MONROE — Prairie City-Monroe’s boys still have a lot of work to do in the next week and a half before postseason play starts, that according to longtime coach Fred Lorensen, but the Mustangs still won their fourth straight game on Thursday night. PCM beat Saydel, 63-41 at home.
“We just do some silly things,” Lorensen said. “Our shot selection sometimes wasn’t very good. We were real loose with the ball several times. We just need to minimize tunrovers. If we minimize turnovers and take good shots, we can be really good. We didn’t always do that tonight, but when we do, we’re tough to beat.”
PCM kept Saydel’s two sharpshooters — Alex Gustafson and Kyler Walter — under wraps for most of the night. The Mustangs were able to capitalize on some missed shots with opportunities in transition, and for the first time in awhile, the the team hit its open threes.
“They have two really good shooters,” Lorensen said. “The first game, at their place, they were ahead 36-32 at halftime. Those two had 34 of those points. So we felt we should try to slow them down as much as we could. We did give up some other stuff inside, but that’s going to happen with what we were doing. So, it was a pretty good effort defensively on our end.”
Saydel came out in a zone defense, giving up some early 3-point attempts. Senior Ryan Jennings knocked down the first 3-pointer of the game, which made Saydel inch out a little bit from the paint. Saydel kept pace with the Mustangs until Logan Gilman knocked down a pair of shots in the post to pull ahead. 13-8. Saydel’s Mattingly Stone hit a 3-pointer with 20 seconds left in the first, but senior Dillon Bruxvoort answered with a nothing-but-net three at the buzzer as the Mustangs took a 16-11 lead into the second quarter.
Jennings converted on a three-point play early in the second. He then knocked down another shot from the outside. Trey Lindsay got into the game and hit a long range shot to pull ahead, 27-19. Some inside buckets by Gilman and junior Tyler Townsend gave PCM a 12-point halftime lead.
“At the beginning, we moved the ball really well,” Lorensen said. “We got some passes against the zone and moved it inside a lot. We kind of lost touch with that in the second half a little bit, but in the first, we did a real good job getting the ball down by the basket to our scorers.”
Senior Zach Uhlenhopp got PCM out to a fast second-half start with a three-point play to open the third. The Mustangs’ 1-3-1 zone limited passing lanes for the Eagles and caused some difficult offensive situations. Gustafson hit a stepback 3-pointer to pull back within 12. Saydel began to trap PCM in the backcourt, but the Mustangs broke the pressure and got some layups in transition.
Devon Woody knocked down a 3-pointer, followed by two baskets from Logan Glman. A lay-in by Bruxvoort gave PCM a 20-point edge going to the fourth quarter.
Saydel got within 13 points in the fourth, but ultimately, it was too steep of a hill to climb for the Eagles, and PCM held on for the win to move to 14-4.
Gilman led all scorers with 22, followed by Jennings with 13 points and Bruxvoort with 12. Gilman and Bruxvoort each had nine rebounds to lead the team. Lindsay led with five assists.
PCM has three final games before it starts postseason play, and Lorensen is glad to have the final week and a half to fine tune his team for a potential postseason run.
“We had some breakdowns defensively, some baseline drives that aren’t supposed to happen, just some basic stuff we can get better at,” Lorensen said. “We’re not anywhere near where we want to be, but we have another week and a half before we get there. We just need to keep getting better. We have three tough games left, so between the good competition we play and our practices, hopefully we can get there.”
Saydel Eagles 11-11-5-14 — 41
PCM Mustangs 16-18-13-16 — 63
Saydel — Gustafson 2/2-0-5-15, Walter 0/0-2-4-4, Hunter White 1/0-1-0-2, Clayton Summers 2/0-4-2-6, Justin Carr 2/0-3-1-5, Stone 3/1-4-0-9, Justin Peal 0/0-1-0-0, Brandon Hill 0/0-3-0-0. TOTALS: 10/3-15-12-41
PCM — Uhlenhopp 1/0-4-2-4, Troy Vittetoe 0/0-0-2-2, Lindsay 0/1-0-0-3, Ricky Reeve 0/0-1-0-0, Jennings 3/2-2-1-13, Bruxvoort 3/1-4-3-12, Gilman 7/0-0-8-22, Carson King 1/0-0-0-2, Townsend 1/0-0-0-2. TOTALS: 16/5-15-16-63