Illinois Valley Central's short week started with a 61-44 win over Hartem on the road Friday.
"We played good enough to win," coach Joe Mintus said. "It's a tougher place to go down and play after a long bus ride. We were playing against a team that hadn't lost a game and really didn't have much to lose.
"They played loose and we played tight but our pressure eventually wore them down. We played well in spurts but it was not a complete game by far. We let them hang around for longer than I would have liked but sometimes that's just high school basketball."
IVC's offense was on fire from the get-go, knocking down basket after basket with smart passes for good shot selections.
Caleb Magee could do no wrong with the ball and set his team up with passes to set teammates up and shots of his own that brought his scoring total to 12 for the game.
IVC led, 10-5, after the opening quarter.
In the second frame, both teams kicked up the offensive intensity but, thanks to Adam Reginald's shooting streak, IVC led 25-15 at halftime.
The third quarter was no exception for IVC's offense as Hartem still had not found the remedy to stop the points from rolling up on the Ghost side of the scoreboard.
During the second half, the Ghosts put 36 points on the board to cruise to the win.
The team then fell at home to Putnam County, 60-58, Saturday.
"We started off real slow," Mintus said. "We came out of the gate real flat, which surprised me. I don't know if we were a little tense or what it was but we came out of the gate real slow."
Putnam County's offense rolled to start the game, putting up 19 points off the bat.
IVC's offense, however, did not falter but could not match Putnam County's intensity and trailed, 19-11, after the opening frame.
In the second quarter, the Ghost defense and offense clicked.
Putnam County could get nothing past the Ghost defenders, who forced turnovers that they turned into points.
The trio of AJ Johnson, Reilly Owens and Sam Reuter had a fantastic game with each player putting up 13 points to tie for the scoring lead.
"That second quarter was incredible," Mintus said. "That was about the best quarter we played all year."
At halftime, IVC led 33-25.
After each team outplayed the other for one quarter apiece in the first half, the teams matched each other shot for shot in the third quarter when both side put up 16 points.
IVC's offense racked up points with both drives to the hoop and mid-to-long range shots over Putnam County defenders.
Page 2 of 2 - Where IVC faltered, unfortunately, was in the final eight minutes.
Although the Ghosts were not shut out, they could only manage nine points.
Defensively, IVC was torn apart by Putnam County, who seemed to score at will to add 19 points to the total and squeaked out the win.
"In the fourth quarter we got in some foul trouble and they hit some big shots," Mintus said. "Part of it was us losing our man sometimes and part of it was them hitting incredible shots. We have got to do a better job guarding, especially in the perimeter."
The team next plays at 7:30 p.m. Friday at home against Rock Falls.
"Once we put it all together, I think we will be pretty good," Mintus said. "It's just a matter of getting some consistency. Our shot selection at times is really good and at times it's really bad. You have to have good shot selection all the time to be good.
"The team has to make mistakes in games and then learn from them. Our practices are very spirited and competitive. With how hard we play in practice, I did not see that over the weekend."