Boys lose at home
After reeling in seven straight conference wins, the Ghosts were heartbroken Friday when they were upset at home by Rock Falls, 61-49, in a painful and frustrating loss.
The Rockets jumped out to a quick 4-0 run to start the game before Illinois Valley Central answered.
Senior Billy Seiler made the first basket for the Ghosts when he swished in a three, followed by a Seiler lay-in to give the Ghosts a 5-4 lead.
Although the Ghosts were putting up points , the Rockets were used their effective low-post offense to do the same.
IVC had a slim 16-12 lead at the end of the first quarter.
When Rock Falls took the court in the second quarter, they made it clear that they wanted to slow the game down and take the ball away from the explosive Ghost offense.
When IVC did get the ball, they were anything but explosive, and allowed the Rockets offense to creep up on them.
Rock Falls tied the game at 19 with 1:52 left in the half when they went coast-to-coast for a layup.
After a miss by IVC, the Rockets ran the floor again to take the lead, which they extended to 24-21 at the end of the half with a buzzer-beating three pointer.
Although the Ghosts did not let the Rockets pull away in the third quarter, they did not do much to cut into the lead, despite senior Kyle Mooney’s two quick jumpers.
Senior Terell Williams did his best to give the Ghosts a spark when he laid the ball in strong late in the quarter, but it was not enough to take a lead.
The Ghosts entered the final quarter trailing, 31-34.
Although they had played Rock Falls tough all game, the Ghosts fell apart in the final quarter when the Rocket passing cut through the Ghost defense.
When the Ghosts took the ball offensively, shots were not falling for them, and their offensive rebounding was lackluster.
“We were completely outhustled,” coach Jim Thornton said. “We didn’t play together tonight, we played selfishly.”
Near the end of the quarter, Rock Falls made several three pointers that were like daggers to the Ghosts.
IVC lost its first game within the North Central Illinois Conference-Lincoln Division.
The Ghosts were led in scoring by Seiler’s 12 points and in rebounding by Mooney’s four boards.
“I told the team that you learn a lot about yourselves after a loss, based on if you take it with you to the next game or if you move on,” Thornton said.
Although they are still in command of the conference, Rock Falls and Princeton now are within striking distance of the Ghosts.
The Ghosts (14-5, 7-1) played Putnam County Tuesday and play Princeton at 7:30 p.m. Friday at home.