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After wrapping up the regular season with a dominant win on the road at Spring Valley Hall, the Illinois Valley Central boys lost at home in the first round of Regional, 49-42, to that same team.


After wrapping up the regular season with a dominant win on the road at Spring Valley Hall, the Illinois Valley Central boys lost at home in the first round of Regional, 49-42, to that same team.

“We had a bad ending to what was a decent year for a young team,” coach Jim Thornton said.

From the beginning of the game, it was evident that Hall would attempt to hold the ball as long as it could on offense to keep IVC’s possessions to a minimum.

After Hall held the ball for the opening two minutes, senior Keegan Horack made a steal that led to a layup to put IVC up, 2-0.

The Red Devils tied the game and soon took the lead.

When the Ghosts did get the ball on offense, they were unable to convert possessions into points.

“That was our worst shooting night of the year,” Thornton said. “We only shot 28 percent for the game.”

The Ghost offense began to score in the second quarter, thanks to junior Trever Black driving to the low post to put in a close-range shot.

The teams traded leads throughout the second quarter, but Black put IVC up, 18-17, at halftime when he put in a reverse layup as time expired.

“They tried to hold onto the ball to try and shorten the game,” Thornton said. “That was a good strategy by them.”

IVC came out flat to start the second half and Hall quickly grabbed a 23-18 lead.

Four-and-a-half minutes into the quarter, the Ghosts scored their first points when junior Jake Rutan knocked down two free throws.

At the end of the quarter, senior Chris Martin snagged an offensive rebound and put it in to send the teams to the fourth quarter tied at 26.

Both teams’ offenses woke up for the fourth quarter, as neither defense was able to find an answer for the first time all game.

The Ghosts used smart ball movement to get high-percentage shots for the shooters and clear lanes to the hoop.

However, IVC’s offensive awakening was too little too late, as Hall had no trouble scoring in the final quarter either and closed out the upset victory.

“If we could have gotten up by four or five early on, then that would have changed their strategy and the game,” Thornton said.

IVC finishes the season with a 16-10 record.