to six at 38-32 at halftime.

Second Half Action

Tanksley started the second half with a pair of free throws to give the Bobcats their largest lead at that point of eight to 40-32.

The Vikings would again make a comeback and pulled within one at 42-41 at the 17:30 point of the second half. Back-to-back buckets by Brannon and then a three-point play by McReynolds put Peru State back up by eight at 49-41 with 16:16 to go.

With 10:58 remaining in the contest, Peru State had its largest lead of 14 at 63-49 after Colley hit a trey on an assist from Tanksley.

With 3:44 left, Grand View had got as close as six at 74-68, but that would be as close as they would come the rest of the way.

Colley would finish the contest with a pair of free throws for the final ten-point margin and 85-75 win.

Team Statistics

Both teams had a good night shooting the ball. Peru State connected on 31 of 62 field goal attempts which included hitting 12 of 27 from deep for 44.4%. At the charity stripe, the 'Cats were 11 of 15 for 73.3%. Grand View made 29 of 72 field goals for 40.3% and that included making 9 of 25 from long range for 36%. At the free throw line, the Vikings went 11 of 14 for 72.7%.

Peru State had a slight edge in rebounding as they grabbed 41 boards compared to 35 for the Vikings. The Bobcats dished out 21 assists while Grand View finished with 18.

The Bobcats turned the ball over 12 times while the Vikings finished with ten miscues. The 'Cats blocked seven shots with Grand View blocking one shot. Both teams finished with six steals.

Peru Individual Statistics

Again, the Bobcats finished with very balanced scoring. Five Peru State players finished in double figures with one just one point shy of the magic mark. Colley led all scorers with 27 points on 9 of 14 shooting including making 4 of 6 from behind the arc. Brannon added 14 points while Vasa and McReynolds each added 12. Tanksley contributed 11 with Simpson finishing with nine.

Brannon tied for game-high rebounding honors as he grabbed ten board. Simpson nabbed eight while Vasa, Tanksley, and McReynolds each had seven rebounds.

Colley dished out seven assists, tying him for game-high, while Tanksley and Brannon each had four assists. McReynolds handed out three assist and Vasa had two.

Vasa blocked three shots while Simpson and Brannon each were credited with two blocks.

Vasa and Colley each were credited with two steals while Simpson and McReynolds each nabbed one.

Upcoming Contests

Five Heart regular-season games remain on Peru State's schedule and the upcoming contest will be at home on Saturday, February 15, at 4 p.m. Central Methodist (Mo.) will be the opponent. Despite their record, the Eagles are a talented team. Presently, Central Methodist is 9-16 on the season and are one game out of the post-season tournament at this point with an 8-11 conference mark.

Next Wednesday night, the Bobcats head to Atchison, Kansas, to take on the Ravens of Benedictine in a game which could decide the third seed in the Heart standings. Benedictine is 15-10 on the year and are tied with the 'Cats at 13-6 in the Heart.